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This question already has an answer here:

What would be your reply, if someone asks you

  • How do you do?

marked as duplicate by Kris, Rory Alsop, snailcar, Edwin Ashworth, Ronan May 23 '14 at 9:13

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  • The form is, in fairness, much less used than it used to be. It was the standard way of responding to a formal introduction to someone. Both would say 'How do you do?' to one another, neither expecting an answer. Unfortunate souls who had been brought up outside of metropolitan etiquette might answer 'nicely thankyou' and thus confirm their serving status. Watch Downton Abbey. – WS2 May 23 '14 at 8:02
  • Considering the preference many have for prioritising functional analysis over formal, actually calling 'How do you do?' a question might be contentious. As Erik says, it's purely phatic, unlike 'How are you?' which is solicitous of a logical response. In fact, the shortened form 'Howdy' has lost the question mark. – Edwin Ashworth May 23 '14 at 8:35
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In British English, the standard response to ‘How do you do?’ is ‘How do you do?’ which is not used these days.

It is common for Americans to say, ‘Fine, thank you’ in response to ‘How do you do?’

You can chose that.

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    Have you checked the 'possible duplicate' post? – Kris May 23 '14 at 8:02
  • Is it really common? I've never actually heard anyone say "How do you do?" outside of fiction before. – snailcar May 23 '14 at 8:19
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    I haven't used it either. I remembered to have read it long time back. But the link checked after your comment was thorough on this and explained that it was used but not anymore. – Veronica Diamond May 23 '14 at 8:23
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    which is not used these days. It's still used in the UK and by English abroad quite a lot, especially in formal settings. If one is are being introduced to someone one would probably say how do you do as you shake hands, and they could respond with how do you do, pleased to meet you, or other such pleasantries. – Frank May 23 '14 at 8:39
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I would repeat the question back to them without actually answering it or expecting them to answer my question. It's a purely phatic formulation.

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