Feel comfortable answering the question “How are you?” in English conversation. This video gives you several options for answering, and teaches you how to use the right answer depending on your mood.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over responses to the phrase “How are you?”
This is one of the most common questions you’ll get asked when meeting someone or running into someone you know. If English isn’t your first language, it can be hard to quickly come up with an answer. In this video, we’ll go over the various ways you can answer this question.
The most common response is ‘good’. Let’s look at some examples.
– Hey Rachel! How are you?
– Hey Aaron!
– Hey! How are you doing?
– Good! How are you?
Good. If you just want a simple, quick answer, this is the best. It’s positive, and it moves you ahead in conversation. If you want to remember just one response, let it be ‘good’.
– How are you?
– Where do you want to eat?
Or whatever. Ready to move on to the next topic after the exchange of “How are you?” “Good.”
Good – make the G consonant with the back of the tongue touching the soft palate. Goo-. Then the UH as in PUSH vowel. The lips flare a bit for this, and the jaw drops some. The tongue lifts in the back and the tip will pull back just a little bit so it’s not quite all the way forward. Good.
What do you notice about the D? Good. I don’t release it, Good, dd, dd. But I stopped the air and I don’t release it, good. This is the most natural way to pronounce the final letter D. You put your tongue up into position for the D, you voice your vocal cords, dd, dd, dd, and that’s it. Good. You can also say, “I’m good,” but just plain “good” is more common.
You can also answer “How are you?” with the word ‘fine’. This is less positive than ‘good’. It sort of means ‘average’. You’re not great, you’re not terrible. You’re fine. Begin with the F consonant, bottom lip to the bottom of the top front teeth. Fi-. Next is the AI diphthong, do drop your jaw for the beginning, fi-, then relax your jaw back up as the top front of the tongue stretches towards the roof of the mouth. fine. Now the tongue just has to flip up to the roof of the mouth. It should stay really wide and flat so it can be relaxed in the back. Fine, fine. Or, I’m fine.
– How are you?
You can also say, “great!” or “I’m great!” This is, as you might have guessed, a more positive answer, and you might follow it up with the reason that things are great.
– I’m great! I just finished a big project that was stressing me out.
Great! It starts with the GR consonant cluster, gr. Your lips can start to circle in for the R at the beginning of this word, it won’t affect the G sound, gr-. For the G, the back of the tongue stretches up to the soft palate.
For the R sound, the front part of the tongue quickly pulls back and up as the back part releases.
You can see the lips circle in. Gr-. Grea-. Now we have the AY as in SAY diphthong. Make sure you drop your jaw – grea-. Great! Ok, what’s happening? What’s happened to the T? Like D, the T is a stop consonant. We usually don’t say the ending, the release, when it’s at the end of a sentence. Great, great. Just stop the air. You can move your tongue into position for the T, but don’t release it. Great! This stop makes the word abrupt and flatter. Great. That makes it different from ‘grey’, which has a rounder shape and no abrupt stop. The abrupt stop makes the T. Great.
If you’re not doing great and you don’t want to talk about it, you can say ‘fine’. But if you do want to talk about it, then you can say ‘not good’ or ‘not so good’.
– Hey Rachel, how are you?
– Not so good. I’m stressed about work.
Not good. Or, not so good. What do you notice about the T in NOT? It’s a Stop T, just like ‘great!’. I just listened to about 10 video clips with this phrase on the web, and they all have that stop T. Not-, not-. So you begin to say ‘not’, and you cut yourself off. Cut off the air in your throat. Not-, not-. Not good. Not so good. You don’t even need to move your tongue into position for the T. You can just stop the air. Why is the T pronounced this way? It’s not at the end of a sentence. No. It’s pronounced that way because the next sound is a consonant, [s] in ‘not so good’ and [g] in ‘not good’.
Listen to Jen say ‘not good’ in this example.
– How are you guys doing today?
– Good. How are you?
– Not good.
– Hey Rachel! How are you?
– Not so good.
So there you have four different ways to answer the question “how are you?” ‘Good’ is the typical, positive answer. You don’t need to say more. ‘Fine’ is a little less positive, but again, that’s usually all you have to say. You usually don’t elaborate. ‘Great!’ means you’re better than normal, and you might want to say why. ‘Not good’ or ‘not so good’ is of course negative, and you’ll want to elaborate and say why things are not so good.
Note: If someone asks you this, you usually give the answer and then return the question: Good, how are you?
How are you? How am I pronouncing ‘are’ in that sentence? I’m reducing it. Err. Howerr– Check out the video on reducing ‘are’. Also, be sure to see this video on greeting Americans and how to pronounce ‘how are you’. Go ahead and click one to watch it now! Links are also in the video description below.
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