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Don't Say 'I'M FINE'. EASY Everyday Greetings in English

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

How are you? - I’m fine. 🛑STOP saying “I’m fine.”!!!

There are many ways to answer this question, both casual and formal, BUT English language students ALWAYS say “I’m fine". Native speakers RARELY use “I’m fine.” It’s not wrong to say “I’m fine.” BUT English Language learners use it ALL the time.

In this lesson, we look at everyday English greetings using basic English. I'll show you lots of different phrases you can use to answer “How are you?”, “How’s it going?”, “How are you doing?”, so that you can use English greetings more naturally like a native English speaker.

I'll also teach you how to introduce yourself the 1st & 2nd time you meet someone. We will learn which greetings are formal and which greetings are informal. And what you should say when someone uses a very casual greeting, “What’s up??”

Watch the lesson to find out and become confident with daily English greetings. After all, we need to use them every day, right!!

You can find Vocabulary from the lesson and the Tapescript below.

Happy Studying!


The Personal English Trainer


to crash situation version matter eg. What's the matter? to share greetings headache information to identify toothache journey polite hayfever take it easy pattern allergy catch you later to complain hangover


Hey, there. Stop it! Stop it now! Whatever you're doing, stop it! Don't say I'm fine anymore.

Okay? Stop saying it. How are you? I'm fine. No more!

You want to find out why? I'll be back in 20 seconds to explain why? See you soon.

Okay. Welcome back. Hi. My name is Chris. I am the personal English trainer.

And today we have a very simple lesson which will help you sound more like a native speaker. Because you're gonna stop saying I'm fine. Now. It's not wrong to say I'm fine. The problem is language learners use it all the time. Even when my friend crashed his car and he was in the hospital with a broken leg, his new car was crashed and actually very sad, but his dog died in the car crash. I said, Yoshi, Yoshi, how are you? He said, "I'm fine. Chris, I'm fine." Are you really?

So there are many other answers we can use to respond to, how are you? Okay. Take a look at the lesson plan. Our goal today is to use other answers to answer greetings.

Like, how are you? How is it going? It's for all levels, but mostly lower levels, but even some very high level students, upper intermediate, advanced students. They still say I'm fine. Why?

Because at that level, you have the ability to use a range of different responses. Okay, we're going to start by looking at what do we say when we meet people the first time? Then we'll look at the daily Greetings and and identify which ones are casual and which ones are more formal. And then we have a look at some very casual Greetings which you hear in movies, which you hear native speakers use on the street. You don't have to use them, but you should understand the meaning.

When we meet someone for the first time, we usually use this kind of conversation pattern. Okay. So "Hello. Nice to meet you." B says, "Nice to meet you too. Nice to meet you too. My name is Chris. What's your name?", "My name is Jenny." Or, my name is Bob. Okay, this is very standard for meeting people. The first time. When we meet someone, the first time, we will say this.

Now, when we meet someone the second time, what are we going to say? We might change it a little. You might say 'Hello'. If we want to be a little more polite and a little more friendly, we will try to remember the name. So we might say, hello Jenny. Hello, Jenny. Nice not nice to meet you again. If it was a long time, then it would be okay. Nice to meet you again. But if it's a short time, like one day, one week, one month. Nice to see you. Nice to see you again. "Hey, Jenny. Hello, Jenny. Nice to see you again."

Then we can change this one. "Nice to see you again too." "Hey, Chris. Nice to see you again too." My name is Chris. My name is Jenny. No. What can we say next? We usually say something like, how are you? And then if Jenny was one of you guys a student learning English, she would probably say, I'm fine.

She might say I'm fine, thanks.

If it's more formal and fine, thank you. I am fine, thanks. And you?

And how about you? Okay, but we don't want to say I'm fine. So we're going to change it. Very simply, we're going to change it and put. I'm okay. Or I'm good.

I'm good. Thanks. I'm okay. Thanks. And you?

Okay, so this is a more natural pattern to use. And native speakers tend to speak quite casually. So most of the time it's okay. So let's run through that.

"Hello, Jenny. Nice to see you again."

"Hi, Chris. Nice to see you again too. How are you?"

"Yeah, I'm okay, thanks. And you?"

"I'm good. I'm good, thanks."

