“How Are You?” is a very common greeting in English but it can be difficult to know how to reply to the question as there are many different options to choose from.
“How are you?” can be used as a greeting or as a way to enquire about the health/or emotional wellbeing of someone.
The way to answer this question can also depend on where you are in the world.
How are you? (reply as a greeting)
In many parts of the world “How are you?” is more of a greeting than somebody inquiring about your health.
This means that you do not need to mention anything about yourself, but you can just greet the person back and that is expected.
This is strange for many people who translate from their own language where “How are you?” literally means “How are you?”
To respond to “How are you?” as a greeting, you can use the following:
- How are you?
- Good, How are you?
- How is it going?
- How are you doing?
- What’s up?
- What’s happening?
You can learn many more greetings in English and suitable responses here.
How are you? (inquiry)
When someone asks you” How are you?”, they can also mean what it literally means and want to know about your health and wellbeing.
You can reply in the following ways:
- I am good!
- I am doing fine!.
- Never been better!
- I’m a little tired.
- Things have been better.
- I am a bit sad.
You can express your feelings in the amount of detail that you wish. There is no wrong answer to this question.
Inquiry vs Greeting
You might be confused to know when a person is greeting you or inquiring about you.
Usually, if it is the first thing that a person says, it is a greeting.
If the person has a more caring/emotional tone of voice, then it is an inquiry.
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