How To Answer the Question “How Are You?” (With Helpful Tips)

I’m sure one of the very first things you learned to say in English was, “How are you?” People will probably ask you this question A LOT! It’s really easy to answer, but there are a few things to remember. Here’s how to feel comfortable answering this question, every time.

How are you doing answer?
  • I’m OK.
  • Not too bad.
  • Same old, same old.
  • Yeah, all right.
  • I’m alive! — This one is a bit of a joke but can be fun in the right situation.

36 Smart and Interesting Responses to ‘HOW ARE YOU?’

Tips for “How are you?” responses

Here are some tips to help you answer the question “How are you?” politely:


“How are you?” is a cultural greeting, so a smile is a perfect way to welcome the question in a positive and polite manner.

Watch your tone

It is best to use a high-pitched tone and answer quickly to give a positive answer. Some answers to the question can have a negative meaning when expressed in a lower voice or said with a sigh. So, to stay polite and formal, use a cheerful voice.

Respond and continue the conversation

After you answer the question “How are you?”, it is polite to say thanks.

Then, you can ask the person how they are in return. Here are some example responses:

How to answer the question “How are you?”

The way you should answer the question “How are you?” depends on who is asking. If you are talking to acquaintances or strangers, your answer will be more formal than when speaking to family or friends.

Answer “How are you?” to acquaintances and strangers

Acquaintances are people you may have met a few times but dont know very well. For example, this could be someone you went to high school with or a friend of a friend. Strangers are the people you have never met before, like the receptionist at an office or the cashier at a supermarket. In both cases, it is essential to stay polite when you greet them. Therefore, the answer should be short. Here are some appropriate answers you could use when someone asks how youre doing:

Answer “How are you?” to friends or family members

When you greet close friends, siblings or parents, you can answer the question “How are you?” more honestly. You can tell them how you feel. Here are some informal answers to explain how youre doing:

How to answer variations of “How are you?”

Here are some ways to answer variations of “How are you?”:

“Whats up?”

This question is a shorter version of “Whats happening in your life?” However, it is not necessary to give a long answer. Unless you want to start a long conversation, you can reply in one of these ways:

If you are willing to start a conversation, you can use the following answers:

You can use the same answers for “Whats up?” to answer questions like “Whats going on?” or “What have you been up to?”

“How is it going?”

All answers that work for “How are you?” also work for this question. However, you could also say “Its going well,” which is a polite and friendly answer that you can use with acquaintances, coworkers or clients.

“How have you been?”

This question asks how life has been for you from a specific point in time. For example, this could be since you last saw that person, sent a message or spoke on the phone. The greeting “How have you been?” is only used with people you already know and may mention the last time you talked to each other. For example, a family member might ask: “How have you been since last Christmas?”

Here are some examples of answers to this question:

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