"Comment ça va ?"

Translation:How are you doing?

1/27/2013, 4:38:51 AM

119 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Wonderboy6
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can you drop the 'comment' and still have it remain meaning the same thing?

8/11/2013, 4:31:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JeremyDurden

ça va? is commonly used in casual speech to ask how someone is doing. It literally means "It goes?"

8/14/2013, 12:32:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/extremeblueness

It's accurately translated, "'Sup", though.

9/8/2013, 9:59:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/katiem415

Yes, but "ca va" alone is very informal

12/21/2014, 4:16:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/kardste
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My French friend has texted me "sa va." Is that slang?

7/5/2015, 3:59:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/BaThel01
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not really, it can be considered a slang nowadays but its just a mistake that many people make cuz "ça" et "sa" sound the same.

11/7/2015, 2:47:45 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/dixit05

Yes. When i speak to my French classmates, i'll usually ask, "ca va?"

11/29/2017, 10:36:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chanelle_kennedy

why does it not accept "how is it going?"

9/29/2013, 12:15:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PurpleJelly

'how is it going' is a colloquialism, duolingo generally only accepts universal translations

12/21/2013, 6:46:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/rotardis

But if "ça va" means "it goes" (citing further up the thread) wouldnt it stand that "comment ça va" is closer to "how is it going" than "how are you"?

3/17/2014, 6:21:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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Litterally yes, but the interesting thing is not to translate litterally, but to find consistency between French greetings and English greetings, consistency in the use (common, uncommon), and in the register of language (formal, informal, slang...)

4/28/2014, 11:37:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TeaP76

As an Australian English speaker who has lived in England, my feeling is that Duolingo have gone with an American (US & Canada) common greeting: "How's it doing?" This is rarely heard by me, other than on TV. "How's it going" is almost as common in Oz as 'G'day' or 'Hi' or 'Alright? (Orright?)' in UK. As 'va' is literally 'going' I think to be marked incorrect for interpreting 'Comment ca va' as 'How is it going' is bending the site towards Americanisms (US common usage) rather than being a literal interpretation. I think this one needs correction, so I'm posting me comment there as well!

5/28/2014, 11:06:15 AM

[deactivated user]

    I'm interested in your comment that "How's it doing?" is a common greeting. Did you hear that used among younger people? I'm also wondering what part of the U.S. it's used in. I'm curious because I've never heard that greeting and I live in an urban area in the U.S. For a slangy, casual version using "doing", I've only heard, "How ya doing?" I do think you're right that DL should limit colloquialisms but I'm not sure Ca va? being translated as How's it going? is in that category. It's a literal translation but it is also commonly used in the U.S. so it doesn't seem fair to have that translation marked as incorrect.

    7/10/2014, 12:54:34 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/BeeKeeper79

    The common American greetings are "how are you (doing)" or "how is it going?" They can mean the same thing, but "how are you doing" is more personal, if that makes sense. "How is it going?" is more casual in my opinion. It is the same as "How is everything?" versus "How are you?"

    "How's it doing" or "How are you going" are not common in reference to asking a person how they/things are. I agree, "ça va?" should literally translate to "how goes it?", or non literally, "how are things going?". As PERCE_NEIGE suggested, the literal translation is not so important as the inflection.

    I hope that helps!

    5/29/2014, 2:17:30 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PhillipNorwood

    As a native Australian English speaker I was surprised at "How's it going?" was not correct. No big deal as it is usual to adjust to American or British English in such forums.

    10/4/2014, 11:55:37 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    You should send a report to Duolingo with the "report" button, your comment is very interesting.

    5/28/2014, 1:30:33 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/LesAussi
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    How are you going? should be accepted. In fact the average Aussie would probably say: How ya goin' mate?

    7/29/2017, 2:24:02 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Zachron

    How ubiquitous does a usage have to be before people stop considering it a colloquialism? In the case of "How is it going," the places that don't have the usage are tiny islands surrounded by the regions that do.

    11/12/2014, 10:05:06 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/pasunparisien

    Yes... I wrote, "How are things going?" as a matter of seeing if Duolingo would accept it. Pffft!

