How to Say How Are You in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples

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How are you in Russian is usually translated as как делa (kak dyLAH). However, there are different ways to ask someone how they are in Russian, with some more informal while others suitable for any social setting. In this article, we look at the 12 most common ways to say how are you in Russian.

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Как дела?

Pronunciation: kak dyLAH

Translation: How are things? How is business?

Meaning: How are you? How are things?

The most common and versatile way to ask someone how they are, как дела can be adapted to the social setting you are in by adding or leaving out the pronouns ты (ty)—you singular/familiar—, and вы (vy)—you plural/respectful.

Example 1 (informal):

- Как дела, всё хорошо? (kak dyLAH, vsyo haraSHOH?)
- How are you, everything okay?

Example 2 (neutral, used with people you don't know well or who are older or in a position of authority):

- Как у вас дела? (kak oo vas dyLAH?)
- How are you?

Example 3 (neutral or informal, used with people you are friendly with, or who are the same age or position as you, or with those who are much younger)

- Как у тебя дела? (kak oo tyBYA dyLAH?)
- How are you?

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Как ты? and Как вы?

Pronunciation: kak ty? and kak vy?

Translation: How are you (singular/familiar)? How are you (plural/respectful)?

Meaning: How are you?

Another versatile expression, как вы/как ты is similar to как дела in its usage and can be informal and slightly more formal, depending on the pronoun.


- А как вы, нормально? (a kak vy, narMALna?)
- And how are you, everything okay?

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Как жизнь?

Pronunciation: kak ZHYZN'

Translation: How is life?

Meaning: How are you? How is life? How are things?

Как жизнь is a neutral to informal expression and is suitable to a more relaxed social setting.


- Ну что, как жизнь-то, рассказывай! (noo SHTOH, kak ZHIZN'- ta, rasKAzyvay!)
- So, how's life, come on, tell me/us everything!

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Как делишки?

Pronunciation: kak dyLEESHki

Translation: How are little things? How are (your) little affairs?

Meaning: How are things? How are you? How's everything (colloquial)?

A very informal expression, как делишки is only suitable for conversations with friends and family.


- О, привет! Как делишки? (OH priVYET! kak dyLEESHki?)
- Oh hey! How's everything?

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Как поживаешь?

Pronunciation: kak pazhiVAyesh?

Translation: How are you living?

Meaning: How have you been?

Как поживаешь can be as formal or informal as you wish. Remember to change the verb поживаешь to correspond to the pronoun of the person you are addressing:

Как поживаете - kak pazhiVAyete - How have you been (formal or plural).

Как поживаешь - kak pazhiVAyesh - How have you been (informal or singular).


- Ну что, как поживаешь-то? (noo SHTOH, kak pazhiVAyesh-ta?)
- So how have you been then?

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Как живёшь?

Pronunciation: kak zhiVYOSH

Translation: How are you living?

Meaning: How have you been? How's life?

This is a neutral expression suitable for everyday communication and informal conversation.


- Здравствуй, как живёшь? (ZDRASTvooy, kak zhiVYOSH?)
- Hello, how have you been?

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Как настроение?

Pronunciation: kak nastraYEniye?

Translation: How is the mood?

Meaning: How are you?

A relaxed and informal way to say how are you, как настроение is used with friends and family only.


- Ой приветик, как настроение? (oi priVYEtik, kak nastraYEniye?)
- Oh hey, how are you?

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Что нового?/что новенького?

Pronunciation: SHTOH NOvava/SHTOH NOvyen'kava

Translation: What is new?

Meaning: What's new? How are things?

Although both of these variations are informal, the latter one is more relaxed and is only used with friends and family.


- Ну как всё, что новенького? (noo kak VSYO, shtoh NOvyenkava?)
- So how's everything, what's new?

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Как оно?

Pronunciation: kak aNOH

Translation: How is it?

Meaning: How are things? How's everything?

A very informal/slang expression, как оно is not suited to the formal register and is reserved for close friends and family or very relaxed social environments.


- Привет, старикан. Как оно? (priVYET, stariKAN. kak aNOH?)
- Hey, dude, how is it?

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Как сам/сама?

Pronunciation: kak sam/saMAH

Translation: How is yourself?

Meaning: How are you?

Similar to the above expression, как сам/сама is informal and reserved for friends and family.


- Ну здравствуй, здравствуй. Как сам? (noo ZDRASTvooy, ZDRASTvooy. kak SAM?)
- Oh hello, hello. How are you?

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Как ты вообще?

Pronunciation: kak ty vabSHYE

Translation: How are you anyway? How are you generally?

Meaning: How are you anyway? How's everything?

Как ты вообще can be a versatile expression both in terms of usage and the word order, with the adverb вообще able to move around without significantly changing the meaning of the phrase.


- Ну чё, как ты вообще? (noo CHYO, kak ty vabSHYE?)
- So anyway, how's everything?

- Ну а вообще ты как? (noo a vabSHYE ty KAK?)
- And how are you in general?

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Какие пироги?

Pronunciation: kaKEEye piraGHEE?

Translation: What are the pies?

Meaning: How are you? How are things with you?

The idiom какие пироги is informal and can be used with friends and family.


- Ну что, какие пироги? (noo SHTOH, kaKEEye piraGHEE?)
- So how's it going?

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Nikitina, Maia. "How to Say How Are You in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Nikitina, Maia. (2020, August 28). How to Say How Are You in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples. Retrieved from Nikitina, Maia. "How to Say How Are You in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).