It’s often said that variety is the spice of life. This is especially true when it comes to food, drink, free-time activities, travel etc. If you’re always doing the same thing, life can become boring. Learning English is the same way!
It can make you feel comfortable and confident to use the same language over and over again, but it also doesn’t give you much of a variety. And over time, if you’re not careful, you may lose the excitement you once had for learning.
Today we’ll take a look at some different ways to say, “How are you?”, and their appropriate responses, in English. It’s one of the first things you learn to say, and for some reason, many don’t ever try other greetings. And the funny thing is, native speakers don’t actually say “How are you?” all that often. For us, it’s way to formal and just…well…unnatural.
So, if you want to sound more natural and express yourself more exactly, it might be time to take a look at some new alternatives. Take a look at our tips for saying hello below!
Some more alternative ways to answer.
The classic response for many learners when they're asked how they are doing is: “I’m fine, thanks. And you?” To make it worse, it can often sound very robotic and insincere. To sound more natural and bring a little bit more liveliness to your conversation starters, try the following responses.
- I’m good
- Pretty good
- I’m well
To sound positive, make sure the intonation at the end of your statement goes up. If you aren’t feeling that up-beat, but you don’t want to be a total downer, try some of these alternatives to so-so
- I’m OK.
- Not too bad.
- Same old, same old.
- Yeah, all right.
- I’m alive!*
*The last one is a sort of joke, but it gets across the point that you are surviving life and everything is ok.
Sometimes things aren’t that great, but you don’t want to come across as whiny or downbeat. Try these alternatives instead.
- I’ve been better
- Better now that you’re here.
- I can’t complain too much.
There you have it!
You’re now armed with some new weapons in the game of How are you? Feel free to experiment and see what kind of responses you get. This will help you know when the most appropriate times are to use which phrase.