What did you do last weekend? Where are you going now? How was your lesson? How was your class?

So the conversation would continue. So this kind of pattern is a pattern that you can use and you should use. Right, okay, that's the first point. So let's have a look at daily greetings.

We have. Hello, Chris. How are you?

Hi, Chris. How are you? Hey, Chris, how are you? A lot of native speakers will use. Hey, very casual, but we are often very casual.

But if you're in a formal situation, like a job interview, meeting your girlfriend's parents, meeting the customer or doing customer service, maybe this is not so good the first or second time, but after you get to know each other, it may be okay. Well, how are you? Is one way. It's the standard way, but there are many other ways. Okay.

Also very common is How's it going? How is it going? Kind of joins together. How's it going? How's it going?

How are you? How are you doing now? The pronunciation of youth often becomes more like, yeah. Hey, how are ya doing? How are ya doing?

How are you doing? And maybe if we don't see each other for some short little while, we might say, how have you been? How have you been? Becomes becomes how've you been?

How've you been? So how have you been? How've you been?

Okay. So native speakers use these to quite a lot. So you should start using these also in your daily greetings with your classmates, with your teacher, with your friends. Okay, now, in a formal situation, 'I'm fine' is still okay, but even in the formal situation, there are other answers you can use. The first one is I'm good, or I'm very good.

Even in the formal situation, that is okay. In the casual situation, these are also okay, but I'm fine is always a little formal. And that's why it's strange to use it with your classmates you see every day, with your friends, you see every day. It's strange to use it with your family. Okay, now there are a lot of more relaxed answers, such as, I'm OK, I'm not bad or not too bad or not so bad.

The kind of the not bad group of answers. And there's also one which sometimes people use, they say, so so, I'm so so. It's kind of okay...a little bit down.

And then we have things like, pretty good. Yeah, quite good.


And this one made be a little strange, but sometimes people say, yeah, I can't complain.

I can't complain. I have no problem.

Okay, so as you can see, there are a lot more answers that you can use, especially in the daily situation. So the next time you go to English class and your teacher says, hey, how are you say, yeah, not so bad. Yeah, not so bad. How about you?

Yeah, not so bad. How are you doing? And your teacher may be a little surprised to hear that. There are a lot of answers we can use instead of I'm fine. But just to remember, for formal situations, it's okay. And I think in the formal situation, these three are very acceptable. They're good. And for a casual situation, these are good. So you can see these two 'good' and 'very good' can be used for both situations. Okay. Now when we get to know somebody and develop relationship, we start to become more casual.

So we might change from formal to more casual, but depends on the situation.

Okay. Now, when we talk with friends and family and classmates and our teacher, if we don't feel good, it's okay to say we don't feel good. So this is the case where we are okay or happy. So if we are not happy, what should we say?

You know, if our family member says, hey, Chris, are you okay? How are you or your friend says, Are you okay? How are you today? We can say I'm no, so good. Some students will say, I'm bad, and that is very direct, very strong and very direct.

And so in English, we don't usually say, oh, I'm bad, we don't say it, but we will say, I'm not so good. I'm not so good. Now, if you say, I'm not so good. "Hi, Chris. How are you?"

"I'm not so good." The person will probably say, "Why, what's wrong?"

Or even "what's the matter?" For me personally, I usually just say, what's wrong and then you can explain. You can say I'm tired, I'm sick, or I'm feeling sick.

I have a cold or I have you know this word? Headache. I have a headache. Or maybe I have a toothache. Here in Japan, I don't know about your country, but here in Japan, especially around January, February and March, a lot of people suffer from what they call 'kafunshou', which is hay fever. Hay fever is the general English word we use for allergies, you know, dust allergy, plant allergies, allergies from flowers, but maybe not for cats or dogs, or that kind of allergy. For me.

personally, I used to tell my teacher I have a homework allergy. So if I didn't do my homework, yeah, I have an allergy. Okay, one more, which you might hear.

I have a hangover. I have a hangover.

"Hey, Chris, How's it going today?"

"Not so good."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"I have a I have a hangover."

"Oh, really? So you drank too much last night?"

"Yeah, it was a farewell party for my friend."

So a hangover is when you drink too much alcohol, too much beer, too much wine. Too much sake. Then the next day you feel bad, you have a headache, you're tired, maybe you have a stomachache. You don't have much energy. You have a hangover.

