Do Not Say “How Are You?”! Ask The Question Properly!

“Hey, how are you?” – “Yeah, I’m good, thanks”

“How are you?” – “Yeah, great, how are you?”

“ How are you ?” This phrase is so overused in English conversations. It’s just this automatic filler phrase that we use to acknowledge people nonchalantly. It also sounds so insincere and boring. Therefore, in this article, Learn English Fun Way is going to give you loads of alternatives to “how are you ?”. Let’s start!

I) Casual alternatives to “How are you?”

Let’s begin with casual “how are you” alternatives for saying with your friends and family.

1, How are you doing?
For example:
“How are you doing?” – “I’m going well, thanks.”
=> You might hear some people respond with, I’m doing good, but that’s actually grammatically incorrect. When responding to a how are you style question, you should say “I do well” or “I am good”. If you say “I am doing good”, it could mean you are doing charity work or doing something positive.

2, How have you been ?
For example:
“How have you been ?” – “Yeah, I’ve been great, thanks.” OR ” I’ve not been so good, actually.”
=> This is a very warm and friendly one.

3, What’s going on?
For example:
“Hey, what’s going on?” – “This is nothing much” OR ” No much at all.”
=> This question is slightly of  more American style.

4, What’s new? / What’s new with you?
For example:
“What’s new” – “The same, babe
=> This is more asking for updates or if anyone’s been doing anything interesting in their life since you last saw them. You could say this to someone that you’ve seen recently and you just want a short update.

5, What’s up?
For example:
“What’s up, bro?” – “Oh, great
=> This question is used as a friendly greeting and to ask someone how they are and what is happening. It is traditionally very American, but now used much more in Britain.

6, What are you up to? / What have you been up to?
For example:
“Paulo, it’s so good to see you! What have you been up to ?” – “Hi Mia! I’m fine, still working a lot. How about you? What have you been up to?
=>These questions are used to ask about things that have happened in your life since the last time you talked. You’ll probably answer a little differently. It’s a very friendly and endearing question. It implies mischief, but in a friendly way. So if you say “what have you been up to?”, or “what are you up to?”, you are kind of saying, “what mischievous things have you been doing?” or “what trouble have you been making?”

7, How are things going?
For example:
“How are things going?” – “Oh, everything is good
=> This question is very general and non-specific. It’s a great one to use if you can’t quite remember what someone’s been doing for work or in their personal life.

8, How are you feeling?
For example:
“How are you feeling?” – “Yeah, I’m feeling great” / “I’m not feeling so good.”
=> This question implies that you know something about their health. Maybe they were ill a short time ago. Maybe they’re overcoming an illness. Adds a layer of familiarity because you’re implying that you know something wasn’t good before and so you’re wondering how they’re feeling now. It could also be used if you know the person is nervous, maybe he or she is before a big meeting or a speech.

9, How’s it going?
For example:
“Hey, how’s it going?” – “Yeah, it’s going great” / “Everything’s good”
=> This kind of question is slightly more American than British.

10, How is everything?
For example:
“How is everything?” – “Not really good
=> This question is also general. It may imply that you know that everything hasn’t been so great or there’s been a problem in their life.

11, How’s things?/ “How are things?”
For example:
“How’s thing?” – “Yes, things are good. How are your things?
=> This question is the most general of all. It is an idiomatic expression, fairly common here in the USA. It is used as general greeting when you meet someone and it is equivalent to “How are things going?” or “How are you?”

12, How’s life? / How’s life treating you?
For example:
“How’s life?” – “Everything is good
=> This question is often used in very casual situations, especially when you haven’t seen someone in a while.

13, How’s your day been / How’s your day going?
For example:
“How’s your day been?” – “Today has been a busy day
=> This question is often used in America, especially in customer service positions.

14, Are you all right? / All right? 
For example:
“Hey, how are you??” – “Yeah, I’m fine, you all right?
=> It’s a very casual question. And usually, when asking this question, we don’t really expect answer back. It is just like a common way of greeting when you meet a friend after a long time.

II) Formal alternatives to “How are you?”

These ones may be used for work situations and emails.

1, How do you do?
For example:
“Hello, how do you do?” – “Great, how do you do?”
=> You would normally say this when you’re greeting someone or meeting someone that you don’t know so well, and it is normally said while shaking a hand.

2, Are you well ?
For example:
“Are you well ?” – “I’m well, I hope you’re well”
=> And posh British people just love to use the word “well”. The question above is fairly formal way of asking “How are you?”

3, How do you fare?/ How are you faring?
For example:
“Hey, how do you fare?” – “Everything’s great, sir.
=> Faring is defined as happening or being in a specific condition or state. So when you ask “how do you fare”, it often means how well a person is doing at his new job.

4, How are things coming along?
For example:
“How are things coming along?” – “Everything is in progress, sir
=> This may be more business-related. This is thing that your boss might say to you. And this implies that there is some sort of progress to be made. Maybe you’re working on a project or you’ve got a big job going on. There are some other similar ways to ask, such as: How are you getting on?/ How are things coming along?/ How much progress is being made?

5, How’s everything coming together?
For example:
“ How’s everything coming together?” – “Oh, things are coming together nicely, thank you
=> “It’s coming together” means “it’s starting to be successful” or “it’s getting closer to completion”. This may imply that there were problems at the beginning but now everything is coming together nicely.

6, How’s your health?
For example:
“Hi, madam! How’s your health. I hope you are well ?” – “Oh, thanks
=> In Britain, this question is often used to talk about health, especially to the older generation. If you know that someone has got a health issue that they’re happy to talk about, then “how’s your health?” is the perfectly reasonable way of saying “how are you?”

III) Funny alternatives to “How are you?”

You can use these funny phrases if you want to show a bit of your character. However, it is not advised you use these in a formal situation or in an English exam or around people you don’t know. Try them out only with your closed friends and family.

1, Howdy?
=> This question is very of American style. It’s basically a shortened down version of “how do you do?”

2, How’s it hanging?
=> This question is also very of American style.

3, How’s tricks?
=> This is a very old-fashioned one, commonly used in old-fashioned TV shows and films.

4, What’s sizzling?
=> This is another way of saying “what’s kicking?”, and often used to joke with closed friends.

So it is the end of this article. We hope it has equipped you with loads of alternatives to “hey, how are you?”, that phrase that we are bored with. Don’t forget to share your other alternatives , add them to the comments down there. In order to get further explanation and practice your listening skills also, watch the video below. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!

Credit: Youtube channel “English with Lucy”

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