Difference Between “How Are You?” & “How Are You Doing?”

“How you doing?”

Joey Tribianni

Whenever we greet another, whether it be in person, via email, or through text, the most common greetings are “How are you?” and “How are you doing?”. This begs the question, what do they mean exactly? What are you saying? What is the difference between the two? Surprisingly, there are differences. In this article, we will be discussing all these questions in detail, with some examples thrown into the mix.

If you are starting out with the English language, checking out some beginner English lessons or how to learn English speaking could be in your best interest to get acquainted with the language.

Anyways, let’s dive into the difference Between “How Are You?” and “How Are You Doing?”!

How are you doing? vs. How are you?

English can be a bit hard to comprehend in the beginning— figuring out the best way to learn English and how to learn English quickly, in the beginning, can help you understand how you should tackle learning English. You will learn and improve much quicker this way!

So, the different how are you meaning may sound similar, but the two phrases do contain some minor differences that play a big role when using them.

“How are you?” Is a more personal question, you are asking what their personal condition is, are they healthy? Are they happy? and so on. The phrase is also a lot more formal one of the two, you can use this when greeting your boss or co-workers before or during a meeting— or when meeting someone for the first time. Formal emails usually start with this greeting too.

The phrase “How are you doing?” Is a broader question, you are asking the other what their personal condition is, ie, Are they healthy? Are they happy? But also what’s been going on in their life, how is a certain project going or whatever, what is their environment like. This commonly used phrase is informal and is usually used in casual conversation, or when your waiter/ress wants to know if you need anything when a teacher asks you how you are fairing with a math problem, or when you want to know how someone is doing on their project and so forth.

How to Use “How are you?”

Examples of how to use “How are you?”You, and a group of other students, are waiting for your exam results. To pass the time you decided to strike up some awkward conversation.

  • You: “How are you?”Student: “Depends on the results, and you?”
  • You: “Oh, I’m fine.”

You approach the receptionist at the dentist.

  • You: “Hi, how are you?
  • Receptionist: “I’m well. How can I help you today?”

You greet a co-worker before a meeting.

  • You: “How are you? Are you ready for the meeting?”
  • Co-worker: “Oh, I am rather happy and— what meeting?
Source: tenor

The start of an email to your boss

  • Dear Mr. Bing, How are you? I would like to express my…

You are partaking in a formal event, you greet most people with “How are you?”, their answer gives you something to talk about.

How to Use “How are you doing?”

Examples of how to use “How are you doing?”

You want to strike up a flirty conversation with a pretty lady/lad at the party.

  • You: “Hey, How you doin’?
Source: tenor

Outcomes may vary. Be careful!

Your teacher approaches you while you are battling with a math problem

  • Teacher: “How are you doing?
  • You: “To be honest? I have no idea what I’m doing. Where does the X go?”

You bump into a friend that you haven’t seen in a long time.

  • You: “Hey! How have you been doing?
  • Friend: “Oh hey! I have been great, I recently… “

Your project leader approached your group while you guys are working on your part of the project.

  • Project leader: “How are we doing guys?
  • Teammate: “Well, we managed to finish the first half but…”

You have sent your mom a text message that reads:

How to respond to “How are you doing?”

In addition to the examples under How to Use “How are you doing?”, here are some common ways to respond when someone asks you “How are you doing?”.

You bump into an old friend on your way to the bookstore.

  • Friend: “Hey! It’s been a while, how are you doing?
  • You: I’m fine, thank you. How are you?/How have you been doing?”

Your favorite co-worker stopped by your office for a little chat and coffee.

  • Co-worker: “Work has been piling up, how are you doing?
  • You: “I’m so tired from all this work, otherwise, I’m doing well.”

The same co-worker visited you again the next day for some idle chatter.

  • Co-worker: “Man. I hope things have calmed down. How are you doing?
  • You: “Things can’t be worse than yesterday!”

Your mom walked into your room to see if you are studying

  • Mom: “How are you doing?
  • You: “Studying hard for those exams! The material seems easy so far..”

Your sibling decided to visit you at your barista job

  • Sibling: “Hey! How are you doing? I hope the new job is going well?”
  • You: “It’s been a long day so far. How are you doing?”

More Ways to Say How are you doing

Examples of different phrases that mean “How are you doing?” with examples of how to use them:

“How are you doing today?”

You bump into your co-worker during lunch.

  • You: “Hey. How are you doing today?”
  • Co-worker: “Been pretty slow today, it’s rather suspicious..”

“Hey (NAME), what’s up?”

You met up with your best friend at a coffee shop.

  • You: “Hey Phoebe, what’s up?”
  • Phoebe: “Hiya! Nothing much, my guitar string broke again..”

“Hi. I hope you’ve been well.”

You call your sibling to ask about something.

  • You: “Hi. I hope you’ve been well. I would just like to know if…”
Source: Created with Canva.

Soon you’ll become your very own Joey!

When starting your English learning journey, it’s crucial to start practicing, no matter how small. Simple greetings are a useful topic to start practicing English!

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