How have you been? 5 common answers to this question

“How have you been” is a present perfect simple question so your answer can either be an adjective or it should also be in the present perfect.

“How have you been” is very similar to “How are you” in meaning.

“How are you” is a greeting that invites you to describe your state of wellbeing now.

“How have you been” is a greeting that invites you to describe your state of wellbeing in the recent past until now.

Answers to “how are you” are usually “I’m fine” or I’m good” or something with “I’m + adjective” 


Answers to “how have you been” allow you to expand a little bit and explain what you have been doing(and how you have been feeling) recently.

You can choose to use the present perfect for things that still continue to the present or the past simple for things that were finished at an earlier date.

5  answers to “how have you been”

I’ve been great, What about you?

This is a good answer if you just want to say that you are doing well and don’t really feel like talking. It allows the other person to speak.

I’ve been working/studying/running a lot lately, I am feeling quite tired today.

You can use this answer if you feel like talking about your current lifestyle and how that affects how you feel. This is a very common answer to this question. The question “how have you been” is really an invitation to talk about your life. If you feel well, then you can talk about your life in the present perfect continuous for your actions and the present simple for how you feel. 

I have never been better!! Things have been going so well, I got a new job,

This is a very positive answer that lets you explain something new that has happened in your life. It is perfectly acceptable to talk about new things in your life as an answer to this question.

Oh didn’t you hear? I was sick with the flu for a week! 

If something happened in the past and it has now finished, you can use the past simple. I use the past simple all the time to answer present perfect questions. You just need to think if the situation is finished. In this example, it is obvious from the fact that you use the past simple, that you were sick but you are feeling better now.

Ah, all good, can’t complain.

This is a staple answer to the question if you feel shy and don’t feel like talking. This is an ok answer in English but it doesn’t really allow the conversation to move forward.