Skip to Content

The 23 Best Ways to Respond to “How is it going”

The 23 Best Ways to Respond to “How is it going”

Sharing is caring!

One of the most common ways we humans greet each other is by asking “How’s it going?”

We say this no matter how well we know a person, and sometimes it is a “safe” icebreaker for people who are acquaintances rather than close friends.

You might not be aware that there are multiple ways to respond when asked “How’s it going?”

However, this familiar way of greeting someone can be answered in multiple ways.


“1. I’m (doing) well.”

1. I'm (doing) well

As of late, this is becoming the most common way to answer “How’s it going?” Some variations might be “I am well” or “I am well; thank you.

Although people think this sounds like proper English, “I am well” is actually grammatically incorrect.

Why? Isn’t “well” better than the typical alternative of “good”? If you go by grammar rules, you’ll understand why it’s not.

“Well” is an adverb. That means that the word follows a verb and it describes a verb. Look at the sentence “I am well.”

“Am” is the verb, and it is a linking verb (notice that “am” does not show action). Nevertheless, many people respond to the question “How’s it going?’ with “I am well.”


2. “(I am) Good.”

2.(I am) Good

There are quite a few people who will answer the question “How’s it going?” with an enthusiastic and succinct “Good!” You might be surprised to find that this is actually the most formal way to respond to the greeting!

Again, look to grammar rules for the answer. “Good” is an adjective, which means that it describes a person, place or thing. Note many people leave of the “I am” before saying “good.”

The word “good” is describing the subject, which is “I” (the speaker). The speaker is a person, so grammatical rules are being followed correctly.

Although many educated people might second guess your answer, “I am good” is the most formal way to answer “How’s it going?”


3. “Fine.”


Fine can mean many things. The dictionary tells us that “fine” can mean “of high quality.” A more informal meaning is “very well” or “satisfactory.”

The connotation of “fine” is often “good, but could be better.” When responding to “How’s it going?” with “Fine,” one might provide this answer because he or she doesn’t want to go into detail regarding how a day is playing out.

This is a fairly common, informal way to respond to “How’s it going?”


4. “Okay.”


Much like the response of “fine,” replying “okay” when asked how things are going is often way of politely responding without giving much detail regarding the actual events of the day.

Some variations of this response include “It’s okay” or “I’m okay.”

You might also add “How’s it going for you?” This can assist you if you want to get past the initial greeting and shy away from any real details of the day.


5. “Just fine, thank you.”

5.Just fine, thank you

This is a grammatically correct and polite way to respond to “How’s it going?” You might use this response when you want to make an impression, such as when at a job interview or meeting your child’s teacher.

It is succinct, respectful, and does not offer unnecessary details.


6. “Not great.”

6.Not great

This is an informal way to respond to “How’s it going?” It is also likely not a way you truly want to reply to the question, particularly if you don’t know the person posing the question very well.

Remember that the question “How’s it going?” is basically a greeting. Social norms dictate that we give a short, fairly positive answer.

Unless you know the acquaintance fairly well, you’ll generally want to avoid the “Not great” response.


7. Not bad, but the day is young!

7. Not bad, but the day is young!

This is a humorous response that should be used before lunch. To respond with a little humor such as this is actually a great icebreaker when making conversation, and it adds a little lightheartedness to the discussion.

You may use this informal response with co-workers, or even when picking up your morning joe at the coffee shop.


8. “It could be worse!”

8.It could be worse!

Again, this informal way of responding to “How’s it going?” is somewhat lighthearted, or depending on your personality, could be a tad sarcastic.

You can use this response with a close friend or an acquaintance.

One scenario for this response that comes to mind is a patient in an emergency room upon being greeted by the doctor: “How’s it going? I see you’re going to need a few stitches.” (Patient response) “Well, it could be worse!”

This response can be used to bring a little humor on a day when things truly are not going very well!


9. “Not bad. You?”

9.Not bad. You

This is a way of politely responding to “How’s it going?” without giving too many details about your day, and it puts the onus for carrying on a conversation back on the original speaker.

You might use this informal response when you don’t know the speaker well, or if you want to be polite but simply don’t feel like carrying on much conversation.


10. “I’m blessed!”

10.I'm blessed!

Although you’ll probably hear this response in the South more than any other locale in the United States, one unique – and formal – way to respond to “How’s it going?” is to say “I’m blessed!”

This is a positive response, and it typically prompts more conversation.

The Best Ways to Respond to How is it going


“How’s it going?” — The informal cousin of “How is it going”

Have you ever wondered why some people ask, “how is it going?” while others ask, “how’s it going?” 

