Useful Expression for Spoken English: 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 them.

  1. How are you?

Phrase 1 is quite known and the best-known phrase but English people don’t use it every time so it’s useful to learn.

  1. How are things?

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.

  1. How’s things?

Phrase 3 is similar to phrase 2 but the ‘incorrect’ grammar makes it much more informal. We use this phrase with our friends in normal conversion.

  1. How’s it going?

Phrases 4 is asking about the other person’s life (work or personal life). We use this expression with our friends and colleague for asking their general day to day life.

  1. How are you getting on?

Expression 5 is just like phrases 4. It’s a general way to ask someone about their personal or professional life.

  1. How have you been?

Phrase 6 is really asking about health but the other person may answer with general information about their life. It’s a common way to ask someone about their health we use this phrase with people to whom we meet in regular interval.

  1. What have you been (getting) up to?

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.

  1. I hope everything’s okay?

Phrases 8 is asking about health and life with a yes / no question. It’s an informal way to ask someone about their health.

  1. Alright?

Very commonly known phrases to ask someone about their health. This is the more informal way then phrase then 8.

  1. How have you been keeping?

Phrase 10 is more formal but still sincere and friendly and is asking about the other person’s health.



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