Ask the Editor
Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
What do you do? How do you do?
Tuesday June 20th 2017
What is the difference between "What do you do?" and "How do you do?" — Rocky, India

"What do you do" is a way to ask someone what their job is or what they do for a living. It is a polite question to ask when you first meet someone, or when you are getting to know someone new, or when you haven't seen someone for a long time. Here are some other ways to ask the same question:


"What do you do for a living?'

"So what do you do for work?

"What line of work are you in?"

"Where do you work?"

"Where are you working now?"


"How do you do" is a formal greeting used in the same way as "It's a pleasure to meet you" or "Pleased to meet you." In a casual situation it would be better to say "It's nice to meet you" or just "Hello."



I hope this helps. For more posts about words and usage, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!