Want to avoid awkward conversations with native English speakers?
Then it’s time to make sure you know how to react when someone asks “How are you?”
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Don’t you just tell people how you feel?
Most English students will answer “How are you today?” with a simple “Fine!” or “I’m good.”
If these answers were given by native English speakers in everyday situations, there might be some interesting reactions. Some friends might ask you “What’s wrong?” if you say that you’re fine.
But what’s wrong with “fine”, you might wonder?
The question “How are you?” depends on who asked you the question...
What different groups of people are there that might ask you this question?
Acquaintances are people that you know but don’t know very well. This could be someone you’ve met just once or twice, perhaps a friend of a friend, an old classmate that you were never really friends with, or a man who works at the local grocery store.
People that you don’t know or have never met before are called “strangers.” A stranger could be the cashier (the person working at the check-out counter) of a supermarket, the receptionist at an office, or someone sitting next to you on the bus.
Friends and family.
When talking with your friends, parents, or siblings (brothers and sisters), it’s okay to tell them how you really feel. Maybe you’ll answer “I’m fine” with a sigh at first, and then your friend will ask you “What’s wrong?” Then you can tell him or her exactly what’s bothering you.