We’ve all been there. You meet someone new or run into an old acquaintance, and they ask the seemingly innocuous question, “how are you?”. But what do you say? In English, there are many possible responses to this question – some polite, some more casual, and some funny.
In this blog post, I will be going over some of the most common responses to “how are you?” in English.
How to Respond to “How Are You?”
Formal Ways to answer “How Are You”
Here is a list of the most formal ways you can answer the question “how are you?” and examples of their usage:
- “I am doing well, thank you.”
- “I am doing great, thanks for asking.”
- “Very well, thank you. And yourself?”
- “I am doing alright, how are you?”
Examples of their usage include:
- If you run into an old friend and they ask, “How are you?” you can respond with something like, “I am doing fine, just trying to get through the day. How about you?”.
- If you moved to a new neighborhood and you meet a neighbor and they ask, “How are you? How’s it going?” you can respond with something like, “not too bad. I just moved here last week. How about you?”
Informal Ways to Respond to “How Are You”
Now let’s look at some of the more informal ways to answer the question “how are you?” and examples of their usage:
- “Not bad, yourself?”
- “Pretty good, what about you?”
- “Hanging in there, how ’bout you?”
- “Can’t complain, what about you?”
Examples of their Usage:
These idiomatic responses are best used in casual settings, such as with old friends or family members. They show a sense of humor and will likely make your listener smile.
- If your grandmother inquires “how are you?” as you walk into her house, you can respond with something like, “as happy as a clam. How about yourself?”.
Idiomatic Ways to Answer “How Are You”
Here are some of the idiomatic ways to respond to “How are you?”
- “Living the dream.”
- “Pretty peachy.”
- “Hanging in like a hair on a biscuit.”
- “As happy as a clam.”
These more colorful responses are best used in lighthearted conversations with close friends and family. They demonstrate a sense of wit and humor and can make the conversation more enjoyable for both parties.
Professional Ways to Respond to “How Are You”
When responding to an email or other form of communication in a professional setting, it’s important to use the more formal responses discussed above. However, there are some other polite ways you can answer “how are you?” in a professional context:
- “I’m doing well, thank you for asking.”
- “Everything is going fine, thank you for inquiring.”
- “I’m doing well, thank you for your concern.”
Funny Ways to Respond to “How Are You”
Finally, here are some fun ways to respond to “how are you?”:
- “Better than I deserve.”
- “Pretty crappy, but what can you do?”
- “Not bad for a human.”
- “Living the sweet life.”
- “I’m surviving on coffee and sarcasm.”
Different Ways to Answer “How Are You?”
- I’m good.
- I’m fine.
- Pretty good
- I’m well
- I’m OK.
- Not too bad.
- Just the same old same old
- Yeah, all right.
- I’m alive.
- Very well, thanks
- I’m hanging in there.
- I’ve been better.
- Nothing much.
- Not a lot.
- Oh, just the usual.
- Oh gosh, all kinds of stuff!
- Like you, but better.
- I could really go for a massage.
- Much better now that you are with me.
- Not so well
- So far, so good!
- I’m pretty standard right now.
- Happy and content, thank you.
- Going great. Hope this status quo persists for rest of the day.
- Well enough to chat with you if you wish to.
- I’m better than I was, but not nearly as good as I’m going to be.
- I think I’m doing OK. How do you think I’m doing?
- I am blessed!
- Way better than I deserve!
- I have a pulse, so I must be okay.
- Better than some, not as good as others.
- I’m doing really well.
- Medium well.
- I would be lying if I said I’m fine.
- Surviving, I guess.
- In need of some peace and quiet.
- Horrible, now that I’ve met you.
- Imagining myself having a fabulous vacation.
- I’m better on the inside than I look on the outside
- Sunshine all day long!
- I’m not sure yet.
- I am high-quality.
- Real terrible, thanks for asking.
- Incredibly good looking.
- The best I can be. Assuming you’re at your best too.
- I’m still sucking air.
- Better than nothing.
- I’m vertical and breathing.
- Different day, same existence.
Learn more useful English greetings with 30 ways to say Hello.
There are many ways to respond to “how are you?” in English, from formal and professional to casual and funny. Use these responses depending on the context of the conversation and with whom you are speaking. I hope this blog post has been helpful in giving you some ideas on how to answer this question.
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