    1/27/2014, 5:34:44 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    "How are things going" is more like asking about the whole than the personal moral and health like in "Comment ça va?", I think a better translation for "how are things going" is "Tout va bien?"

    4/28/2014, 11:38:52 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/kmg42
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    Today it accepts "How goes it?". Duolingo is a work in progress.

    8/23/2015, 8:09:00 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/jzhill

    +1 for Australian English "how are you going?" It's standard usage here

    11/13/2014, 6:37:35 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/geckobrainz
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    "How are you going?" is definitely a correct idiomatic translation for Australians (more commonly used than "how are you")! Those of us who don't speak American English would like not to be discriminated against!

    12/20/2014, 5:57:10 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/christine333

    Why can't it be, "are you well?" ?

    1/27/2013, 4:38:51 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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    That would be "ça va bien?".

    2/24/2013, 11:44:24 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/StuartHaid

    But it also says that "Are you okay?" is a correct translation. Both "Are you okay?" and "Are you well?" mean the same thing.

    12/23/2014, 5:00:49 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

    c hristine- would be : êtes-vous bien?

    8/27/2015, 10:25:21 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/JonCulshaw

    I was disappointed to be called wrong for "How's it going" ...note to self, don't use contractions.

    3/22/2014, 8:11:35 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/zudeet
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    I agree. I was marked wrong for "How's it going," even though "How is it going?" was given as one of the correct alternatives. The contraction should be accepted. It is more common among English speakers than the noncontracted "How is it going?" I reported it.

    3/30/2014, 3:22:54 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Zachron

    I think that's because at college level, the professors want you to abolish all contractions.

    11/12/2014, 10:07:21 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Athina00

    How you doin'? ;)

    1/22/2014, 1:50:45 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/kumargaurav

    What is the literal translation of comment?

    3/3/2013, 7:16:22 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Kazzahdrane

    How. So in this the literal translation is "How goes it?"

    3/3/2013, 10:26:30 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/TopTenTiger

    "comment ca va?" is litterally translated "how it goes?"

    3/4/2013, 6:24:10 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/pedrohbr1995

    Why can't I say "What's up" ? It's completely unformal, like "ça va"

    10/18/2013, 1:42:03 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    It's rather: "What's up?" = "Quoi de neuf"? (litterally "what is new?")

    4/28/2014, 11:54:28 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/EnzoGH

    how would it be correct when talking to a GROUP of people??

    1/7/2014, 11:52:46 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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    Not a native French speaker so I don't know if it's the correct way of saying it, but "Comment allez-vous?" is one way of saying it.

    1/11/2014, 1:20:12 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    Yes, you're right, this way is more formal (and maybe more proper) than "Comment ça va?"

    • Comment ça va? === as, "ça" is an impersonal, and is none in particular, you can use it for a group, or only one person, it doesn't matter, but it's the informal way.

    • Comment allez-vous?/ Comment vas-tu? ==== as, "vous", "tu" are pronouns, you have to agree it to the person you are talking to.

    4/28/2014, 11:47:37 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

    PERCE_NEIGE, would you pronounce "liaison" in "commenT allez-vous ?" or not? On about.com it is suggested that this is "forbidden liaison", but I think I've seen on some Youtube French lectures that it should be pronounced. (http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-f.htm is link for "forbidden liaisons" on about.com)

    5/8/2014, 2:26:32 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    Yes, I'm sure "About" is wrong here, this liaison is necessary. it has to be said: "komentalévou". Though, they're right, the liaison in "Comment est-il" is forbidden. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s672tVfo-kI

    This website contents the official national program for French as a foreign language, (FLE) I trust them more than "About" on this matter, and in my opinion the explanations are easier to understand: http://www.lepointdufle.net/ressources_fle/liaisons_obligatoires_liaisons_interdites.htm#.U2yDtUBP7Cw

    They explain here, "Comment-allez vous" is an exception... So About is not so wrong about this case, they simply forgot to give this exception, but in some cases, the rules given by About and by Le Point du FLE are contradictory. (for instance: "Elle écrit une lettre à Lili")

    5/9/2014, 7:46:57 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/K333222

    OK, thanks for answering my question and for the useful links.

