Even native speakers find the phrases “How are you doing?” and “How are you?” confusing. However, although they have the same meaning, they’re used differently.
In this article, we’ll help you understand the topic. Later on, we’ll take a look at the differences between the phrases, some examples, and synonyms.
What Is The Difference Between “How Are You Doing” And “How Are You”?
“How are you doing?” is used when the speaker wants to check up on another person’s situation. Usually, this is for friends. On the other hand, “How are you?” is a more formal expression, which can be used as a simple greeting to people you’re not that close with.
When you ask someone about how they are doing, usually, you’re expecting a vast answer. It can be about their experiences in career, school, and relationships.
In addition, the former is considered a casual expression. Therefore, you should only use this if you’re close enough with the person you’re talking to.
“How are you doing?” is also often used when the speaker has initial knowledge that the subject is or was in a tough time.
On the flip side, the latter expects a brief answer. The person you’re talking to can simply return the greeting or give a brief statement like “I’m fine”.
“How are you?” usually arises in professional or new settings. It can be from a boss to an employer or the speaker to a newly-met acquaintance.
Moreover, this can also be a way to know the gist of how someone is feeling at the moment.
All in all, you say the former if you’re talking to a close friend or acquaintance. In contrast, because the latter is more of a formal way, it’s best said to people that you’re not that close with.
7 Examples Of How To Use “How Are You Doing” In A Sentence
Here are some examples of how you can use “How are you doing?” in a sentence:
- I heard you were in a slump. How are you doing?
- The event’s going to start in a few minutes, how are you doing?
- How are you doing? You look better compared to the last time we saw each other.
- I know things have been tough. How are you doing? Can you cope well?
- Are you comfortable with talking now? How are you doing?
- I found out you moved to a new place. How are you doing?
- How are you doing? Did you make amends with your friend?
As you can see, the sentences are usually the ones we say to our friends. All the ones above are also asking for details rather than a polite response.
7 Examples Of How To Use “How Are You” In A Sentence
Moving on, here are some sentences on when you can use “How are you?” in a conversation:
- I’m a new employee in this company. How are you?
- We have lovely weather today. How are you?
- How are you? I’m your neighbor.
- How are you? I’m looking forward to today’s presentation.
- Hi. How are you?
- I remember you from our last meeting. How are you?
- Nice to meet you, how are you?
Compared to the former phrase, “How are you?” is more of a formality. Hence, you can only expect a brief response.
The said question is also reserved for distant people.
How Should You Answer to “How Are You Doing” Professionally?
Sometimes, people with higher authority, like a superior officer or your boss, can use “How are you doing?”. When this happens, you can’t open up about everything that’s going on in your life.
Instead, you need to be professional with your response. This applies no matter if it’s verbal or written.
To do this, you can simply say, “I’m doing well, thanks. How about you?”. Alternatively, you can talk briefly about a work-related project that you’re doing.
It is also the same when writing a written response through emails or messages.
The main things to remember are: don’t talk about anything personal and don’t overshare. Keep it short yet positive.
Another thing, you can also return the question for a more polite answer.
You might also like: 6 best ways to answer the question “How are you?”
“How Are You Doing” – Synonyms
Here are some phrases that you can use instead of “How are you doing?”:
- What have you been up to?
- How have you been?
- What’s new?
- What’s going on?
- How has life been?
- How’s everything?
For a brief overview, you can use any of these to ask how a person has been. In addition, they can be used according to what emotion you want to convey.
For instance, “What’s going on?” shows more of a worrying statement. “Wassup?”, on the other hand, is a slang word that can show a more fun way of checking in on close friends.
Note that all these expressions are informal. Meaning, you should avoid using them in professional situations.
“How Are You” – Synonyms
For the synonyms of “How are you?”, you can refer to the following list:
- How do you do?
- Are you doing well?
- How’s it going?
- How’s it hanging?
- Are you good?
- What’s up?
Most of these phrases are formal. You can use them in any kind of setting, may it be for work, school, or formal gatherings.
You might also like: How Are You Holding Up? Learn How To Use The Phrase
Is “How Are You Doing” Slang?
“How are you doing?” in itself is not slang. In fact, it is interchangeable with “How are you?” for formal settings.
Although the said phrase is better used on close friends and acquaintances, it can also be an alternative for “How are you?”. You can also use it as a greeting.
When you use it for a formal purpose, though, don’t expect a deep and detailed answer. This is most especially if you’re not that close with the person you’re talking to.
If you want a slang word for “How are you doing?”, you can use “Wassup?” or “Whatchu up to?”.
“How are you doing?” is a more casual way of checking in on someone. “How are you?”, on the other hand, comes off as a more formal greeting.
Usually, the former is used when the speaker aims to start a conversation. Here, you’re expecting a more detailed response on what is going in their life.
For the latter, a simple “Fine, thanks” or “I’m good” will be enough. It is also a general question to know someone’s health or feelings.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.