What are you up to? (Meaning+ Answer)

Exploring the Common Question: “What Are You Up To?”

“What are you up to?” is a greeting question that means the same thing as “What are you doing?”.

It can be used as a greeting similar to “What’s up?” or as a way to find out what somebody is doing now or planning to do later.

Hey Paul, What are you up to later?

Ah, Nothing much, you?

“What are you up to?” can also mean to ask somebody what they are doing in a suspicious way.

We use “What are you up to?” in this way when someone is plotting something and we change our tone of voice to a slower more questioning style

Mary: So, Peter told me that he saw Jane stealing pens from the office…

Simon: What are you up to Mary?

(Mary is trying to get Jane fired)

7 Answers to “What are you up to?”

  1. Not much 
  2. Not a whole lot
  3. Nothing
  4. Nothing much
  5. I am playing guitar
  6. Just at home now and about to go to the supermarket
  7. Pretty busy with work at the moment

“What are you up to?” is very common in spoken English so and we usually ask the other person what they are up to also.

Like this…

What are you up to?

Not much, and you?

What have you been up to?

“What have you been up to?” is the present perfect form of “What are you up to?”

We answer this question with things we have done recently. (You can use the past simple or present perfect form)

What have you been up to?

Ah, not too much, I’ve been going to the gym a lot. 

What are you up to today?

We ask “What are you up to today?” when we want to know somebody’s plans for the day.

What are you up to today?

Ah not much, I might go to the cinema later.

What you up to?

In slang and text language, it is common to drop the “are” and just say or write “What you up to”. This is incorrect grammatically but common, especially in spoken English.

What are you up too or to?

“What are you up to?” is the correct way to spell this expression. 

“What are you up too?” is incorrect and should not be used in English.