    5/9/2014, 4:51:41 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/EnzoGH

    thanks bro

    1/12/2014, 5:09:00 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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    You're welcome. This is also the the formal way of saying "How do you do?" if you should meet the president of France or something. :)

    1/13/2014, 9:38:15 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/lilitulip

    i wrote are you okay? and it was right....;-)

    3/7/2014, 1:19:41 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/moi_ankita

    why cant we just write ca va? whats wrong with it?

    10/7/2013, 10:42:24 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/pythonenfrancais

    That is the informal way of saying it. It's something you'd say to your friends, but probably not your boss. Not always, but often times students are taught the formal way to say things first and through exposure to the culture and practice pick up both the informal phrases, and local slang or dialects depending on their exposure to different parts of the culture.

    11/1/2013, 8:38:59 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/craisin1

    "How are you going?" or "How is it going?" is very common English, yet duolingo does not allow it! Pity! :-(

    11/24/2013, 3:16:55 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/iloveowls13

    Hmm. I also take French with a friend of mine, and the correct translation of ''Comment ca va'' is: "How's it going?'' ''Comment allez-vous'' would be ''how are you'' Has anyone answered that and been wrong? If anyone has they probably should report that.

    6/6/2014, 3:48:28 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/JasThePixel

    I said 'How is it?' And it said, that it was suppose to be 'How goes it?' . I have never heard anyone say 'How goes it?'

    10/12/2014, 8:13:30 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/P.Salamander

    Okay, so what is the difference among : "Comment ca va", "Ca va" and "Ca va bien"?

    11/17/2014, 12:23:45 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ElijahRS

    I looked at the definition box and if said that one of the correct translators was "what do you mean", do that's what I put, and it marked me as wrong. Why?

    3/11/2015, 8:10:19 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Stuti104855

    What is the difference berween ça va bien and comment ça va

    7/5/2015, 7:42:22 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Buddhafly13
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    Why doesn't "comment ca vas" work... vas is "tu" form I believe...

    8/31/2013, 5:27:49 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    If you want to use a personal pronoun instead of an impersonal, and make the sentence more formal, write:

    Comment vas-tu?

    4/28/2014, 11:52:24 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/sjorspeterse

    It is indeed, but ça is third person (he)

    11/3/2013, 7:46:01 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Buddhafly13
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    ooooohhh... because this translates as "how goes IT?"..."ça" being "it" rather than "you"...

    am I understanding what you're telling me? =p

    12/18/2013, 8:18:22 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/BakinToast
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    Yep, you got it!

    3/30/2014, 11:29:30 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    a precision "ça" is no the third person "he"; "ça" is an impersonal, yes, it's "it", it's nobody, only an impersonal, but the conjugation is the same than the 3rd person of singular :-)

    Impersonal: ça, cela, ce, "il" in "il pleut"...

    4/28/2014, 11:49:38 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/SheDances13

    It said it translated to "What do you mean?" So that's what I put and it said I was wrong.

    4/15/2014, 9:54:04 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    No, what do you mean is "que voulez-vous dire?/"que veux-tu dire?", it's not a greeting. I don't know why they put it in the translation, it's misleading and should be removed in my opinion.

    4/28/2014, 11:40:23 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/charlo559355

    alol

    4/12/2017, 5:37:25 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Alex531715

    I said it right!

    5/29/2017, 9:19:57 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/Vallistew
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    "how are you going" should be accepted, va is from aller, to go, therefore...

    7/17/2017, 12:10:09 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ReginaSouz549353

    No comments.

    8/30/2017, 12:59:13 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/marwanhany4

    How to delete a wrong answer?

    9/10/2017, 9:48:56 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/sjasquith

    It says it means "what do you mean?" Too. But didn't accept that

    3/14/2014, 1:19:29 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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    Where does it say "Comment ca va" means "What do you mean?"?

    3/16/2014, 3:28:30 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    In the hints, but it's totally wrong.

