“How are you?” That’s the way to ask how someone is that you have learned in class. It is correct of course, and you’ll definitely hear it in English-speaking countries.
However, there are lots of other ways to ask How are you? in English.
Why learn them? Well, I have noticed with many of my students that when I arrive in class and use another way of saying How are you?, I very often get a surprised look and my students are not sure how to respond or what to say, either because they don’t understand or because they are not sure they understood correctly.
Here are 10 other ways to say How are you? when you want to greet someone:
- How are you doing?
- How have you been?
- How are things?
- How are things going?
- How is it going?
- What’s new?
- What’s up?
- You alright?
- You OK?
Careful! Look at the last 3 examples: don’t ask an American “You all right?”, “You OK” or “Alright?” to say How are you? They will probably misunderstand your intention because these are the questions American use when someone looks unwell or seems to be having a problem.
Now, listen to all the different ways to say How are you?, compare the British and the American pronunciation.
Each time, you will hear Geoff first, and Terry second. Geoff is from England (a friend I’ve known for over 30 years!) and Terry is from the USA. Can you hear the difference?
How are you?
How are you doing?
How have you been?
How are things?
How are things going?
How is it going?
There you are! From now on, you’ll be able to understand the different ways people will ask you how you are. Try to use them, too! 🙂
I wish to thank Geoff and Terry for their precious contribution to this post. Thank you so much for so kindly and readily recording your voices! 🙂