English Conversation Lesson: Casual Greetings with “How” & What”

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Basic Greetings in English

An English conversation a conversation usually starts with a question. There are two kinds of questions we use – how and what. Here are some examples of each:

  • How are you?              What’s new?
  • How’s it going?           What’s up?
  • How’s life?             What’s going on?
  • How’s everything?       What’s shaking?

The how questions ask about our feeling or condition, so the answers are something like this. The closer you are with the person, the deeper the answer you expect to hear / give:

  • How are you?         → Not too bad
  • How’s it going?       → Pretty good
  • How’s life?               → Great!
  • How’s everything?  → I’m ok.

The what questions ask about news or information about us, so the answers are something like this:

  • What’s new? → Not much
  • What’s up? → I just finished work
  • What’s going on? → I’m going on vacation next week
  • What’s shaking? → I bought an iPad!

Please be careful not to confuse the type of questions someone asks:

  • Joe: What’s up?
  • Bob: Fine! ← (the wrong answer, so Joe is confused!)
  • Joe: ???

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Thanks for studying today!