    4/28/2014, 11:42:52 AM

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
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    Duolingo's mistake. I can't imagine a situation where "comment ça va" can be "what do you mean".

    4/28/2014, 11:43:25 AM

    [deactivated user]

      Maybe if they are hovering over "comment" they are getting "what do you mean" as one of the definitions. That would seem correct. If you haven't understood something, you would say "Comment?" instead of "What?" like we do in English. Right?

      7/10/2014, 1:04:23 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/jiaojiaozhang

      how about "are you doing well"?

      4/16/2014, 2:17:06 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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      "Ca va bien?"

      8/26/2014, 10:40:36 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/lostbeef

      It's like "Kamusta" in my mother tongue, Tagalog that comes for "Como estás" in Spanish or "Come stai" in Italian which means "How are you" in english. Great evolution of language. :D

      5/22/2014, 7:24:07 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/MonicaUkah

      Would "comment ça va?" work in the context of me asking about the mechanics of a toy train or something? Like if I wanted to ask somebody literally how it is possible for the object to be going/moving?

      6/25/2014, 7:54:16 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/RileyBrink

      Does any one else have trouble with it rejecting your verbal answers when it's right? I know I didn't screw up "comment ça va?." This is happening to me frequently in this section. I didn't have any problems in other sections.

      7/1/2014, 2:22:20 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/jacob8254

      What about 'Comment allez vous?'

      8/26/2014, 10:04:49 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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      "Comment allez-vous?" is correct. Note the dash between "allez" and "vous". This is the formal way to say "How do you do?" or "How are you?", using the plural form of both the pronoun and the verb.

      8/26/2014, 10:40:01 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/rob709

      Ca va can both be used for how are you? And I am fine. I didn't understand. Somebody please help

      3/4/2015, 3:18:26 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/dessiner
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      Yes, "ça va" can be used both as the question and the answer. The litteral translation is "it goes". Ca va? --> (How) is it going?/How are you?/Are you doing fine? Ca va. --> It's going (well)./I am okay./(Yes,) I'm doing fine.

      3/4/2015, 1:59:13 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/rob709

      Merci..

      3/4/2015, 4:39:40 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/kshtzgupta151

      fine should qualify for okay ?

      3/14/2015, 4:54:29 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/lsche35

      it can also be said "how are you going'

      3/31/2015, 4:28:24 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/PotatoSanta
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      Can I just pronounce it 'comm ca va?'?

      4/5/2015, 2:58:30 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/annakoo0324

      Does anybody know the difference between Comment ca va and Ca va bien?

      4/6/2015, 11:44:37 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/LizzyHanamiya

      How do we really pronounce "comment"?? to me, the audio sounds more like "comma". Can anyone please help me?

      4/8/2015, 5:15:50 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/chandreyisen

      okay what does ca va mean and do they have meanings separately? ca and va? earlier ca va was translated to i'm fine...does adding comment and a question mark make it a question? i'm confused!

      5/3/2015, 7:27:13 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/KatelynVB

      If there is a question mark at the end than it means "how are you?" If it is a statement then it means "I'm fine". In voice exercises if the intonation goes up at the end than it is the question. If the intonation stays same or goes down at the end then it is the statement. Hope this helped!

      7/7/2016, 10:18:14 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/stevemarkbill

      Is saying Comment ça va more formal than ça va? How can we use this 2?

      5/12/2015, 10:45:07 AM

      https://www.duolingo.com/Bizzy20

      How do you say the question mark?

      5/30/2015, 11:24:24 PM

      https://www.duolingo.com/vrherndon2

      Does ca va bien mean how as well?

      12/6/2015, 6:06:29 PM

      [deactivated user]

        That would be a possible reply, meaning, "It's going well." It is not a question.