Ultimately, “how’s it going?” means pretty much the same thing as “how is it going?” 

Apostrophes have two purposes in English. The first is to indicate possession, while the second, which is the purpose relevant here, is to create contractions. 

What’s a contraction, you ask? A contraction is a word that combines two (and sometimes more) words that are generally spoken together and spells them sound how they sound when we use them in conversation. 

For example, “would not” generally becomes “wouldn’t” when we say it out loud.

The apostrophe helps create the contraction by abbreviating words and indicating the place where letters and/or spaces have been removed. 

Make sure you nail down the use of these different forms, since an incorrect use of apostrophes is often one of people’s top grammar pet peeves

I mean, just think of the confusion caused by working out the meaning of “everyone’s,” “everyones’,” and “everyones.”

Contractions generally follow the same grammatical rules in terms of sentence structure as the words they are composed of. For example, we would say both: 

How is it going at work? 


How’s it going at work? 

In this case, the apostrophe in “how’s it going?” stands in for the space and the missing ‘I’ in “how is.”

All of the grammatical consideration aside, “how’s it going?” is a more informal way of asking someone, “how is it going?” 

If someone asks you, “how is it going?” you may want to reply using relatively formal language.  If someone asks you, “how’s it going?” you can take it as a sign that you can respond informally. 

You might be wondering what an informal response to “How’s it going?” would look like. After all, the question itself, in whatever form, is fairly informal. 

A more formal alternative might be, “How are you doing?” or “Are you well?” 

This means that you don’t need to worry too much about coming across as unprofessional if you provide a casual response to either “How’s it going?” or “How is it going?” 

Still wondering how to strike the right tone when responding to this question? Here are a few suggestions. 


Superb replies to “How’s it going?” 

When responding to “How’s it going?”, the first thing you should do is pause and ask yourself how things have been for you recently.

How are you feeling? Have you had more positive or more negative experiences over the course of the last week? 

It is important that, whatever way you choose to answer, your words represent your reality. There’s no point in telling someone you’re on top of the world if you aren’t. 

That said, if you’re having a really tough time, you probably shouldn’t bare your soul to someone just because they’ve asked how it’s going. 

So even though it sounds like a simple question, responding to “How’s it going?” requires a bit of diplomacy. 

Each of the following answers uses an easy-going, informal tone of voice that is perfectly suited to the casual question, “How’s it going?” 


11. I can’t complain.

This versatile response has several meanings. First, it can be used to mean what it says, namely, that there is nothing wrong enough to be worthy of complaining about. 

The second meaning is lightly ironic, and it is generally used when things are going fabulously.

For example, if someone asks “how’s it going?” and you are on a sunny beach in the Bahamas, you could send a picture of your current view with the caption, “I can’t complain.” 

This second, humorous approach is a humblebrag. It takes its humor from the fact that you actually more than can’t complain. Not only is nothing wrong, everything is great. 


12. Not too shabbily. 

This is essentially a variation on “not too badly,” which is one of the most common responses to the question, “how is it going?”

Language is constantly evolving. To stay on the cutting edge of slang, you have to experiment by using different forms of certain words. Using unusual words makes text messages and verbal responses interesting. 

Saying “shabbily” instead of “badly” is a great way to make a standard response quirkier. 


13. Swimmingly!

Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s going swimmingly”? The phrase basically means that everything is going well and that you haven’t encountered any problems. 

If something is swimming downstream, for example, it is moving smoothly and at a consistent pace, without encountering any real friction. 

Responding to “How’s it going?” with “Swimmingly!” is a cute way to add a bit of fun to any text exchange. 


14. For the first time in a while, I can honestly say it’s going great!

If, upon reflection, you feel everything is going really (and unusually) well for you, you can say that “for the first time in a while” you’re doing really well. 

Adding the phrase “I can honestly say” gives the whole thing an extra layer of sincerity.  


15. It’s going brilliantly, thanks! How’s it going for you? 

There’s no need to play it down if things are going really well. After all, we all go through ups and downs, and it’s always worthwhile celebrating the highs while we’re experiencing them. 

Saying, “It’s going brilliantly” is a wonderfully positive response to “how’s it going?”

Hopefully it will inspire the person you’re corresponding with to feel more positive about their own circumstances too. 

Always make sure that you thank the person asking you how you are and that you ask them how things are going for them in return. After all, that’s just good manners. 


16. It’s been a while since someone asked me that; thanks for being so caring. I’m good…how are you? 

If you are genuinely moved that someone has reached out to ask you how it’s going, you can let them know how much the question means to you. 

