The English do shake hands with each other, but as little as possible. With acquaintances once in a lifetime is often considered enough. The preferred English handshake is a brief, vigorous affair with no hint of lingering. The standard greeting”How do you do”and the reply”How do you do”signal the end of the ritual. Foreigners who assume that “How do you do”comes with a built-in question mark and respond accordingly become socially isolated.
英国人之间确实是握手的，只不过是越少越好。一般认为，与相识的人握手，一生中一次就够了。英国人喜欢握手时简短、有力、毫无拖延之意。标准的问好和回答都是说How do you do,礼节也就到此为止了。外国人如果以为How do you do内含一个问号，而做出相应的回答，那在社交上就无人理会了。
Most Englishmen never hug or kiss other men. They leave that to football players and foreigners. Women may kiss on one or both cheeks; if they do, the kisser makes a kissing gesture with appropriate sound-effects in the air in the general region of the recipient’s ear. Men may also kiss women in greeting,but only on the cheek.
In public places, the English make strenuous efforts not to touch strangers even by accident. If such an accident should occur, apologies are fulsome but should never be used as an excuse for further conversation. On crowded public transport where it is sometimes unavoidable, physical contact with a stranger is permitted, but in such circumstances, eye contact should be avoided at all costs.
The queue is one of the few places where the English are allowed to talk to each other without having been formally introduced. The others are when taking the dog for a walk. Being trapped with an English person in ,say, a tunnel in an underground train, might result in community singing, even the exchange of confidences – but it is not an invitation to a more permanent intimacy.