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from english.stackexchange.com:

(1a) I hear you've got a new job. How do you get on? — incorrect
(1b) I hear you've got a new job. How are you getting on? — correct

from thefreedictionary.com:
(2a) Let me know how you get on at your new job. — by analogy with (1a), I think (2a) must be incorrect too

my variant:
(2b) Let me know how you are getting on at your new job. — by analogy with (1b), I think (2b) must be correct too

Am I right about (2a) and (2b)?
If not, then why not?

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    Why "by analogy with (1a)"? I don't see the logic of that - which is obviously flawed, since Let me know how you get on is perfectly natural English (that's a link to hundreds of published instances in google books). But note that How are you getting on? asks how things are for you currently, whereas Let me know how you get on is a request to be kept informed of your future state. Aug 17, 2023 at 2:56
  • @FumbleFingers You wrote "Let me know how you get on - is a request to be kept informed of your future state." But in order to talk about future, we must use "will" here: "Let me know how you will get on" Could you help me please to deal with this?
    – Loviii
    Aug 17, 2023 at 3:12
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    @QuackE.Duck There are "next week" in your example and "at 4pm" in the link you gave. But there is no time reference in (2a): "Let me know how you get on at your new job" Then how am I supposed to understand that it's about future too? Thanks.
    – Loviii
    Aug 17, 2023 at 5:13
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    Belay that! Let me know how you will get on the bus if it doesn't have a ramp for your wheelchair. Aug 17, 2023 at 11:25
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    @QuackE.Duck: No - it wouldn't make sense to be asking how someone is currently doing in a job they haven't yet started. You could feasibly ask someone How are you getting on? five minutes after they started (though they might say It's too soon to tell) but saying Tell me how you get on, doesn't make sense if the addressee is already doing the relevant activity (and thus already knows how things are going - unless the question specifically refers to some "completion / end-point" status that's not yet known). Aug 17, 2023 at 16:06

1 Answer 1

2

In these contexts, to get on [well] means to be successful, content, whereas not getting on means failing (or otherwise being unhappy with one's circumstances).1

1: Let me know how you get on

...is perfectly natural English phrasing (that's a link to hundreds of published instances in Google Books). But note that #1 above ask to be kept informed of the addressee's future state (regarding some anticipated future situation). But the question format...

2: How are you getting on?

...asks how things are for you currently.


We don't use "explicit future" syntax in contexts like this, so...

3: Let me know how you will get on

...is (idiomatically, if not syntactically) invalid. The only contexts where the first 6 words of #3 above are those asking about what method the addressee will use to accomplish something, such as...

3a: Let me know how you will get to the airport
3b: Let me know how you will inform the next of kin

...where in both cases it's possible the addressee can answer immediately (because he already knows how he intends to get there, or to tell them). But that question format can also be used if both parties are aware that the addressee doesn't yet know (or hasn't decided) how the planned future action will be accomplished.


1 Note the special case where the addressee (you) in example #2 above is plural (speaker is addressing two or more people collectively). In that situation, How are you getting on? is ambiguous. It might be asking whether the addressees collectively are "succeeding" in some current task, but it might be asking whether they have good personal relations with each other (are they getting on/along well together?).

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