New answers tagged politeness
The casual contraction wie geht's does not have any personal pronouns. It can therefore mean all of the following: Wie geht es dir/Ihnen/euch? It is indeed possible to ask someone "Wie geht's" even if you address them with "Sie" otherwise. Still, whenever we need to be formal or polite we may not want to leave the impression of being casual. To be ...
"Wie geht's Ihnen?" is possible. The key is to keep "Ihnen" for being polite.
Yes and no. It all depends (as always) on your relation towards the addressee of the salutation. It can be acceptable to omit Ihnen, and it also cannot. Examples: My boss uses Sie towards me. But again, he is sometimes rather casual despite Sie and would shorten the phrase to Wie geht’s? omitting the Ihnen. Conversely, when I would be smalltalking ...
In those situations where I feel that it is necessary to use the polite forms (Sie, Ihnen, ...), I would never use a contraction of that kind. "Wie geht es Ihnen?" is the appropriate thing to say. That said, I've got the impression that people have a different understanding of when exactly you can switch from "Siezen" to "Duzen". What I mean is that some ...
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