11 Best Answers To “What Are You Up To?”

The question “what are you up to” is a simple one for people to ask. It might sound like they’re actually asking about your intentions or activities, but it’s usually more synonymous with “how are you.” This article will explore some good answers you can use for the phrase.

What Should I Answer To “What Are You Up To”?

We can use “what are you up to” both formally and informally. In some cases, “whatcha up to” is the more informal (and slang) phrase. Either way, these responses work well:

  • Nothing much
  • Nothing new
  • I’m just doing (activity)
  • I’m (verb) (activity)
  • Nothing!
  • None of your business
  • Not much. What about you?
  • This and that
  • A couple of things
  • I was doing something, but I’m not now
  • Stuff
Best Answers To “What Are You Up To”

The preferred response is “nothing much.” It’s good to show that you’re not doing anything interesting when asked. We can use this to show that if someone has an idea for something else to do, they can offer it to us now they know we are doing “nothing much.”

Nothing Much

“Nothing much” is one of the most common responses to this question. Native speakers are often very modest with the things they’re doing, so they’ll say “Nothing much” when they don’t think they have anything interesting to talk about.

Of course, this might not always be the case. If you notice that someone is doing something that interests you, they might still reply “nothing much” because they’re not sure what else to say.

It might be a good idea to pry more (if you like the person), as it could help you to learn more about them and their interests.

Be careful prying too much, though. Sometimes, “Nothing much” is a sign that someone is not interested in sharing with you or talking to you. It might be better to leave them at that if they use it.

  • What are you up to?
  • Nothing much. I don’t think you’d be very interested in this.
  • What are you up to?
  • Oh, nothing much! Sorry, I didn’t even notice you come in.
  • Whatcha up to?
  • Nothing much! Just checking to see whether I can get any discounts.

Nothing New

“Nothing new” works best when someone might have already asked us, “what are you up to?” “Nothing new” states that there are no “new” things to update the questioner on, as you’re doing the same thing as the last time they asked (or nothing at all).

  • What are you up to, then?
  • Nothing new. I haven’t actually stood up from this spot for a while.
  • What are you up to?
  • Nothing new. Did you want to do anything with me, then?
  • Whatcha up to?
  • Oh, nothing new! Sorry, I’ve just been staring blankly at this wall for hours!

I’m Just Doing (Activity)

“I’m just doing (activity)” is a simple response we can use that includes a few extra points. We can replace “activity” with anything that we are currently taking part in. It works well to be a bit more specific about what’s currently taking up your time.

  • What are you up to right now?
  • I’m just doing some homework. I thought it would be good to catch up on it.
  • What are you up to?
  • I’m just doing what I can for this project. I want it to be perfect.
  • Whatcha up to?
  • I’m just doing a bit of sudoku. Do you fancy doing some with me?

I’m (Verb) (Activity)

“I’m (verb)” shows what we are doing as a response. We can include any verb here that shows what we are taking part in. We can also follow it with any “activity” that might make sense at the time. For example (i.e. “I’m driving my car” or “I’m walking my dog”).

As long as there is a suitable verb and activity combination here, we can use it to answer “what are you up to.”

When people ask this question, they often want to find out what you’re currently doing. This helps them to know whether you’re too busy to talk to them. It might also let them know whether you can spend some time doing stuff with them instead of what you’re currently doing.

  • What are you up to?
  • I’m walking the dog right now. Why? Do you have something for me?
  • What are you up to?
  • I’m shopping at the mall right now. I’ve been kept busy with it all day.
  • What are you up to?
  • I’m browsing online. I don’t have many other plans, though.


“Nothing!” is a defensive statement we can make. It works when someone has caught us doing something we might not be allowed to do. Using only “nothing” in a sentence is a good way to show that you have a guilty conscious.

If you’re doing something that you’re allowed to do, we don’t recommend using “Nothing!” in this way. It’s more of a jokey phrase if you’re using it seriously.

In most cases, we say this when we are caught off-guard and don’t have an appropriate excuse in place for what we’re doing.

  • Excuse me! What are you doing?
  • Nothing! Sorry!
  • Wait, what are you doing over there?
  • Nothing! Nothing!
  • What are you doing? That looks suspicious!
  • Nothing! Just checking out the store!

None Of Your Business

“None of your business” is a very dismissive statement. We only use a phrase like this when we’re not happy with someone prying into what we’re doing. For example, if we don’t like the person and don’t think it’s appropriate for them to ask, this phrase might work well.

If you do like the person asking you, it’s best to avoid this one. It’s very aggressive, and you might end up upsetting them if you’re not careful with this.

  • What are you up to?
  • It’s none of your business. Now, get out of my face.
  • Whatcha up to?
  • None of your business. How did you even get in here?
  • What are you up to?
  • None of your business. I didn’t even want to see you today.

Not Much. What About You?

“Not much. What about you?” is a simple response and question. We can use “not much” to show that we’re not doing anything interesting. Then, flipping the question with “what about you” is a good way to find out what someone else might be doing.

This is good for small talk. It shows that both people are polite enough to find out what the other is doing, even if neither of them is interested in doing something together.

  • What are you up to then?
  • Not much. What about you?
  • What are you up to?
  • Not much. How about you? Have you been keeping busy?
  • What you up to?
  • Not a lot. What about you? Do you have any plans?

This And That

“This and that” is a common response for native speakers when they don’t want to be specific. It works well to show that we have a few things going on, but none of them are important enough to share with whoever is asking the question.

  • Hey man, what are you up to?
  • This and that. Nothing more to it, really.
  • Hey, what are you up to?
  • Oh, you know. This and that. Do you fancy joining me?
  • Whatcha up to, buddy?
  • This and that. I have a few things to get through, though.

A Couple Of Things

“A couple of things” is another way to be non-specific about the things you have to do. You can use this when you want to show that whatever you’re doing is either not important or is not a concern for whoever is asking.

“A couple” usually refers to two things. However, we do not have to follow these numbering rules when referring to informal or spoken English. “A couple of things” could easily apply to two or more things.

  • What are you up to?
  • Just a couple of things. I’m busy right now, though.
  • What are you up to?
  • A couple of things. Would you care to join me?
  • Whatcha up to?
  • You know, a couple of things. I need to get all of this done before the sun sets.

I Was Doing Something, But I’m Not Now

We could explain that we were doing something in the past but not currently. This phrase is good because it shows we were once busy, but we currently have a free schedule.

This might give someone a chance to ask us whether we would like to do anything with them.

  • What are you up to?
  • I was doing some homework, but I’m not now.
  • What are you up to?
  • I was doing some work on a project, but I’m free now.
  • Whatcha up to?
  • I was helping out with the event, but I’m not anymore.


“Stuff” is a very dismissive response. It’s common for teenagers to use responses like this when talking to their parents or superiors. We don’t recommend using this phrase unless you really don’t want to talk to the person asking.

  • What are you up to?
  • Just stuff. That’s all.
  • Whatcha up to?
  • Stuff. Okay?