Stop Saying "I'm Fine" - Speak English Like a Native!


-Morning class! -Hello! Hello!

Morning, how are you?

- I'm fine thank you, and you? - I'm fine thank you, and you?


Don't high-five him. Who taught you to say that?

Like all of our teachers. All of them. Ever.

We need to change this

First we don't always say "How are you?"

We say many different things. For example...

We might say "How's it going?" or

"Hey how are you doing?"

Australians will often say a mix of this

"How are you going?"

This one, in the UK, in the U.S. it's not common to say

But Australian English, yes

and yes you can also say "Oh hi, how are things?"

These ones here, repeat with me and pay close attention to the intonation

"You okay?" "You alright?"

Of course we miss the "Be" verb here "ARE you okay?" "ARE you alright?"

But it's very common just to say

"You okay?" "You alright?"

This confuses Americans apparently

because in British English this one is very common it's very casual


It's just a "Hello" or a "How are you?"

it's very casual it's normal

but if you say this to an American they will be like this

"Am I alright? I'm fine do I look sad?"

So for Americans that sounds more serious. You're asking:

"Oh are you sad?!"

But for British people no this is just normal it's fine

But remember I said pay close attention to the intonation

"You okay?" "Alright?"

sounds happy but all of these you would ask to this person

If that's their expression if it's a normal day, nothing bad happened

But what if...

if your friend looks sad or if you know something bad happened

There is a different way you can ask these questions

First the intonation

The intonation with these changes Listen...

"You alright?"

See it does this up/down thing "You alright?"

See the intonation goes up and down there "Are you okay?"

So it really depends on your intonation how you say them

"You okay?" "Are you alright?"

These ones may sound very casual, normal, maybe happy

So if your friend looks like this or maybe something bad happened,

Let's ask a different question

"What's up?" or "What's the matter?"

These two questions show concern for your friend

You're asking for details you're asking about the problem

And important to note, don't ask "What's your problem?"

Don't ask that question it doesn't sound friendly, it doesn't sound like you care

It sounds like "PFFF! What's your problem!?"

So if you want to ask "what's your problem?" Don't ask that

Ask: "What's the matter?" That is much better

Possible answers to: "How are you?" Don't say "I'm fine thank you, and you?"

No! No more!

So for British people it's very common if you're good to normal

to start your answer with "Yeah"

For example...

This is the more realistic answer we don't say "I'm fine thank you, and you"

We say "Yeah, good, you?"

other ways you can answer if you're happy or just normal

"Yeah, I'm great"

"Yeah, I'm good"

"I'm pretty good"

"Yeah, doing well"

"Yeah, doing good"

Or if you don't want an adjective: "Yeah, can't complain"

You'll notice that I haven't included any extreme adjectives

Because we're British, we don't do emotions

I'm joking but in British English we don't typically talk about how great we are

We don't do that

So if someone asks you how are you and in fact you're brilliant, you're amazing


You would still say one of these

but less commonly you might hear

"I'm wonderful!"

You probably won't hear that but you might

"Oh everything is hunky dory!"

If you say everything's hunky-dory it means there are no problems everything is happy and lovely

It's really not common to hear that

Actually if someone says this they're probably joking or being sarcastic

so just keep that in mind

Also I often hear "so-so"

Don't say this! Never say this! No! In my life no one has ever said this... I think

So it doesn't sound natural, don't say it

AH! I forgot!

oh my god I'm so stupid I almost forgot probably the most important one

This might be the most common one

"Yeah I'm alright"

You can also say "I'm alright"

but remember again that is a bit more British

"You alright?"

"Yeah I'm alright, you alright?"

"Yeah I'm good"

So these ones again they're more if you feel happy, you feel good, you feel normal

But what if you feel not so great you feel a bit sad maybe well something happened

Remember I said if you're feeling like this you probably will start your answer with:


For example

"Yeah I'm good"

But if you feel like this probably you will start your answer with:


For example

And remember we are British we don't have emotions

Even strong emotions, we suppress them because we're British

So if you feel bad you are not REALLY BAD

You're only A BIT bad For example

"Well I'm a bit tired"

"Well I'm a bit sleepy"

"I'm a bit ill"

We're British, we like to repress our emotions

Now perhaps something bad happened perhaps you don't feel good at all

"Well I've been better" or "I've seen better days"

These ones they imply that perhaps something bad happened

Maybe someone died maybe you just broke up with your partner

Any combination of this This looks like a maths problem

but you can use any combination of this one for your answer

If you feel bad, for example

The short way "Hmm not that great" or "I'll be honest I'm not doing so well"

and again you can mix them I'm not doing so great I'm not doing that well

you can choose any mixture of these words

and that means you feel like this

So in the comments let me know: How are you doing? How is everything?

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