Definition Of How Do You Do At Dictionary

Then it’s time khổng lồ make sure you know how khổng lồ react when someone asks “How are you?”

Sounds easy, right? Don’t you just tell people how you feel?

Not always.

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Every day in my elementary ESL class, I greet (say hello to) my students with a cheerful (happy) “Good morning! How are you today?”

Most of them usually answer with “Fine!”

Sometimes students say they’re “happy,” “hungry” or “angry.”

Once, I had a boy tell me he was “perfect!”

If these answers were said by native English speakers in everyday situations, there might be some interesting reactions. People would be surprised khổng lồ hear you say that you’re hungry or angry. Some friends might ask you “What’s wrong?” if you say that you’re fine.

Really?! What’s wrong with “fine”? And what if you are really hungry, why would people be surprised khổng lồ hear it? Keep on reading to lớn see all the possible answers and reactions to “How are you?”—things you never learned in ESL class or during your self-study.

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What Your ESL Teacher Didn’t Tell You About “How Are You?”

Your answer khổng lồ the question “How are you?” depends on who asked you the question. First we’ll look at what to lớn say when people you don’t know or people you don’t know very well ask how you are.


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Formal Answers khổng lồ “How Are You?”

This first section will give sầu you some formal (more polite) answers to “How are you?” You will use these when you’re talking lớn acquaintances và strangers. Of course, you can use these with anyone you speak lớn, even family & cthua thảm friends.

Who are acquaintances and strangers?

Acquaintances are people that you know, but don’t know very well. This could be someone you’ve sầu met just once or twice, perhaps a friover of a frikết thúc, an old classmate that you were never really friends with or a man who works at the local grocery store.

When you see an acquaintance somewhere, it’s polite to greet them. If you both know each other but don’t say anything to the other person, it’s somewhat rude (bad manners).

You will often encounter acquaintances in your everyday life, but also in your professional life at work. In this situations, it is essential that you know how to lớn talk lớn these acquaintances at work properly.

By the way, a resource that we recommkết thúc for that is Creativa.

Creativa provides premium, highly produced videos for learning English & business communication skills. Creativa provides entertaining videos, useful but unexpected tips, and goes beyond just English lớn teach you toàn thân language, intonation và specific pronunciation tips. Creativa is a new sản phẩm from the team.

Here’s a sample video from Creativa’s Mastering Business Video Calls in English course, which has tips for expressing yourself effectively:

People that you don’t know or have never met before are called “strangers.” A stranger could be the cashier (the person working at the check-out counter) of a supermarket, the receptionist at an office or someone sitting next khổng lồ you on the bus.

So, when one of these people (an acquaintance or a stranger) asks how you are, what should you respond?

Greetings for acquaintances và strangers

First, let me tell you something important: This person doesn’t want lớn know how you actually are that day. They’re just being polite.

In the United States, “Hi, how are you?” is almost a cultural greeting—it’s how we say hello. If you say this to lớn an acquaintance or stranger, you probably aren’t really interested in their true answer. Also, the person you’re greeting won’t answer honestly, because that’s just how it is in this society.

So, in these situations, it’s best to give a short answer. You usually won’t nói qua how you really feel. Here are some comtháng answers và what they mean:


As an ESL teacher, this is the answer I hear most often from non-native sầu speakers.

Be careful, though! “Fine” often means that you’re not completely all right—something could be wrong.

The tone you use when you say this word makes a difference. A shorter, higher-pitched “I’m fine” with a smile will mean you actually are okay. If you sigh, say it slowly & use a lower tone of voice, “I’m fine” could mean the opposite—you aren’t fine at all.

Let’s look at an example of how “fine” has a somewhat negative meaning, in a different situation:

Sally: Oh, sorry. I ordered the wrong color…you wanted red!

Kate: It’s fine. We’ll just use xanh. There’s no time lớn order red now.

As you can see, Kate said, “It’s fine,” when it really wasn’t fine at all. Sally ordered the wrong color! But the word “fine” is often used to mean “good enough.” It’s not great, but it will work.

The same thing happens a lot when asking how you are. If someone is “fine,” often they’re not great, but they’re good enough.

Try this: next time you’re watching an American sitcom in English, listen for the word “fine” & think about if it’s used in a positive, neutral or negative way.

Not bad

This answer can sound either more neutral or slightly positive sầu, depending on your tone. If you’re “not bad,” it means that things are okay.

All right

Responding that you’re “all right” is neutral, but usually more positive sầu than “fine.” And just like the first two answers we’ve sầu seen here, your intonation (pitch of voice, high or low) can change the meaning slightly (a little).

“I’m all right” has a positive sầu vibe (energy) if each word is higher in tone than the previous word. When said this way, each word is held a bit longer than the previous word, too. Overall, the phrase is spoken a bit slowly.

To make a more neutral-sounding answer, “I’m” is the highest pitched word, “all” drops in tone and “right” goes up a step, but is lower than “I’m.” The words are spoken more quickly than in the previous example.

Ask a native speaker lớn say this phrase, or listen for it in context while watching American movies.


The most comtháng answer that I hear & say is “Good.” It’s a positive sầu, polite and comtháng response. You might not actually be feeling too good when you answer “Good,” but for an acquaintance or stranger it’s a normal answer lớn give sầu.

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Saying “Good” is grammatically correct if you mean that you’re happy và pleasant!

