Responding to greetings, part one (levels 2+)

Hello everyone. Roy here. 😀 Let’s talk about some common greetings. This is part one.

Hello, Hi, or Hey

A simple greeting. “Hey” is more casual.

How to respond: Say Hello, Hi, or Hey back to the person. You can also say another greeting:

How are you? or How are you doing? or How’s it going?

A question asking about your feeling. “How’s it going?” is more casual.

How to respond: Tell the person how you are feeling at the moment. Are you great, fine, good, so-so, not so good, bad, terrible?


DON’T say nothing. That’s usually rude or uncomfortable.


A: Hi, how are you?

B: …

A: (waiting for answer…) → (uncomfortable situation)  😳 


DON’T reply with the same question back without your answer first.


A: How are you?

B: How are you? → (this is strange because B did not answer the question first)


Some good responses.


A: How are you?

B: Fine, thanks, how are you? → (this is a very normal response)


You can also say any news about yourself if you want.


A: How are you?

B: Good! I just had a really nice lunch. → (nice response with some news)


Usually people ask you “What’s wrong?” if you say you are not doing well.


A: How’s it going?

B: So-so. → (answered the question, good response)

A: Oh no, what’s wrong? → (because B answered “so-so,” A thinks something is wrong)

B: I have a bit of a headache.

A: Ah… too bad.

What’s new? or What’s going on? or What’s up?

A question about some news in your life. “What’s up?” is very casual.

How to respond: tell the person something you did recently. Did you have a nice weekend/day? Did you see a new movie? Did you go to a restaurant and eat some good food? Tell them!


A: What’s new?

B: I saw the new Lion King movie last week. It was pretty good. → (nice response!)

If you don’t have any news, or don’t want to say: you can say “Nothing” and repeat the question, or another greeting.


A: What’s going on?

B: Nothing much, how are you? → (ok response!)

A: I’m fine. I went to the beach last week. → (good response to “how are you?” with some news after)

Part two is coming soon!