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10+ Pro-English-Speaker-Like Replies to “How Have You Been?”

how have you been

People often confuse the phrase “how have you been” with “how are you”. It is for this reason that they respond to the first phrase with “I'm fine!” instead of “great!” or “wonderful”. Which is incorrect!

If you also rank among these speakers, don’t worry because you’re not alone! We’ve got you this blog to help you learn the accurate replies to the phrase “how have you been”.

Sounds interesting? Let’s start…

What’s the Meaning of “How Have You Been?”

“How have you been” means that the speaker wants to know how the listener has been doing since both met the last time. It's kind of a “hello” that people often use for opening up conversations with friends, family members, colleagues, etc. This phrase isn’t used with people whom speakers are meeting for the first time.

As now you know what this phrase means, let’s have a look at some cool replies to “how have you been?”

Related Read: Classy Alternatives for How Are You Doing?

10+ Smart and Short Reply to “How Have You Been?”

1. Good!

Good is a very simple word to show that you’re fine and your life is on track. In case you don’t want to continue the conversation and still be polite, using this word as a reply to “how are you doing” can save you.

Here is how you can use it in different contexts:

Yeah, Good thanks!

As always… good!

I’m doing good buddy!

2. Not bad!

This phrase will let your listener know that your life isn’t going as good as you want it to, but still, it's bearable. This phrase is precise and it can help you shut the conversation in a polite manner if you’re not interested to continue. Here are some examples:

Not bad! Just had a fracture.

Not bad! Still finding a high-paying job.

3. Been Worse!

If you aren’t feeling good and still don’t want to sound like a bad English speaker, then use this phrase. “Been worse” is a classy phrase and it talks about how bad your life is going. Examples are given below:

Been worse! Don’t know if this migraine is going to end or not.

Been worse than ever before!

4. Meh

A three-letter word, meh is used informally to tell the listener that your life has been a mess. Plus, you don’t want to talk about it.

Some examples of meh are:

Meh! I’ve no idea how to respond to this question. Since I lost my Nanny yesterday.

Meh! Don’t know! I wasn’t born a princess!

5. Just Perfect

Another word to indicate that your life is free of any tensions. You’re suffering from no disease, no financial issues, and you’re enjoying a perfect life without nearly zero problems. Some ideas to use “just perfect” in sentences are given below:

Life is just perfect!

Just perfect! Life has been never this amazing before!

6. Been Better!

Been better is a phrase that is used for indicating that your life has improved after a potentially sensitive event in past. It could be your health, your financial status, etc. Some examples are;

Been better since last week!

Been better! Seems like medicines have started showing their magic.

7. Can’t Complain!

It’s a simple response to keep the conversation short. This phrase says that you’ve been struggling with your life, allowing you to skip the details. A few examples are:

Ah! Can’t complain! Been busy

Can’t complain, life sometimes turns out to be weird.

8. Pretty Busy

Another short and precise phrase. It signals that you aren’t interested in talking about the details of your life. Just a simple answer would let your listener know that you’re busy and disturbing you isn’t a good idea. Examples are given below:

Pretty busy. Preparing for the next conference.

Pretty busy! The project seemed easy, but unfortunately, it isn't!

9. Nothing To Report

This phrase should be used by introverts. It doesn’t provide any clue as to how everything is going in your life. You can simply close the topic of conversation with this simple phrase. Examples are:

Sorry! Got nothing to report!

Fine and nothing serious to report.

10. Surviving

Just a single word “surviving” is going to tell your listeners that there is something bad going on in your life. Example are:

Surviving! God knows when this pandemic would end.

Surviving! I wish I could shoot this sun!

11. Life’s fine!

Don’t want to dig deeper into the details of your life? Simply say “life’s fine” when somebody asks you “how have you been?”. Examples are:

Life’s fine like yours!

Life’s fine. It’s never been cruel to me.

12. Could be Better

These three words highlight the weird situations going on in your life. Instead of using wordy phrases, you can just say “could be better” to show how much you want your life to settle down. Example are:

Could be better! You?

Could be better! What about you?

13. As usual

This one says that your life has not changed a bit since you last met the listener. Either it’s going good or bad. Examples are:

As usual! Pretty Busy!

As usual! Sick and tired!

As usual! Happy!

14. Never Better!

This phrase is more like a complaint. It says that your life has never been better before and it is going the same. Examples are:

Never better! My office routine is hectic.

Never better! Just caught the flu yesterday!

15. I’ve Been Swell

“I’ve been swell,” says that you had a pretty good time in the past. It’s an amazing phrase to let your listeners know that you’ve enjoyed the best of your days recently.

I’ve been swell! How are you?

Been Swell. Had a wonderful weekend!

Long Replies to “How Have You Been?”

  1. Well, I have been busy like a bee!
  2. I’ve been working too much, Need a Break!
  3. I found a new job! And… I’m soon going to get married… so yeah, everything is going great!
  4. Not all sunshine and rainbows. But still not bad!
  5. I’ve had highs and lows but trying my best to manage things.
  6. I’ve been swell! Couldn’t believe life could get this better!
  7. Could be better! I wish I had accepted the offer letter last year!

Final Lines

“How have you been” is a pretty common question. You might hear it several times daily. However, using the same dry-reply every time someone asks you “how have been” wouldn’t let you impress your listeners. Hence, practice all the short and long replies discussed above to start using them in your daily routine. After all, your choice of vocabulary in your replies determines your personality!

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]