Why did I need to lớn bring up grammar with the word “good”? It’s important because native sầu speakers often confuse the word “good” with “well.” Let’s state each word’s usage more clearly.

Grammar point: Good vs. well

Good is an adjective sầu, which means it describes a noun (person, place, thing). For example:

My son is a good boy.

I want lớn read a good book.

I know a good restaurant.

You did a good job.

In response lớn “How are you?” the response “good” is an adjective describing myself. I am good. It’s a correct response, grammatically.

(Note: The verb “are” comes from the infinitive “to be,” which is a linking verb. This isn’t an action verb, which is part of the reason why people get confused.)

“Well,” on the other hvà, is an adverb. That means it describes a verb—an action. It describes how you bởi vì something. For example:

You did well on the exam.

He plays sports well.

My voice teacher said I sing well.

“Well” can also be used as an adjective, but only when you’re specifically talking about health. “Well” means “healthy” when it’s used in this way. Here’s an example:

Sally: I heard you had the flu, how are you?

Kate: I’m well.

So where does it get tricky? If someone asks “How are you doing?,” grammatically you should answer “Well.” This says “I’m doing well.” Since “doing” is an action verb, we need to lớn use the adverb “well” lớn describe that action.

But most native speakers will still answer with the single word “Good.” You’ll hear it regularly in speech, & people actually might think it sounds funny/wrong to say “Well.” Even so, if someone asks “How are you doing?” then it’s grammatically correct lớn say “Well.”

Responding and continuing the conversation

After you say your quiông xã answer, it’s polite to add a “thanks” afterwards. After that, you can ask the other person “How are you?” You don’t have to lớn say “thanks” first, but it’s always nice. It’s most polite to lớn ask the person how they are in return.

Here are some full responses khổng lồ “How are you?”:

Good, thanks. And you?

Not bad. How are you?

I’m good. And yourself?

I’m fine, thanks. How about yourself?

Now you’re ready lớn go out in the English-speaking world & greet others. But what about when you’re talking with good friends or family?

Before you think about how to lớn answer, you need khổng lồ know that the question may be more informal than “How are you?”

Here are some other ways to lớn greet & ask “How are you?” when you’re with a cthua trận frikết thúc or family member:

Informal Variations of “How Are You?”

How’s it going?What’s up?How’ve you been? (How have you been?)What have you been up to?What’s going on?

Until you become familiar with these questions, you’ll have sầu to lớn pay attention khổng lồ which question was used. Why?

Well, if someone asks you “What’s up?” it doesn’t make sense lớn answer “Good.” The common answer is “Not much,” followed by a return “What’s up with you?”

Note: “What have sầu you been up to” and “What’s going on?” can be answered in the same way. You might replace the “What’s up with you?” with “What’s going on with you?” if you want to lớn match the original question.

Informal Answers lớn “How Are you?”

When we’re talking with cchiến bại friends or family members, we’ll answer the question differently. It’s time lớn be honest.

When talking with your friends, parents or siblings (brothers and sisters), it’s okay khổng lồ tell them how you really feel. Maybe you’ll answer “I’m fine” with a sigh at first, và then your friend will ask you “What’s wrong?” Then you can tell hyên ổn or her exactly what’s bothering you.

Here are some more words you might use lớn describe how you’re really feeling when talking with these closer friends:

Exhausted – When you’re really tired. Maybe you didn’t sleep well or worked outside all day. If you don’t have sầu any energy, use this word.

Okay – Here’s another quiông chồng, neutral answer lượt thích “fine” or “all right.” Depending on your tone when you use this response, your friover might ask “Just okay?” as a follow-up. This means they think something is wrong & want to know what’s going on in your life.

Frustrated – When you’re annoyed, or something keeps going wrong, you could be frustrated (annoyed). You may be frustrated when you can’t get your computer to lớn print or when your co-worker makes the same mistake over and over.

Busy – If you have no không tính tiền time because you have sầu lots of things to bởi vì, say you’re busy!

Stressed out – When you’re busy, it’s possible that you could also be stressed out. Feeling stress (pressure) is a negative feeling that can happen when you have too much to vì chưng (often things you don’t want lớn do) and not enough time.

Worried – Use this response when you’re concerned about a problem. When you’re worried, you think the result lớn a situation could be bad but you don’t know how to lớn make it okay, or you don’t have sầu control of the situation so instead you think about it a lot. For example, someone who just lost their job will probably worry about money and finding a new job.

I’ve sầu been better – When there is something wrong, you can use “I’ve sầu been better” as your first response. This will lead your friend or relative sầu to lớn ask you “What’s wrong?” or something similar.

Great – We’ve seen lots of neutral và negative responses, but hopefully there are many times when you feel excellent! When you’re better than good, say you’re great.

Excited – Here’s another very positive sầu response. If you’re looking forward lớn something—lượt thích a concert next week, spending time with a good frikết thúc or getting a puppy—say you’re excited! Then you can tell your frikết thúc or relative why you’re excited.

How lớn Practice Responding khổng lồ “How Are You?”

I bet you never thought that “How are you?” could be so complex. But don’t get stressed out! Rethành viên that there are two main situations with this greeting: talking khổng lồ people you know and people you don’t know. The closer you are to lớn someone, the more specific you can be about how you are feeling.

With some practice và seeing real life examples, you will soon be comfortable with the “How are you?” greeting.

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