After all, there are multiple mental health initiatives, including R U OK? Day in Australia, that encourage us to check in on our friends.

You never know how much a simple text message can mean to someone who is struggling. 

If you’ve been having a tough time yourself, let your friend know how much their concern has touched you.  


17. I’ve had a fantastic day so far: gym session, a perfect coffee, a productive morning at work…you? 

You don’t necessarily have to be a gym nut, coffee enthusiast, or even enjoy productive mornings at work to use this response. 

This reply to “How’s it going?” is extremely versatile and can be adapted to fit the day you’ve had. 

If you’ve had a lazy Sunday in bed, for example, you can change it to, “I’ve had a fantastic day so far: I’ve done absolutely nothing productive…it’s been so relaxing.” 


18. So–so, to be honest. 

When something is only “so–so,” it means it has been a bit “meh.” Basically, if things are going “so–so,” they aren’t awful, but they aren’t awesome either. 

And let’s face it, a lot of life is “so–so.” So again, if this sounds like an accurate description of how things are currently going for you, feel free to express it. 


19. Better now that I’m talking to you!

This cute reply to someone asking you how it’s going takes their question about your current state and turns it into an expression of care for the asker. 

If you’re chatting to someone you’re dating, this is a super sweet response to them checking in on you.

You’re basically putting them in the position of responding to an “I have a crush on you” text…just in a less obvious way.


20. I’m as busy as ever; but everything is going well. How are you? 

If you almost don’t know how to respond to a question because the last weeks of your life have been a total blur, you can answer by saying you’ve been busy. 

However, don’t just leave it at that! If someone asks you how it’s going and you simply reply, “busy,” they may assume you don’t really want to talk to them. 

Make sure you add that everything is going well and ask how the other person is doing.  


21. I’ve been up and down recently, but I’m feeling okay now. What about you? 

Sometimes honesty requires us to dampen the mood a little. You may not want to have to talk about feeling low, but in the interest of giving a truthful account of how it’s going, you should. 

That said, you don’t have to dwell in the doldrums of your low mood.

Simply mention that you have been up and down and then provide an update on how you are now. 

Make sure you ask the person you’re speaking to about how they’re doing too. 


22. I’m decent. How has your week been? 

If you’re neither great nor terrible, you can respond with the straightforward but cool, “I’m decent.” 

Decent means, “of an acceptable standard.” It is usually used to refer to products or weather but is rarely used to describe how things are going for a person. 

This slightly unusual usage of a familiar word is attention-grabbing. Too often, people ask “How’s it going?” habitually, without really thinking about what the question means. 

By giving an unusual answer, you’re making sure the asker thinks twice about what they’ve asked and engages with your response. 


23. It would be going better if you were here with me!

If you’ve been enjoying getting to know someone, you can respond to “how’s it going?” with this cute message. 

No one doesn’t like thinking of ways to respond to “I miss you,” which is essentially what you’re saying. 


As a bonus, we will now also have a look at how to best respond to the closely related question “How are you?.”

However, as the regular replies to “How are you” are obviously looking pretty similar to replies to “How is it going” and “How’s it going,” we are going to focus on funny responses to “How are you” instead.

Get ready for some creative responses!


10 funny responses to “How are you?”

Of all the conversation starters in the English language, “How are you?” is probably the most commonly used. 

Because of how frequently people ask each other this question, it has become so routine that we don’t always pay attention to one another’s responses. 

If you want to light a fire under your conversation and make the person checking in on you chuckle, you can respond using one of these ten funny replies. 


What’s it to you?

This faux-irritated response is funny because it is answers the innocent and well-meaning question, “How are you?” by becoming falsely defensive. 

The implication of the phrase “what’s it to you?” is that the person inquiring about how you are is asking something that is none of their business. 

The person who has asked how you are will be taken aback for a split second before they realize you are joking. 


A: Hey there, how are you? 
B: What’s it to you? 


It’s going…

This funny response to “How are you?” is a way to avoid answering the question. 

What this answer means is that things aren’t going well, but they are going. In other words, time is passing. 

Responding with a statement of fact about how time works, rather than saying how you are is a funny way to say, “It’s not going great, but I don’t really want to talk about it.”


A: Hi!
B: Hey!
A: How’s it going?
B: Well…it’s going…


Do you want the long answer or the short one? 

Because of how flippantly and unthinkingly many people ask each other “how are you?”, you can’t assume the person you’re talking to genuinely wants to discuss how you are. 

