Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
In this lesson, I'm going to cover quick responses to common greetings in American English.
Let's get started!
Okay, in this lesson, I'm going to cover four very common greetings that we use in American English, and I'm going to talk about ways to respond to those things.
So, these are some great things to just train your responses to. You don't need to think really hard about any of these questions. Just have a few responses that you always use and practice those and this will help you to sound a little more smooth in your everyday conversations, at the beginning to your conversation anyway.
So, let's begin!
The first greeting is “What's up?”
“What's up?”
So, “What's up?” means how are you or what is happening or what is going on? What's up with you? What is your news? That sort of thing. This is not a serious question. We do not expect a serious response.
The answers to what's up are usually:
“Not much, you?”
“Not much, you?”
Or “What's up?”
Or “How's it goin’?”
So, you'll notice, all of these are questions. These just show you heard the other person, you're just greeting them in the same way.
So, the actual pace, the actual speed at which this happens is:
“What's up”
“Ah, not much, you?”
“Not much,” that’s probably what it's gonna sound like.
Or with the second one:
“Hey, what's up?”
“Hey, what's up?!”
That's very common too, especially among young men.
The last example:
“What's up?”
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
That one, I personally use, “Hey, how's it goin’?” You return, “What’s up?” with another question, just to show you were listening, you were greeting the other person.
So, this is the very, I suppose, basic way to respond to these, but these are also just the most common responses too. So, please practice these responses to “What's up?”
I think the next two though are probably the most important responses that you can practice, because they're a little bit more open.
So these two questions are:
“How are you?” and “How's it goin’?”
“How's it goin’?”
You'll notice here, there's no G at the end of this because we do not say, “How is it going?” when we ask this question. We say, “Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
There's not really a G sound at the end and we don't say “How is it going?”
We say, how's it, how's it.
“How's it goin’?”
“How's it goin’?”
And here:
“How are you?”
Not, “How are you?”
“How are you?”
So, how do we answer these questions?
We can answer both of these questions with all of these responses. It just depends on how you feel that day.
In most cases, you can just say:
“Yeah, good, you?”
This one.
“Yeah, good, you?”
“How are you?”
“Yeah, good, you?”
That's what I use all the time.
Or, “Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Yeah, good, you?”
So, there’s these little pauses here.
Not, “Yeah, good, you?”
But, “Yeah, good, you?”
So, that sounds a little more natural.
Another response:
“I'm alright.”
Usually, we end it with you.
“Yeah, I'm alright” or “Mm, I'm okay,” that kind of feel.
You could say:
“Not bad.”
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Mm, not bad.”
Usually, some kind of like, yeah, yeah, ah, oh, sort of thing in the middle there, to just like ease into your answer a little bit. “Yeah, not bad.” That's quite common to do.
Another one:
“Pretty good, you?”
“Pretty good, you?”
“Hey, how are you?”
“Pretty good, you?”
So, again, we're returning the question. Just as we did up here, we're returning it to the other person. What is your feeling like today?
Okay, if you're not feeling so great like you're sick or you're sad or there's something going on in your life, you can use these, but be prepared to give some more information, maybe.
This one, you're maybe safe with this one:
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Uh, same old, same old.”
So, when you use “same old, same old,” it means things are the same as they always are for me. Same old stuff, same old job, same old life. So, it's nothing special, nothing exciting, just the same thing as always. So, we usually use this sort of unimpressed or a little bit of like downward intonation with that.
“Ah, same old, same old.”
If you are not feeling well, you can use these:
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Not so great.”
Or, “Hey, how's it goin’?”
“I'm a bit sick.”
“I'm a bit sick.”
Or, “A bit sick” is fine or “I'm a little sick,” “I'm feeling a little sick.”
So, the other person will probably say something sympathetic like…
“Oh, I hope you feel better.”
Or, “Oh, what happened?”
So, these are ways to begin a conversation about your condition, if you want to talk about it.
So, in general though, we use these most of the time. So, practice just one or two of these and you can respond to these questions with the same answer or the same couple of answers every time. It does not need to be a serious question that you consider every time.
So, “Hey, how are you?”
“I'm good. How are you?”
Perfect! That's exactly how you should respond and you can use that with everybody. Same thing with, “How's it goin’?”
“Hey, how's it goin’?”
“Yeah, it's going good. How about you?”
That's exactly what I say and that's exactly what lots of other native speakers say too.
So, just practice a couple of these and try to use them instead of thinking so hard when you hear these questions.
Okay, let's finish this lesson with this question:
“How's your day?”
“How's your day?”
Or, “How’s your week?”
“How’s your week?”
This, “how’s, how’s,” again, just like this “How’s it goin’?” this is, “How is your day?”
“How is your day?” This is a present tense question, so today. What do you think about today? How is your day?
You may also hear:
“How was your day?”
“How was your day today”
Or, “How was your week?”
So, sometimes, this does sound a little bit like “was” like “how was your day” becomes much shorter, but we can kind of understand which question it is based on the context. So, if this question, if my co-worker asks me this question at lunch, I know it's probably a present tense question. If my family member asks me this question late at night, “How was your day?” “How was your day?” I can probably guess it's about the past.
So, just keep in mind these little clues, these little context clues to help you understand, is this a present tense question or is this a past tense question?
For the week:
“How is your week?” is probably a Tuesday or a Wednesday question.
“How was your week?” is probably like a Saturday afternoon or a Saturday night question, maybe a Friday-night question, so after the week has finished.
So, how do we answer this?
“How's your day” or “how's your week?”
Just choose a simple adjective answer.
“How's your day?”
“Good. Pretty good.”
Or, “Busy.”
“How's your day?”
“Busy, I have lots to do. You?”
So, end all of these with “You?” just as we've done in all of the other examples today.
So, just choose an adjective and use “You?”
If your day is the opposite of busy, you can use “slow.”
“How's your day?”
“Slow. You?”
So, “slow” means I don't have much happening today like work is not so busy or my schedule is pretty open, I'm not doing a lot today, it's slow.
Others you can use:
Or just, “OK.”
OK is very very useful because you can change the feeling with your voice, like:
“How's your day?”
“Ah, OK.”
Or “How's your day?”
So, there's kind of a different feeling with your voice. Just by changing your facial expressions and the sound of your voice, you could create slightly different feelings just with OK.
You can do that a little bit with “good” and “alright,” I suppose too, but OK is very easy to remember.
You can use the same thing with week.
“How's your week?”
“How's your week?”
“How's your week?”
“How's your week?”
“How's your week?”
“OK. You?”
So, very quick, very simple, very straightforward. So, again, this is another question you don't need to spend lots of time practicing and giving detailed information about. All of these questions should just be reflex answers. So, you should just be able to spit out a real quick response to these and not think about it.
So, if you can't do that, practice a few of these, just choose one or two from each group and practice those, until you feel comfortable with it. So, next time you have a chance to have a conversation, make sure to try these out.,
So, these are some quick responses that you can practice to these common greetings. I hope that it was helpful for you and I hope that you found something a little bit more natural to use for the next conversation you have.
Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!

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