I know that in general people say

How are you?

I find out that people used "are" for showing politeness and respect to the person.

But one of my friend always say

How is you?

so, can I ask "How is you?" for not showing respect and politeness to the person.

Sounds bad, though it is singular question. Should it be "is" or "are"?

  • 1
    Q: Can I ask, "How is you?" A: You can, if you're a cat.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 12:20
  • ok! Cat is an animal and human is also an animal. Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 12:27
  • Good question. There are many some languages like sanskrit, hindi and others where plural form is used out of respect. However this is not the case in english and the is/are usage is simply irregular. You should probably edit your question to remove the assumptions and just make it a question. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Your friend is wrong.

If you look at the verb to be here, it is you are or he/she/it is. In the question form, the wh- is tagged on the front, and the subject and verb swapped around.


How are you?
How is she/he/it?

Note that the are has no connection with showing politeness or respect.


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