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Asking Как дела́? (How are you?)

The Russian question, Как дела́? (How are you?), has more literal significance than its English equivalent: the Russian question actually asks about one’s well-being, which presumes that you know the person you’re addressing. Accordingly, it would be odd to enter a store and greet an unfamiliar salesperson with this phrase. On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable among friends and acquaintances.

It is also uncommon to greet the same person with здра́вствуйте, приве́т, or Как дела́? more than once a day. If on a given day you happen to run into the same person several times, you simply acknowledge the encounter with a nod, a smile, etc., or preface your consequent greeting with the phrase ещё раз [i-SHCHOH-rahs] (once again). Otherwise, if you greet a person the second time without any reference to your prior meeting the same day, that person might think that you’ve already forgotten about it.