How to reply to WHAT’S UP? in English

What’s up is a common greeting in English. It is a way to start a conversation in informal English. You have a few different options to answer What’s up?. You can say something short like “Nothing much” or you can give an update on your life. 


What’s up? 

Nothing much, You?

The question:”What’s up?” is really asking  “what’s new?” since the last time I saw you. You can either give a short answer when there is nothing new or a longer answer where you can go into the details of what is new in your life. 

Short replies to What’s up

Some of the most common responses to What’s up are short answers when you don’t really feel like talking. 

5 common short answers to What’s up

  • Not much
  • Nothing much
  • Nothing
  • Not a lot 
  • Same old

These answers are very common but are not very good answers if you want to have an interesting and meaningful conversation.

Giving an update on your life

A better way to answer the question is to go into some details about what is new in your life. This gives the person who asked the question a direction about where you want the conversation to go.

This is your opportunity to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go. Say you are really interested in your work at the moment but you don’t really want to talk about your family.

What’s up?

Ah not much, but I am working on this new project at work. We are building a huge skyscraper in Dubai, It has these cool windows and I am in charge of designing them.

Cool, And will you have to travel to Dubai?

I hope so, Maybe……………

Notice that the conversation now has an opportunity to flow nicely and in the direction that you want it to go. 


There is nothing wrong with giving a short answer to the question “What’s up?”. If you are not in the mood for a conversation with someone, I would encourage you to open up a little and give some more information about your life. It helps you to talk about what you are interested in, and gives the other person an opportunity to know what you are interested in.

This is especially true if you are learning English or any foreign language as you get more of an opportunity to practice your speaking skills.