Sometimes you need to spice it up a little and try something new. Nobody likes to sound like a broken record, repeating the same thing day after day. So to help you get out of your same old greeting routine, we’ve got some alternative ways to say “how are you?” in English.  Check them out:


How’s it going?

-The idiom how’s it going is another way to say how are you. The it can refer to life in general, a project, or your day.

It should be noted that this idiom is said in many countries with the answer expected to be fine or good.

This is not usually what a person says when he or she truly wants details of your life or day. Often this is said as a continuation of the greeting (e.g., Hi, how’s it going?), and the return answer should also be a continuation (e.g., Good, see you later.)

If the speaker wants further details, he or she will ask again or make it understood by intonation or facial expressions. –

Common interaction:

A. Hey man, how’s it going?

B. Pretty good, you?

A. Not bad, looking forward to the weekend.

What’s Up? / Sup? (more informal)


This is used for asking how someone is or what someone has been doing.

A. “Hey, Madison, what’s up?”

B. “Nothing much.”

The first thing you have to know is that when someone says “Hey, what’s up?” you do not say “Oh, I’m good”  or “I’m fine.” That’s not how we respond.

The most common reply is “Nothing much”  or “not much.”


What’s going on?

“What’s going on?” is an idiomatic expression used as an informal greeting. It’s similar to “What’s Up” in that we do not  respond with, “I’m good.” A common interaction would go something like this:

A. “Hey, What’s going on?”

B. “Not much, I just finished work for the day. Do you want to hang out later?”

A. “Sure”

“What’s going on?” can also be used to as an expression of concern awaiting an explanation.


A.”What’s going on here? The kitchen is a mess and your brother is running around with chocolate all over his face.”

B. “I’m sorry mom. I left him alone for one minute. ”


What’s new?


This is used as an informal, friendly greeting in the US.

A. Hey man, what’s new?”

B. “Not much, you? “

or you could be more specific

A. “Hey, what’s new with school/work/you?

B. “Well, we just finished studying the present perfect and now we are learning about prepositions.”


How have you been?

This is used to greet someone you’ve already met. If someone asks you this question, they want to to know how you have been since the last time you saw each other. A typical conversation might go something like this:

A. “Hey Jess! Long time, no see. How have you been?”

B.” Hey, I’m doing well. So glad to see you here. Actually, my wife and I just moved to Brooklyn a couple of months ago. What’s new with you?”



By Cory Keny

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