Guide to Mastering "How Are You?" in English

If you're an English learner, you might need help using the common English phrase "how are you" in a variety of contexts. Use this conversation guide on the verb "to be" to improve both your use and understanding of the phrase. You'll learn how to apply this term during conversations and before long, you won't hesitate to ask an English speaker "how are you" in everyday situations. You'll also be able to use "to be" quickly.

Dialogue Exercise

Read the conversations below:

Ken: Hello, My name's Ken. What's your name?
Jack: Jack. How are you?
Ken: I'm fine, and you?
Jack: Great. Where are you from?
Ken: I'm from Seattle.

Ken: Where is that girl from?
Jack: She's from Japan
Ken: How old is she?
Jack: She's 26.

Now complete this conversation. The conversation below it has the answers. 

Mary: Hello. My (_______) Mary. What's (_______) name?
Peter: Peter. How (_______) you?
Mary: I'm  (_______), and you?
Peter: OK. (_______)  (_______) you from?
Mary: (_______) from Ireland.

Mary: Hello. My name's Mary. What's your name?
Peter: Peter. How are you?
Mary: I'm fine, and you?
Peter: OK. Where are you from?
Mary: I'm from Ireland.

The above conversations used the verb "to be." Now look at the conjugation charts of the verb "to be" to help you better understand it and use it in conversation. "To be" can be used in a positive context, a negative context or to ask questions, which is neutral.


I am from Seattle.
is from Toronto.
are from Japan.


I am not (I'm not) from Seattle.
is not (isn't) from Toronto.
are not (aren't) from Japan.


Where am I from?
Where is he
Where are we

Read the Text Below

My name is Ken Beare and I'm a teacher. My address is 19 Green Street, and my telephone number is 555-555-3333. I'm 39 years old, and I'm married. My daughter, Katherine, is two and half years old. My wife, Barbara, is Italian. She is a bank teller.

Now fill in the gaps in the paragraph. The paragraph below it has the answers. 

My name (_______) Mario, and (_______) a doctor. My (_______) (_______) 23 York Avenue, and my (_______)  (_______) 555-555-8888. (_______) 45 years  (_______),  and I'm married. My son, Peter, (_______) 10 (_______). My wife, Georgia, is American. She (_______) a lawyer.

My name is Mario, and I'm a doctor. My address is 23 York Avenue, and my telephone number is 555-555-8888. I'm 45 years old, and I'm married. My son, Peter, is 10 years old. My wife, Georgia, is American. She is a lawyer.

Writing Exercise

Now that you've mastered "to be," it's time to write a short paragraph about how you're doing at the moment. If you're feeling tired, for example, explain why. Maybe you didn't get enough sleep or spent all day studying, cleaning or traveling. Use the new English words you've learned to tell a friend how you are. 

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Guide to Mastering "How Are You?" in English." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Beare, Kenneth. (2023, April 5). Guide to Mastering "How Are You?" in English. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Guide to Mastering "How Are You?" in English." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).