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  • Hi!

  • I'm Olivier, welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • When you started learning English, I'm fine is probably one of the first things you learnt.

  • It's a simple way of answering the question How are you?

  • Fine is, well, fine!

  • But if you use it all the time, it can get very repetitive, and a little boring.

  • Does this look familiar to anyone?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm fine thank you, and you?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm fine thank you, and you?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm fine thank you, and you?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm fine thank you, and you?

  • I think you get the idea.

  • Even with very simple language, it's better if your language is varied.

  • So, how can you make this more interesting?

  • Here are a few ideas.

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm good, thanks, you?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm pretty good.

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm OK.

  • Hi, how are you?

  • Not bad, thanks.

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm very well.

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm great!

  • Remember that it's polite to also ask the other person how they are, too.

  • You can do this by simply adding you?

  • Or, and you?

  • For example:

  • I'm very well, and you?

  • I'm great!

  • You?

  • Notice that the intonation rises at the end to show that you're asking a question.

  • Now, you've learned some ways to answer the question how are you, but what about the

  • question itself?

  • Like I'm fine, there are many ways to ask how are you, and you should try to add variety

  • to your English when you speak.

  • By the way, you probably wouldn't ask a person you see regularly 'how are you?'.

  • If you see them often it might sound strange because nothing has changed since the last

  • time you saw them.

  • Here are a few alternatives you can use.

  • These are more informal, but they're very common in everyday situations.

  • How's it going?

  • How're things?

  • How're you doing?

  • How's life?

  • In informal spoken English, you should use contractions and link words to sound natural.

  • So, make sure you say How's it going, with a contraction of is.

  • You can't use the full formHow is it goingunless you want to sound like a robot.

  • Similarly, how're you doing needs to be pronounced with a contraction of are: how're

  • you doing?

  • You can even leave out the word are and just say how you doing?

  • Next, let's see how you can put these greetings together in a real situation.

  • Hey!

  • How's it going?

  • Pretty good thanks, you?

  • Yeah, not bad.

  • Hi, Olivier, how're things?

  • Good, thanks, and you?

  • I'm good!

  • Next, let's look at some even more informal ways of asking or answering the question how

  • are you.

  • Here are three very informal questions you can use to ask how are you:

  • How's tricks?

  • What's up?

  • What's new?

  • Alright?

  • Remember that these are very informal.

  • That doesn't mean they're rude or that you shouldn't use them, but you can't

  • use them in more formal situations.

  • And yes, how's tricks is grammatically incorrect, but that's the phrase which people use!

  • These are common between friends and people who know each other well.

  • Remember what you learned about linking words earlier?

  • It's also important here.

  • You don't say, What is up?

  • You say, What's up?

  • And, you don't say, What is new?

  • You say, What's new?

  • These different questions can also have different responses.

  • Let's look!

  • Alright?

  • Yeah, you?

  • Yeah, not bad.

  • What's new?

  • Not a lot!

  • You?

  • Nothing much.

  • It might sound negative to you to just say nothing, but it's a very common expression

  • to say that you're well.

  • Because these are very informal ways to ask how are you, sometimes they're used as greetings.

  • This means that sometimes these questions don't need an answer.

  • When using these phrases, you can simply answer with an informal greeting, like this:

  • What's up?

  • Hey, what's up?

  • Alright?

  • Hey!

  • What else do you need to think about in these situations?

  • It's important that you continue the conversation after you answer the how are you question.

  • How can you do that?

  • Even if you're a master of greeting phrases in English, that won't help you if this happens:

  • Hi, how are you?

  • I'm fine thank you, and you?

  • Fine thanks.

  • So, what can you say after the initial greeting?

  • You have many choices!

  • Basically, you can make a statement, or ask a question.

  • For example, you could tell the other person something about yourself and your life, like

  • this:

  • Actually, work was pretty stressful, but now I'm looking forward to

  • I had a really good day today, because

  • I've just been to

  • Or there's always the weather!

  • It's really hot today, isn't it?

  • It's been so wet the last few days.

  • Hopefully it'll be brighter this weekend!

  • British people love to talk about the weather, if you hadn't realised yet!

  • You can also ask another question, such as:

  • How was your day?

  • How's your day going?

  • How was your weekend?

  • If you're even more confident, or you know more about the person you're talking to, you

  • can go into more detail and ask them more specific questions.

  • For example:

  • How was your trip to Madrid last weekend?

  • Did you watch the football last night?

  • Is your brother visiting you next week, or is it the week after?

  • Now, you should know how to greet people, how to ask and answer how are you in different

  • ways, and how to continue the conversation.

  • Let's see how you can put everything together.

  • Hey, how are things?

  • I'm good thanks, but a little tired today: busy at work.

  • How about you?

  • I'm well, but I've got a lot at work too.

  • How was your trip to Madrid last weekend?

  • Fantastic!

  • It's a really great city.

  • What did you do last weekend?

  • Nothing much, just relaxed on the beach!

  • Very nice!

  • Hi, what's new?

  • Not much, you?

  • Yeah, alright.

  • You look a bit tired.

  • Yeah, I didn't sleep well last night.

  • Oh no, why not?

  • My neighbours had a big party and it was really loud.

  • I hate it when people do that.

  • Yeah, me too.

  • Anyway, how's your day going?

  • Now, it's your turn to practice!

  • Imagine somebody asks how are you?

  • Can you write down five possible things you could say?

  • Pause the video and write down your answers now.

  • Ready?

  • Let's look.

  • Of course, there are more than five possible answers.

  • These are just suggestions:

  • I'm good.

  • I'm pretty good.

  • Not bad.

  • A little bit tired.

  • Great, thanks!

  • And what about different ways to ask how are you?

  • What can you say?

  • Pause the video and write down five different ways to ask this question.

  • OK?

  • Again, these are just suggestions.

  • There are many possibilities!

  • How's it going?

  • How're you doing?

  • What's up?

  • How's life?

  • How're things?

  • And what do you do next?

  • Do you stop talking?

  • No; keep going!

  • Ask a question or make a statement to continue the conversation.

  • Remember that you can find more great free English lessons like this on our website:

  • Oxford Online English dot com.

  • Thanks for watching!

  • See you next time!

Hi!

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A2 US informal fine question weekend greeting answer

5 Tips for English Greetings and Responses - How to Ask and Answer 'How are you?'

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Video vocabulary