But anyway, when you talk with friends and family or other casual situations, it's okay to be honest, you don't have to say you're good and you can say, oh, I'm not so good. We usually respond, Why? What's wrong? And you can give one of these answers.

Okay, so now let's just talk about formal greetings a little so often. Greetings like good morning can be a little formal. But the morning greeting can also be used casually because everybody says good morning when they arrive at the office or when they arrive at their workplace. When they arrive at their class. In Japan, here we would....

Everybody ohayogozaimasu. Everybody says good morning. Okay, so good morning is formal, but it can be a little bit casual too. However, if we say good afternoon, that's always very formal.

We only say that in formal situations. And if we say good evening, that's also quite formal. We don' know..arrive home and say to our family members, Good evening. I'm home. We don't say that. So it's quite formal.

Good night. Good night is not a greeting. Good night is something we say when we say goodbye or when we're going to bed, we say good night. So it's not formal and it's not a greeting. So I'm going to take that away. And on this side here, the formal way to say it is how do you do?

But it's very formal. I'm not sure if I have ever used that. Okay. It's very formal. Probably upper class British people may use it.

You know, Prince Charles or the Queen would say, how do you do? How do you do? Oh, Hello, Chris. How do you do? It's very formal.

Now, let's move on to a couple of casual greetings because students often get this wrong. So our first casual greeting is, what's up? Hey, Chris, what's up? Yo, Chris, what's up? I'm fine.

You can't say that. Remember fine is always a little formal, so it doesn't match. We can't say I'm fine. But so many students learning English, I'll say, oh, hey, Tomoko, what's up? I'm fine.

Okay, so what should we say? How do we answer this question?

How do we answer this question or even a similar question, which is hey Chris what's new?

Sometimes people say, what's new? What's up is much more common. Okay. What does it mean? What's up?

Well, what's up means it's kind of like means what is happening?

It means kind of like what's happening. So basic response is "Nothing."

Nothing. Hey, Chris, what's up? Nothing. So the basic response is nothing. But we usually say nothing much or another version, not much.

So most of the time people will use this one. I'd say not much. Hey, Bob, what's up? Nothing much. And you, and you?

Hey, what's happening? Nothing much. And you? And how about you? Or just how about you? And yourself? Or and how about yourself? How about yourself?

And then probably A would also say not much. So it's used as a greeting. And sometimes people don't even listen to the answer so much. Hey, Chris, what's up? Nothing much. And you? Yeah nothing.

Okay. So I want to explain one more thing about using what's up? Okay.

And that is...this situation here.

Tom says, "Hey, Chris, what's up?

And I said "Nothing much. And you?"

"Yeah, not much." Tom said,

Now, have a look at the second conversation.

Bill said, "Hey, Chris, what's up?

I said, Nothing much, but I will go hiking in Nagano next weekend."

"Wow. Really? Sounds nice. So how about you?"

"Nothing much. I have to work."

Okay so in the second conversation, I said nothing much, but I explained a little bit about something happening next weekend. So this is quite natural in the situation where I like someone. This is my good friend or this is a coworker that I like, or a classmate that I like.

So I share information with that person. Okay. But in this case, maybe this is someone I don't like, maybe a co worker who I don't likes so I don't like to share information. Could be a friend who I don't like so much.

I don't know. But the situation where you don't like somebody you may not want to share information. And so I just said nothing much. And you so that's something you can do, if someone says what's up, you can share a little information with them if you like that person or if you want to.

Okay, so thank you very much for watching today's lesson. I hope you learned something from today's lesson. This is a very simple point, and it's an easy point that you can change about your speaking.

Just to wrap up...our goal was to use other answers to how are you? And I showed you a lot of answers that you can use. Please start using them immediately. We looked at meeting people first and second time.

Hi. Nice to meet you. Hi. Nice to see you again.

Daily Greetings. We can use hi, hey, not just hello. And we also looked at some casual greetings which are very common and how to respond to those greetings. Okay, so please hit the like button. Don't forget to subscribe. Turn on the notifications so that you will know when another video is uploaded.

Share this video far and wide with your friends and your classmates and your family to help them on their English journey. I'll catch you in the next video. Take it easy.

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