One of the most important and basic skills of speaking English is knowing how to ask how somebody is. This is important when meeting with other people both in an informal and formal situation, and is simply a good way to be polite and considerate towards others. In the tables below, we've gathered lots of ways to ask how somebody is as well as how to respond to these questions and to say goodbye to somebody at the end of a conversation.
Ways to Ask How Somebody isThere are many different ways to find out how somebody is. Which phrase you use will depend a lot on whether the situation is formal or not, as well as your own personal style. We've gathered some of the most common phrases for you in the table below.
This is the most common way to ask someone how they are. It can be used in all situations. English speakers will also often use it simply as a greeting and won't really expect to hear how you actually are. Another common way to ask this same question is: How's it going?. How do you do? is another way to say this same thing, but it is used more in formal situations. In response, somebody might say something like: Not too bad, and you?.
Responding to: How are you?Just as there are many ways to ask how somebody is, there are an equal amount of ways to answer this question. How you respond will usually depend on how you feel in that moment. Check out the table below to find lots of examples!
The most common and basic way to answer the question How are you? is with the sentence pattern I'm + ADJECTIVE.. Another example is: I'm great!. A lot of people will drop I'm and simply say the adjective, as in: Great, thanks. There's a lot of different ways somebody could respond. A response to our first example might be: That's good to hear!.
This is a phrase that you would really only use with someone that you know well. This person would understand what you mean by Same as always. For example, if you're always busy then they will understand that you are busy like usual. There's a lot of different ways someone could respond to this, for example: Well, at least you're not doing too bad.
Saying GoodbyeAfter you have asked someone how they are and had a conversation with them, it will be time to say goodbye. In the table below, you'll find lots of different ways to do this. Take some time to have a look at them and grow your English vocabulary!
Answers to the Most Common Questions
What are the most important English phrases to know when asking someone how they are?
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When do you ask somebody how they are?
There are quite a few different contexts when you would use How are you? Normally you ask somebody that you already know, especially if you haven't seen that person for a long time. You might also use or hear this phrase after introductions or in a formal setting, even if the speakers don't know each other. How are you? can also be used instead of Hello or other greetings. Someone using the phrase in this way will not really expect an answer to the question.
How do you ask someone how they are in a formal way?
Formal English and informal English do not differ from each other so greatly like in some other languages. Therefore, in a formal setting you will most likely still use: How are you?. This is the most common way of asking how someone is, regardless of whether the situation is formal or informal. However, there is one more formal way of asking the same thing that you could use. This is: How do you do?.
How do I ask someone how they are in an informal way?
Again, the most common way of asking someone how they are in any situation is simply: How are you?. Although, if you are meeting up with close friends and want to be more casual, then you have a few more informal options that you could use. These are: How's it going?, What's up?, What's new?, and How's it hanging?. Of these different phrases, the first two are the most commonly used. Remember: you only want to use any of these four phrases with close friends and family!