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  • In this English lesson, I'm going to help you learn how to respond to three very common English questions.

  • Those questions are: "What are you up to these days?" "What are you up to?" and "What are you up to today?"

  • Even though these questions look very similar, you need to answer each of these in a slightly different way, and in this lesson, I'll show you how to do just that.

  • [How to answer "What are you up to ..."]

  • Well hello and welcome to this English lesson.

  • And if this is your first time here, don't forget to click that red subscribe button over there.

  • And for everyone watching, if this video helps you learn just a little bit more English, please give me a thumbs up.

  • So, the first question: "What are you up to these days?"

  • This question is actually asking about the past.

  • It's asking about the period of time from the past right up until this moment.

  • So, when you answer this question, you need to use, uh, answers like this.

  • You would say, "I have been reading a lot lately."

  • "I have been working a lot lately."

  • Now, English speakers are usually in a hurry, so I would actually say, "I've been reading a lot lately."

  • I would use a contraction.

  • Or, "I've been working a lot lately."

  • But you'll notice I'm talking about things that have already happened.

  • If you want your answers to sound a little bit more natural, you can start with the phrase, "not much."

  • For some reason, English speakers, even if they've been really busy, sometimes start by saying, "not much."

  • And you can add the word "just" into the sentence as well.

  • So, let's look at my original answer.

  • "I have been reading a lot lately."

  • If I was to answer this at full speed with my normal informal English speech, I would say, "Not much, I've just been reading a lot lately."

  • So notice I added the phrase "not much."

  • Who knows why?

  • It just sounds good.

  • And I've added the word "just," which means, you know, I've simply been reading.

  • So, the long, slow version, "I have been reading a lot lately."

  • The version I would use, "Not much, I've just been reading a lot lately."

  • Let's look at the second question.

  • "What are you up to?"

  • This question is asking about what you are doing right now.

  • What are you doing in the present?

  • So, if someone says to you, "What are you up to," usually they'll ask this when they give you a phone call or maybe when they walk up to you in public.

  • They'll say, "What are you up to?"

  • And you would answer using phrases like this.

  • "I am doing the dishes."

  • "I am watching TV."

  • But of course, we would speed it up.

  • I would say, "I'm doing the dishes" or, "I'm watching TV."

  • And if you want, you can throw "not much" and "just" into these answers as well.

  • I might say something like this:

  • "Not much, I'm just doing the dishes."

  • "Not much, I'm just watching TV."

  • So again, I'm not sure why we put not much at the beginning.

  • I think it's just a way to start responding, because even if we're busy doing something, we might say "not much."

  • It's kind of funny how English speakers do that.

  • So, again, the slow version: "What are you up to?"

  • I would answer by saying, "I am doing the dishes" or, "I am watching TV."

  • But, as a native speaker, I would probably say, "Not much, I'm just doing the dishes or, "Not much, I'm just watching TV."

  • Let's look at the third question.

  • "What are you up to today?"

  • You could even say, "What are you up to this week?"

  • This question is asking actually about the future.

  • It's asking about things that you are going to do later that day or later that week, and so when you respond, you need to talk about the future.

  • You might answer by saying, "I am going to go shopping."

  • Or of course, as a native speaker, I would say, "I'm going to go shopping."

  • I would say it very, very quickly.

  • Or you might even talk about things that you have to do, things that you are required to do that day.

  • You might say something like, "Today, I have to get my car fixed."

  • "Today I have to get my car fixed."

  • That's how I would say it.

  • And then, of course, you can again add "not much," and you can add "just" to each of these sentences.

  • I could say, if someone said, "What are you up to today?"

  • I could say, "Not much, I'm just going to go shopping," or, "Not much, I just have to get my car fixed."

  • So, again, when you throw "not much" and "just" into these responses, it sounds a lot more natural.

  • You'll sound a lot more like a native English speaker.

  • I do wanna mention as well, with each of these questions, you can actually answer and broaden the time period that you are talking about.

  • So, if someone says, "What are you up to," you don't simply have to talk about what you're doing right now.

  • You can tell them a story.

  • You could talk about the past, the present, and the future.

  • So if you said to me, "What are you up to these days," or, "What are you up to," or, "What are you up to today," I could actually answer like this.

  • I could start by talking about the past.

  • I could say, "Yesterday, my car broke down."

  • "Right now, I'm looking at the engine, but I don't know what's wrong."

  • "Later today, I'm going to take my car to the garage."

  • So, in spite of which question was asked, you do have the freedom to talk about different periods of time when you're answering it.

  • So, don't feel too limited.

  • If you want to answer in a more complex way, talk about what happened yesterday, talk about what's happening right now, and talk about what's going to happen tomorrow.

  • Well, thank you so much for taking the time to watch this little English lesson.

  • I hope it was helpful.

  • Remember, if this is your first time here, don't forget to click that red subscribe button, and give me a thumbs up if this video helped any of you learn a little bit more English.

  • And if you have the time, why don't you stick around and watch another English lesson?

In this English lesson, I'm going to help you learn how to respond to three very common English questions.

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How to Answer English Questions that Start With,

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    nao posted on 2021/09/03
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