        3/27/2016, 9:34:30 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/JimFinnerty

        The intonation in the supplied spoken translation (male voice) falls at the end, instead of rising as would be more common in English. Is this expected and typical in French? This could also be a gender difference - I have previously noted differences between male and female French speakers in the intonation they use for greetings, e.g. "bon jour", with women often intoning bon jour as "uP Down" in a friendly sounding way, as if to cheer you up to have a nice day with a smile, and men often intoning bon jour with a flatter intonation that is less "up" on the bon and more assertive-sounding on the 'jour', as if to say "I'm busy and important, but have a nice day anyway".

        1/3/2016, 11:21:07 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/StudentAndMogul

        But ça va alone means how are you!!!? What is it a silent comment? Lol

        1/14/2016, 2:33:27 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/HannahArno5

        could you just say, "comment" or just say "ca va"? is it showing you both ways to say it or do you say both things all together?

        1/28/2016, 10:50:33 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/LizzyHanamiya

        Literally, 'ça va' means "how's it going?" we use both "comment ça va" and "ça va" for asking 'how are you?' but 'comment' means only 'how'. So it is wrong to use only 'comment' while asking this question.

        I hope this helps~

        1/30/2016, 12:24:31 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/STJOHNOFGRAFTON

        We say "how's things" in Australia. Whilst not grammatically correct, It's idiomatic. Please add this to your database of acceptable answers.

        2/22/2016, 5:54:50 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Kristina823

        I thought ca va meant i am fine?

        3/10/2016, 1:32:42 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Alexander_Agruso

        How would you normally pronounce the "ç" letter?

        3/27/2016, 7:30:14 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Brohammad

        why do i hear como?

        4/11/2016, 7:10:09 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/SueWaller
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        How are you going? is more common in Australian and British English than "how are you doing" but was not accepted. I have reported it

        6/13/2016, 1:45:56 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/myrelandri

        They pronounce it like a tagalog pronounciation, camustava?? Hahaha. This is really great. Learning french is really hard .

        8/18/2016, 7:59:52 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/UltimateMaskMan

        Is not "How are you going" and "How are you" mean the same thing

        9/27/2016, 9:07:18 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/AkshitaGup6

        Ça va? Isnt it same as comment ça va?

        1/7/2017, 11:32:27 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/GatsbyP
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        This comment section lit

        2/21/2017, 10:32:29 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Anbev
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        I think "How is it going" should be acceptable as it's a common substitute for how are you and is actually closer to the French words.

        2/26/2017, 1:20:05 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Edim1

        S'il vous plaît?

        3/6/2017, 7:44:01 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Farmer

        'How are you going' is probably more appropriate in Australasia!

        3/19/2017, 12:16:48 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Toll27

        Or maybe in Wales also, and maybe in Northern European countries that are using English. So, maybe it is just not used in the U.S.A. How are you doing is more common there is it not?

        3/20/2017, 10:52:35 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/yuckybunny

        How are you going? Marked as wrong. (Apparently its only "how are you?") Really odd to have going as an option and not accept it. In NZ it's normal to say "how are you going?". It doesn't mean you are literally going anywhere. Just travelling through life.

        3/19/2017, 10:07:04 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/NancieRowley

        I wrote how are you, that wasn't accepted, only how are you doing; I hate Americanisms in the English language; how are you or how are you going, I personally think are more correct than"doing".

        4/28/2018, 12:46:09 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/emmanuelJU104135

        I wrote "how're you" and i was marked correct but Duolingo pointed out "how're" has a typo in it. Says it's "how are". Anyone can explain this?

        4/3/2017, 2:05:55 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/kolbygr.6

        y the ❤❤❤❤ is this so hard

        4/3/2017, 7:24:26 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/will846711

        ❤❤❤ is it should be correct

        8/1/2017, 10:40:18 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/VindhyaWij

        It's not that bad but it's even better to have all the world's language.

        10/30/2017, 2:22:37 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/AleemZ.Bak

        Comment Ca va =How are you (but not How are uou going)

        11/17/2017, 12:22:32 AM

        https://www.duolingo.com/vicky7yrsold

        How is this a greetinf

        3/13/2019, 4:54:03 PM

        https://www.duolingo.com/Barbara92271

        It is more common in English to say “ how are you going?” Rather than “how are you doing?”

        3/17/2019, 6:42:22 AM
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