Asking about health / life

When we meet somebody we know it's polite to ask a question or two about their health and their life. There are many different phrases in English for doing this. Here are ten of th

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing: 
  1. How are you?
  2. How are things?
  3. How's things?
  4. How's it going?
  5. How are you getting on?
  6. How have you been?
  7. What have you been (getting) up to?
  8. I hope everything's okay?
  9. Alright?
  10. How have you been keeping?
How To Use These Phrases In Your English: 
  1. Phrase 1 is the best known phrase but English people don't use it every time so it's useful to learn some of the others on this page.
  2. Phrase 2 is a general inquiry about the other person's health and life. Your answer could be about your health, your work or your personal life.
  3. Phrase 3 is similar to phrase 2 but the 'incorrect' grammar makes it much more informal.
  4. Phrases 4 and 5 are asking about the other person's life (work or personal life).
  5. Phrase 6 is really asking about health but the other person may answer with general information about their life.
  6. Phrase 7 is really asking about what kind of activities the other person has been doing recently. It more often refers to their home life, not work.
  7. Phrases 8 and 9 are asking about health and life with a yes / no question. Phrase 9 is much more informal than phrase 8.
  8. Phrase 10 is more formal but still sincere and friendly and is asking about the other person's health.
Intermediate