Beginner Phrases For Conversation In English Part 3

Lesson summary

In part three of this beginner English course, you will learn about the phrase 'how are you', how to answer this phrase and common mistakes.

Video transcript

Hi everyone and welcome to part three of this beginner English phrases for conversation series. If you haven’t seen the first two parts, check out the playlist up here or you can find the link in the description below. Alright, let’s talk about today’s phrase.

 

Today’s phrase is ‘How are you?’ How are you? This is the most basic phrase that you can use to start a conversation with anyone at anytime. When we use the phrase ‘How are you’, we’re not really interested in how that person is. We’re not really interested if they are sad, happy, excited or bored. We just use this phrase to start a conversation.

 

Some different ways to say ‘How are you’ are ‘How’s it going?’ How are you going? How are you doing?

 

If someone asks you ‘How are you’, what can you say back to them? Well you’ve probably heard the answer ‘I am fine thank you and you’, but this is textbook English. Most native English speakers never use this phrase. There are hundreds of different ways you can answer the question ‘How are you’ but some common answers are ‘I’m good, thanks.’ I’m not bad, thanks. Or if it’s a more formal situation, you can say ‘I’m well, thanks.’

 

If you want to ask someone how they are back, just add one of these three phrases at the end of your sentence. You? Yourself? How about you? You? Yourself? How about you? So if you asked me ‘How are you’, I could say ‘I’m good, thanks. You?’ I’m good, thanks. Yourself? I’m good, thanks. How about you?

 

Now let’s talk about some common mistakes that students make with this phrase. The most common mistake is when students answer the question ‘How are you’ by saying ‘I am fine thank you and you?’ This sentence is grammatically correct. It makes sense. But it is not natural. Most native speakers never ever use this phrase. So if you want to sound like a native English speaker, when you answer ‘How are you’, we recommend that you don’t say ‘I am fine thank you and you.’

 

Another common mistake is students using the wrong tone when they are asking someone how they are back. For example, many students say ‘I’m good thanks, you.’ Their tone goes down. You need to say ‘I’m good thanks, you?’ I’m good thanks, you?’ You need to use a rising intonation. The pitch or the sound should go up. I’m good thanks, you?

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