How are you

How to say "how are you?" in German

Summary

You would like to finally refresh your German language skills and not make any unpleasant mistakes when speaking to Germans? We help you to address "how are you?" correctly in German - and to give the right answer as well. Actually, it's not that difficult: In English, the question "how are you?" is just a way of saying hello, and nobody raises an eyebrow if you don't answer. In German, however, an answer is common. There are many different ways to use "wie geht es dir?" in German. Our tips on this website bring light into the darkness and you can shine in Germany next time.

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Watch Video: "how are you?" in German

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Transcript

Hallo! Na?! Wie geht's? In this lesson you will learn how to say “how you are” in German. So there is a shorter and a longer version of the question. The short version is: "Wie geht's?" - the "wie" means - how. "Geht" comes from "gehen" which means to go or to walk and the “ 's " comes from "es" which means it. To sum it up this means literally: how is it going.  And the longer version is: "Wie geht es dir?" The "dir" means to you. Literally - so how is it going to you? And as an answer you would say. "Gut, und dir?" - Good, and you?

Examples & Rules: How to say "how are you?" in German

How do you say "how are you?" in German

Do you wonder how to ask someone in German how they feel? In this section, you will find examples of how and when to use "wie geht es dir?" and "wie geht's?" We have also listed regional and slang options to ask how you are in German. Would you like to know how to address a person correctly? Just choose the situation and whom you are addressing.

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
Expand
Collapse
Wie geht es dir?
How are you?
expand phrase

This is the informal, singular version of "how are you doing?" and it is used to greet friends, relatives, and younger people. Most people tend to use the short version, which you can find as another example. A specific example is when talking to neighbors: "Hallo Herr Maier, wie geht's?" or if at work, the "du" was discouraged for some reason. To sum up, “Wie geht es dir?” literally means: How is it going to you?

  • Informal
  • One person
Used By
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Friends
person image
Colleagues
person image
Partner
person image
Mood
🙂

Friendly

Sympathetic

Situations

at home, at a party, at work, at a wedding

Wie geht's Ihnen?
How are you doing?
expand phrase

This is the very formal, singular version of "how are you?" The apostrophe in "geht es" to "geht’s" is used optional. You use this question in formal contexts when you have a small talk with your boss, or when you are talking to someone unknown.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Teacher
person image
Boss
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Friendly

Professional

Situations

at work, at school, with colleagues

Wie geht es euch?
How are you?
expand phrase

If you address more than one person informally, you use the informal form "Wie geht es euch?" Here, you address known groups of two or more people, especially if you address the people with "du", even at work if the "du" was discouraged for some reason.

  • Informal
  • Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
person image
Mood
😀

Happy

Friendly

Situations

with friends, at home, at a party

Wie geht es Ihnen?
How are you doing?
expand phrase

The question "Wie geht es Ihnen?" is mostly used in a formal context. If you address more than one person formally, you use the formal form "Ihnen". This includes situations at work or between the teacher and student, but also the questions asked during a first meeting.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Teacher
person image
Boss
person image
Eldery people
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at home, at work, on the phone, at the office, at school, with colleagues

Wie geht es Ihnen allen?
How are you all doing?
expand phrase

The question "wie geht es Ihnen allen?" is mostly used in a formal context. If you address more than one person formally, you use the formal form "Ihnen". This includes situations at work or between the teacher and student, but also the questions asked during a first meeting.

  • Formal
  • Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Teacher
person image
Boss
person image
Elderly people
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at home, at work, on the phone, at the office, at school, with colleagues

Wie geht's?
How are you?
expand phrase

This is the short version of "how are you?" and it is used to greet friends, relatives, and younger people. Other situations are talks with the neighbors: "Frau Müller, wie geht's?" or if at work if the "du" was discouraged for some reason: "Hallo. Wie geht's?” The short version is: "Wie geht's?" In this case, the "wie" means “how”, "geht" comes from "gehen", which means to go or to walk, and the “‘s" comes from "es", which means it.

  • Informal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Family
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
🙂

Friendly

Energetic

Situations

at home, at a party, at work, at a wedding

Na? Was geht?
Hey? What's up?
expand phrase

"Na?! Was geht?" is a question used by hip people and is considered very colloquial. Literally, it means, "Well? What’s up?" "Na" as a word is almost meaningless: it is the way you pronounce it that gives it meaning. By itself, "Na?" means something like, "Huh?" or "Well?".

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
person image
Young people
person image
Friends
person image
person image
Mood
😄

Happy  

Cheerful

Situations

at school, with friends, at a party

Wie schaut's aus?
What's up?
expand phrase

"Wie schaut's aus?" is a question that is used by young and elderly people or is considered very colloquial. It means, "How does it look?" You would use these questions if you are not that interested in the person's feelings, but more in what they are doing.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Family
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
🤔

Curious

Flirty

Situations

at a party, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends

Wie ist die Lage?
How is it going?
expand phrase

"Wie ist die Lage?" is an informal question used by young people or people from the working class, and is considered very colloquial. Literally, it means: "What is the situation?"

  • Informal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Family
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😁

Funny

Optimistic

Situations

at a party, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends

How to answer "how are you?" in German

Here, you will find examples of how to answer "wie geht es dir?" We have listed options like "Mir geht es gut" or "Alles gut" to show you the difference. Would you like to know how to address a person correctly, just choose between the situation and addressing.