Jokingly asking whether someone wants the long answer or the short one is actually an answer in itself.

By letting the person you’re speaking to know that there is a long answer, you’re telling them that there is quite a lot going on for you at the moment. 

This response is funny because it makes light of the fact that often, people who ask, “how are you?” aren’t really interested in the answer. 


A: Hey, I haven’t seen you in ages!
B: I know, right?
A: How are you? 
B: Do you want the long answer or the short one? 


Oh gosh…do you really want to know?

If things have been tumultuous or hectic for you recently, you can respond to “How are you?” by asking someone whether they really want to know. 

The implication is that they will be opening a can of worms if they ask you to go into detail. 


A: So, tell me: how are you? 
B: Oh gosh…do you really want to know?


Well, it’s almost Friday, so things are looking up!

Joking about the fact that things are okay because you have almost reached the end of another working week is funny because it is highly relatable. 

No one is unfamiliar with that Thursday evening/Friday morning feeling when you start letting yourself look forward to the two free days ahead. 


A: What a coincidence running into you here, I didn’t know you lived in Ridgemount. How are you? 
B: Well, it’s almost Friday, so things are looking up! How are you? 


I haven’t sat down yet today…but I’ll sleep when I die!

If you’ve been running around like a headless chicken, you can let the person you’re talking to know just how busy you are by saying that you haven’t even sat down yet today. 


A: You look a bit stressed. How are you? Is everything okay?
B: I haven’t sat down yet today…but I’ll sleep when I die. 


Well…I am, therefore, I am. 

The French philosopher Rene Descartes famously said, “I think, therefore I am.” Without getting too metaphysical, this means that having thoughts is evidence of existing. 

You can turn this phrase on its head with a joke about how you are, or, how you exist

This reply is essentially the same thing as responding to “how’s it going?” with, “it’s going.” The idea is that you aren’t doing that well, so you’re reverting to a statement of fact instead of talking about your feelings. 


A: Hey dude, haven’t seen you in a while. How are you?
B: Well…I am, therefore, I am. 


I’m trying to drink less caffeine, so…struggling to keep my eyes open.

The best replies to “How are you?” are the unexpected ones. 

People generally expect you to say, “fine, thanks” or, “I’m well, thanks,” when they ask how you are. Throw a curveball by giving them a very specific and far more interesting answer about your life. 

Nothing is funnier than the element of surprise. Plus, giving someone a real answer about your life with some entertaining detail thrown in will surely make them want to keep the conversation going. 


A: Hey, hope you had a good weekend. How are you?
B: Hey! Well, I’m trying to drink less caffeine, so…struggling to keep my eyes open. 


Let’s just say, I’m managing. 

If things have been really tough for you recently, but you prefer to use humor to deflect from what’s really going on, you can use this funny reply to “How are you?”

The person you’re talking to will get the hint. Hopefully, they’ll be able to both appreciate your humor and provide you with a shoulder to lean on. 


A: Hey, haven’t seen you online in a while!
B: Hey! I know, I’ve been so busy.
A: How are you?
B: Let’s just say, I’m managing. 


I’m still in one piece, so that’s positive.

Self-deprecating jokes are always a good way to get a laugh out of the people around us. 

Joking that you can’t complain because you are still in one piece gives the impression that you have pretty low standards for what constitutes “positive.” 

This answer will give the person you’re talking to a good chuckle, but they’ll also recognize that you might be needing a bit of support right now. 


Now, before we wrap this article up, let us also have a look at 2 more commonly asked questions that are very similar to “How is it going” but are a bit more nuanced after all (see the next two sections)


How to reply to “How’s everything going?”

This broad question focuses on how the things you have going on in your life are progressing. Answer by giving an overview of the things going on in your life. For example, you could say:

  • “Work and family life are great. And things are finally progressing with the house!”
  • “Generally, very good. How are things with you?”
  • “Superb. And the weather is just an added bonus.” 


The best replies to “How is life going?”

This question is commonly asked by someone whom you used to see regularly and don’t anymore. Here are some great replies to “How is life going?”:

  • “Things have been going well since I last saw you!”
  • “Great, actually! How are you?”
  • “Too quickly for my liking!” 
  • “I’m still getting by…somehow or other.”
  • “Really good. We need to catch up properly soon!”


Final thoughts

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to respond to the question “How is it going?” and its related variants.

Some are grammatically correct and formal in structure; others are very informal (and even horrible usage of grammar!)

Keep in mind – most times when people ask “How is it going?” they are simply greeting you.

Keep your answers short and sweet; you might even try a little humor in your response!