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michèle 2 Jun 1st, 2006 08:55 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
I've never been taught rude or dismissive talk even in my native language but you tend to learn it through tv series or films or with friends. Anyway, I don't teach my students such a language.


vanilla Jun 2nd, 2006 02:17 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
heh? What was rude or dismissive? Perhaps you misunderstood my english? Small talk is what you would use if you do not wish to elaborate on your feelings with someone. In Japan, for example complaining is considereded to be rude so sometimes I think that's why the whole concept of elaboration is not encouraged. In North America I have found, however, that small talk can be broad enough to include your entire day. Depending on your culture, 'How are you?' is very tricky indeed.

stanley Jul 4th, 2006 04:45 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
I am British and ALWAYS respond with 'I'm fine, thank you (or 'thanks') and you?" I would never say 'good thanks'. It is definitely a British/American thing. I would have a real problem teaching the latter, just as I would have a problem pronouncing words with an American accent.

Eric Jul 4th, 2006 08:38 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.

Quote stanley
I am British and ALWAYS respond with 'I'm fine, thank you (or 'thanks') and you?" I would never say 'good thanks'. It is definitely a British/American thing.

hmmm, thats interesting. good to know that its a british/american thing.

mesmark Jul 4th, 2006 05:27 pm

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Stanley - Thanks.


I am British and ALWAYS respond with 'I'm fine, thank you (or 'thanks') and you?"
Did you respond like this in Britain? None of my British friends are quite so polite. :p

Do you ask 'How are you?' as well?

emile Jul 4th, 2006 07:49 pm

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Last time I was in Britain, everyone just said, "Awright?"

stanley Jul 5th, 2006 02:41 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Young people often say "awright?" (see above) to which the answer is "awright?" !!! And yes, I have always responded to the original question with " Fine thanks. You?" So do most people I know (well, people in England - I don't know any Brits in China.) It's also a bit of a social class issue. I'd say I fall somewhere in the middle. I'm really not that posh!

jenniferp Jul 6th, 2006 12:37 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Perhaps it is a British English thing! Though its not spoken so formally as maybe some people seem to think.
I'm British and if I'm asked "How are you?" I answer, "fine", "I'm fine". I'm living now in Australia and I'm asked constantly when going into shops "How're you going?" and to that I'm answering "i'm good thanks" as "fine" doesnt seem to sound right. I think the trouble is that there are so many variants on greetings and hello's that when you are teaching new learners it's hard to find the one phrase that will be the perfect answer.

I was teaching in a Korean kindergarten and the kids all knew to respond "I'm fine" when asked how they were and it drove me crazy so I tried to encourage them to say other things too, like happy, sad, ok. It started to work after a while - I even had one kid say "I'm strong" but I was away for a couple of weeks and after that it was "I'm fine" again.

redcopper Jul 6th, 2006 01:33 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
I'm British and I use 'I'm fine,thanks" followed by "and you?" or "yourself?" so I gues it must be a NA/GB thing.
I definitely agree about not complaining/whining to a stranger or acquaintance. At least with family (except my Korean one) you can let your true feelings out.
"How are you?"
"I'm cream-crackered, I had too much to drink last night and my eyes feel like p**sholes in the snow" doesn't translate to well in korean.

noriko Jul 18th, 2006 01:05 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.

Quote mesmark

Jumping around now: doesn't "I'm fine" sound like they're not fine? To me when I hear it, it sounds more like I shouldn't have asked. Sorry to have bothered you with my hello.

I think some people use "I'm fine, thank you," to say "No," in an indirect way.

When I was in the States, one of my classmates, a N.American, told me a funny story about "I'm fine, thank you,":

He was asked by an older man if he wanted some more drink. Instead of saying, "No, thank you," he said, "I'm fine, thank you." (Perhaps with some sort of a body language -- he didn't say. I've heard people reply like this at least a several times near Chicago.)

To this, the older man responded, "I didn ask you how you were doing."

My two mites.:)

redcopper Jul 18th, 2006 02:51 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
A bright and cheerful 'I'm fine, thanks' works for me. Maybe it's just our ingrained reserve and reputation for understatement. My wife still has problems when I use the phrase 'that was not bad' or "it's not bad" to mean something that could range from "okay" to "very good". It's all in the tone of voice, emphasis on certain words and body language. But I normally would only use that with English friends. So if you hear an Englishman say that, don't be upset, it might be a compliment.

Getting back to "I'm fine, thanks". I also use this phrase to to say an indirect "No thanks". For me it's a polite way of saying, "I've had enough already, thanks." or "I'm satisfied with what I have."

I think it really comes down to how you say something and not always what you say.

mesmark Jul 18th, 2006 04:07 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
It's also common in Japanese to say 'I'm good.' to mean 'No, thank you.' For a lot of my students that's easy enough to understand but redcopper's 'It's not bad.' usually has their head's spinning.

noriko Jul 18th, 2006 05:08 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
As a Japanese, who picked up English in the States when small, it does make my head dizzy at first to get this close to British English.

But on the other hand, English language, being a tool for communication, I think we'd all need to take into consideration what is behind the mere words of the speaker to avoid misunderstanding. And, for that, a little cultural knowledge, like British people mean to compliment in saying "It's not bad," and a N.American would say "I'm good," not meaning I am a good person, but I am doing well, or that a Japanese in Western Japan would think it impolite to visit someone at the first invitation, etc., is important and helpful.

And body language, tone of voice, intonation, facial expressions are also very important keys in understanding others, too.

It would save a lot of tears if we knew these beforehand.

But this is a little off the topic of the thread maybe.

aydin Jul 19th, 2006 02:52 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Hi this is aydin from turkey. In turkey we teach I'm fine thank you, and the response to how are you? is not I'm great or I'm good. I didnt get the reason you teach or use the response I'm great.Everyone learn the same response I am fine Thank you. Maybe you know a different thing from me. please share it with me. Thank you bye.

TutorBrian Nov 23rd, 2011 01:19 am

Re: I'm fine, thank you.
Here is my opinion and a blog I posted on this subject.

I'm Fine Thank You

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