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
Expand
Collapse
Mir geht es gut.
I'm fine.
expand phrase

This is the informal, singular version of answering "Wie geht's?" and it is used to greet friends, relatives, and younger people. Other situations are talks with neighbors, or if at work, the "du" was discouraged for some reason.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😄

Happy

Joyful

Situations

at a party, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends

Danke der Nachfrage. Mir geht es gut.
Thanks for asking. I'm doing well.
expand phrase

To answer in a formal context you can use the phrase "Danke der Nachfrage. Mir geht es gut.". This includes situations at work or between the teacher and student, but also in response to the questions asked during a first meeting. Danke der Nachfrage (Thanks for asking.) is a very polite addition to the statement that you are doing well.

  • Formal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Boss
person image
Eldery People
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Thankful

Situations

at the office, at work, at home

Gut, vielen Dank. Und Ihnen?
All good, thank you very much. And you?
expand phrase

This is the very formal, plural version to answer "how are you?" You use this answer in formal contexts when you have a small talk with your boss, or when you are talking to someone unknown.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Eldery people
person image
Teacher
person image
Boss
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at work, at school, with colleagues

Gut, und wie geht es Euch?
Good, and how are you?
expand phrase

If you answer more than one person informally, you can use this phrase. Here you are talking to people you know, especially if you address the people with "du", even at work if the "du" was discouraged for some reason.

  • Informal
  • Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😁

Friendly

Interested

Situations

at work, at school, at home

Schlecht.
Bad.
expand phrase

If you are not well, you can answer with a simple "schlecht". That means you are not well at all. In a conversation with strangers, you would not use the answer "schlecht".

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😒

Bad

Not good

Pessimistic

Situations

at a party, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends

Alles gut.
All right.
expand phrase

If you are fine, you can answer with a simple "Alles gut". That means you're just fine, but it is also a polite answer.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Parents
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😀

Normal

Good

Content

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Mir geht's schlecht.
I am very bad.
expand phrase

"Mir geht es schlecht." is used to show that something is wrong and that the person concerned is doing badly. This is actually only communicated among well-known people.

  • Informal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😒

Very bad

Not good

Pessimistic


Situations

at home, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends

Gut.
Good.
expand phrase

If you are fine, you can answer with a simple "gut". That means you're just fine. But it is also a polite answer in small talk, on the phone or with friends. In this case you would just move to another topic instead of talking about your feelings.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Parents
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😀

Normal

Good

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Uns geht es gut.
We're fine.
expand phrase

If you are doing well and are in a group, you can respond with a simple "Uns geht es gut." That means you're fine. But it is also a polite answer in group chat.

  • Informal
  • Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Parents
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😀

Normal

Good

Content

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Mir geht es gut. Danke.
I'm fine. Thank you.
expand phrase

If you are doing well, you can answer with a simple "Mir geht es gut. Danke." That means you're fine. But it is also a polite answer in small talk.

  • Informal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Boss.
person image
Parents
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
🙂

Polite

Good

Content

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Uns geht's klasse.
We're fine.
expand phrase

If you are doing well and you are in a group, you can respond with a simple "Uns geht's klasse." That means you're fine in a very short way. Literally, it means: we are going fantastic.

  • Informal
  • Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Eldery people
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😀

Normal

Good

Energetic

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Gut. Vielen Dank. Und Ihnen?
Good. Many thanks. And you?
expand phrase

If you are well, you can formally thank me with a simple "Gut. Vielen Dank. Und Ihnen?" That means you're fine, but it is also a polite answer in small talk. If you are well, you can formally thank people with a simple "Gut. Vielen Dank. Und Ihnen?" That means you are fine, but it is also a polite answer in small talk.

  • Formal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Boss
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Good

Situations

at a party, at school, on the phone, with friends, at work

Ausgezeichnet.
Excellent.
expand phrase

If you feel very well, you can answer with a simple "ausgezeichnet". This means that you are doing particularly well. In a conversation with unknown people, you would use the answer "ausgezeichnet" less.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Eldery people
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😊

Very happy

Joyful

Amused

Situations

at a party, at work, on the phone, with friends

Geht so.
So so.
expand phrase

"Geht so" is used to show that something is wrong and the person concerned needs to talk.

  • Informal
  • One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Teacher
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
😒

Bad

Not so good

Pessimistic


Situations

at a party, with colleagues, on the phone, with friends, at home

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
Expand
Collapse
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Practice German Dialogues

Dialogue #1 - When you meet your friend in the street

The following dialogue shows how to say, "how are you?" in German in a conversation. The meeting between the two people is coincidental.

dialog avatar
Hi!
Hi!
dialog avatar
Hallo!
Hello.
dialog avatar
Wie geht es dir?
How are you?
dialog avatar
Mir geht's gut. Und dir?
I am fine. And you?
dialog avatar
Mir geht es ausgezeichnet.
I am very well.

Dialogue #2 - When you meet a colleague in a business meeting

The following dialogue shows a meeting with a colleague. In the small talk the formal "how are you?" is used in German.

dialog avatar
Guten Tag!
Good day!
dialog avatar
Guten Tag!
Good day!
dialog avatar
Wie geht es Ihnen?
How do you do?
dialog avatar
Mir geht es gut. Und Ihnen?
I am fine. And you?
dialog avatar
Gut, danke der Nachfrage.
Good, thanks for asking.

No items found.

No items found.

Free e-book: 10 most important conversations in German

You have just learned how to say hello in German. Do you want to use the right vocabulary, perfect sentences, and correct grammar with your next conversation? The trick is to create your own German dialogue script, which you can easily learn! Afterward, you will be confident you will be successful in your next conversation. We have created the most important dialogues in German for you to help improve your conversation skills in German. Best of all, it is free!

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