It is a very standard conversation.
Your English teacher — or any other English-speaking person — approaches you and asks:
“How are you?”
Then you stumble for an appropriate answer, your brain cracks, and you come out with:
I can tell you, there are many other ways you can reply to this question. You don’t have to reply fine every time. You can say so many other things.
Why should you do this?
Because it will make your English sound more varied, it will make you appear as more fluent, and it will boost your confidence in an incredible way — just by answering a very simple everyday question.
Are you ready to try?
Let’s take a look right now.
This is actually American-English but has now spread across the whole of the English-speaking world. This probably means more than just fine, maybe better than fine.
Much more than just fine and also an American-English phrase but widely used.
You can say this with great emphasis in your voice to show how good you are.
Do not say this in a monotone voice with no feeling or people will think you mean the opposite. Especially in England where we love sarcasm.
Doing Really Well!
Another very positive reply.
Again, you should only use this if you mean what you say.
Maybe you have just got back from a two-week holiday or vacation. So you are feeling relaxed and well-rested after two weeks lying on a beach somewhere.
So you might reply — Doing really well!
Notice that we can use the verb ‘to do’ when expressing how we feel. This is very common.
You can also say — I’m doing fine, I’m doing good or I’m doing just great.
These phrases are all very common and you can use them in almost any situation.
Couldn’t Be Better!
This is quite an old expression. But you can use it when you are feeling really good about life.
It means — my life is so good right now, it is impossible to feel better about it.
I have found that older people tend to use this phrase often as it is quite an old phrase in English but do not feel afraid to use it yourself.
It is actually very polite to use this as a response.
This is another old phrase that you might hear older people use. But you can still use it.
It is informal English so only use this with people you know well.
You can use this phrase in a humorous way.
If someone asks you: How are you?
And you reply: I’m a-okay
Then you might get a smile from the other person.
But it is a nice phrase that you can use in English.
This is another humorous phrase to use in your English.
If you reply: I’m just peachy, then you might make the other person laugh.
But use it! It’s a good phrase to use instead of I’m fine.
I Feel Great!
If you are feeling great about your life, there are some ways to express this. You want to say more than just I’m fine, so let’s look at some ways to express that in English.
I feel great!
I feel marvellous!
I feel wonderful!
I feel fantastic!
All of these phrases are great ways to express that you are having a great day and that your life is going very well.
Remember to show a big smile when you say one of these phrases!
This phrase means — I have never felt better than I am feeling right now. It is used to express that you are feeling great.
It is an informal phrase, so it is best used in casual situations or with people you know well.
I am on Top of the World!
Another phrase that is used to express that you are feeling really well.
It means that you feel like you are standing on top of the world and so you feel very high and good about life.
Again, it is best used in an informal setting.
I am on Cloud Nine!
Very similar to the previous phrase. It means that you feel as if you are sitting on a cloud high in the sky, so you feel great.
I don’t know why we say cloud nine — and not cloud ten or eleven. But there it is.
Use it in an informal environment.
Over the Moon!
Another idiom to use when expressing how great you feel.
This is from a nursery rhyme and it has now come to mean that you are feeling very good and your life is going well.
Things Could Not Be Better!
This idiom is similar to the previous phrase of never better and we use this to show that we feel great and our life is going very well.
Best used in an informal setting.
I hope these phrases and idioms are of some help to you.
Practice them together with your classmates. And next time your English teacher asks you how are you, you will have something new to reply.
Best of luck and let me know in the comments below!