What Would you reply

Watch this episode now!How to answer How are you? correctlyHas this ever happened to you? Someone says Hey, how are you? and then you start talking about your life.Oh, today is hor

What Would you reply
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Watch this episode now!

How to answer How are you? correctly

Has this ever happened to you? Someone says Hey, how are you? and then you start talking about your life.

Oh, today is horrible. I have so much to do, and my son is sick, and I saw the price of gas is going up again, and..

Clearly, telling your life story is NOT the correct response to How are you? And today, youll learn different ways to respond to How are you?

In the US, youll hear Hi, how are you? or How are you doing today? or if youre in the south Hey, how yall doin?

Youll hear this ALL the time! The server at the restaurant, the cashier at the store, your colleague you pass on your way to your desk. Everybody asks How you doing today?

And if youve noticed, nobody really answers. I mean a real true answer.

Theres really only one correct answer to How are you?

Do you know what it is?

Well?

The correct response is Fine, and you? Thats it. Fine and you.

Or some variation, like Good, how about yourself?
Or Doing fine, and you?
Or Good, how about you?

A quick & positive answer

Basically the idea is to just give a quick, positive answer. Even if your dog just died, your car died on the way to the store, and your iPhone battery just died.

If the cashier at the store asks How you doing? as you pay for your things, you should respond Good, how about you? or Doing fine, and you? or Good, how about yourself?

And theyll respond with yep, you guessed it: Good, thanks.
Or Fine thanks.
Or some other positive response that doesnt really answer your question.

Why bother with How are you??

So why ask a question if you dont want a real answer? I can read in your thoughts Because Americans are soooo superficial!.

No, its not because Americans are superficial (though some are, Ill admit, yes)

But. You know the song Its a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong. Romain, you know that song right?

Theres a line where he says I see friends shaking hands, saying How do you do? Theyre really saying I love you.

How are you? is the way Americans say Hello!

This little conversation Hey, How are you? Fine, how about you? Good, thanks is just Americans way of being friendly and polite with the people we interact with.

Its especially the case in service transactions, like with a server at a restaurant, the cashier at a shop, a receptionist, etc.

I know it can be hard to not give a real response. Maybe it feels a bit fake, a bit superficiel. But nope.

Thats just whats normal for this type of conversation. A real response, especially with lots of bad things, thats uncomfortable.

You should just smile and say Good, thanks, and you?

To be truly fluent in English, you need to master these little conversations and everyday expressions. Personally, I like this app for learning English, and definitely recommend it!

Watch how to answer How are you? in this weeks episode of Speak English with Christina TV:

Now, what about you?

How do you usually respond to How are you?
Have you ever made the mistake and told the person all about your day?

Share your stories in the comments below, because Im sure theyre funny! And theres no shame, because everyone makes mistakes in a different culture, especially me.

All the best to you,
Christina

P.S. There are lots of other Speak English with Christina episodes to help you learn irregular verbs, phrasal verbs, and past simple vs. present perfect simple. Theyre just below!

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