10 Simple Ways to Say How Are You in German + Examples with Audio

When you’re learning German, being able to ask “How are you?” is as essential as learning to say hello and goodbye in German. This not only starts German conversations but also shows interest in the well-being of your conversation partner. Denisa from Spring German (a project I co-founded) explains 5 great alternatives to Wie geht’s? (how are you in German) in this video:

In German-speaking countries, the way you ask this question may vary depending on the context, the relationship between speakers, and the formality of the situation. With the right phrases at hand, you can feel more confident whenever you meet someone in German. Click in the table to learn more about given chunks for how are you in German, and see them in real-life conversations:

Wie geht es dir?
How are you?
Wie geht es Ihnen?
How are You?
Wie geht’s?
How do you do?
Wie steht’s?
What’s the situation?
Alles in Ordnung?
Everything all right?
Alles klar?
All clear?
Geht es dir gut?
Are you okay?
Wie läuft’s?
How’s it going?
Bist du ok?
Are you OK?
Wie fühlst du dich?
How are you feeling?

1. Wie geht es dir? (How are you?)

Effortless Answers

The phrase “Wie geht es dir?” is a classic way to ask a German “How are you?” in informal situations.

It uses the pronoun “dir,” which is the dative case of “du,” showing that you’re talking to a friend or someone you know well. This phrase is made up of “wie” (how), “geht” (goes), “es” (it), and “dir” (to you), literally translating to “How goes it to you?”

Here’s how this might play out in a casual chat:

  • Maria: Hallo, Peter! Wie geht es dir? (Hello, Peter! How are you?)
  • Peter: Hallo, Maria! Mir geht es gut, danke. Und dir? (Hello, Maria! I’m doing well, thanks. And you?)

2. Wie geht es Ihnen? (How are You?)

When you use the formal version “Wie geht es Ihnen?” you’re showing a sign of respect. This is more suitable for formal contexts like speaking with a stranger, or even at work.

Hint: “Ihnen” is the formal “you” in German.

This way of asking is linked to the notion of maintaining a respectful distance while still starting a polite conversation.

In practice, you might hear the following exchange:

  • Frau Schneider: Guten Tag, Herr Müller! Wie geht es Ihnen? (Good day, Mr. Müller! How are you?)
  • Herr Müller: Guten Tag, Frau Schneider! Es geht mir gut, vielen Dank. (Good day, Mrs. Schneider! I’m doing well, thank you.)

3. Wie geht’s? (How do you do?)

Wie geht’s?” is the abbreviated, freuqently used version of “Wie geht es dir?“, and is a common way to say “How are you?” informally. When talking to people you see regularly, like e.g. friends or classmates, this phrase is casual and friendly.

classmates asking each other how are you in german

It’s basically a follow-up after certain German greetings that you want to ask without going into depth with feelings.

A typical dialogue using this phrase would sound like this:

  • Lena: Hi Jonas! Wie geht’s? (Hi Jonas! How’s it going?)
  • Jonas: Hi Lena! Läuft ganz gut, danke. (Hi Lena! It’s going quite well, thanks.)

4. Wie steht’s? (What’s the situation?)

Wie steht’s?” is another informal way of saying and asking hello that’s a bit more quirky and might raises an eyebrow if you’re not close with the person you’re asking. It’s like taking a quick, real-life snapshot of someone’s current situation.

The phrase is built up by “wie” (how) and “steht’s,” which is a contraction of “steht es” (stands it).

This is what such an interaction could look like:

  • Gina: Moin Tom! Wie steht’s? (Hey Tom! How’s it going?)
  • Tom: Servus! Steht alles super, danke! (Hey! Everything’s great, thanks!)

5. Alles in Ordnung? (Everything all right?)

Alles in Ordnung?” is another German expression for asking “Is everything all right?” This phrase is an all-in-one in most situations, and can be used both informally and in more formal situations. It’s a way of asking how are you in German that shows a little bit of concern and care about the person’s well-being.

Here’s a snapshot of how that conversation could go:

  • Marlen: Hey, du siehst besorgt aus. Alles in Ordnung? (Hey, you look worried. Is everything all right?)
  • Daniel: Ja, alles okay. Danke der Nachfrage. (Yes, all’s okay. Thanks for asking.)

6. Alles klar? (All clear?)

By asking “Alles klar?” you are asking if everything is clear or understood, but it’s often used in the German language to mean “Is everything okay?” or “All good?”

This informal phrase is usually used among friends or work colleagues. It suggests a laid-back greeting where you’re not necessarily expecting an in-depth response.

And now, let’s see how you could use this in real-life conversation:

  • Edvard: Alles klar bei dir? (All good with you?)
  • Rudolf: Ja, alles bestens, danke! (Yes, everything’s great, thanks!)

7. Geht es dir gut? (Are you okay?)

Geht es dir gut?” directly translates to “Are you okay?” and is another caring way to ask someone in German about their well-being. This phrase is more likely to be used if there’s a reason to believe the person might not be doing well, as it can prompt a more honest answer. For example, if someone looks tired or you just saw them fall of the bike by accident.

you can ask how are you in german when you see someone falling off the bike

Consider this everyday exchange:

  • Sara: Du siehst müde aus. Geht es dir gut? (You look tired. Are you okay?)
  • Rosalind: Ehrlich gesagt hatte ich einen harten Tag. Aber wird schon! (Honestly, I had a tough day. But it’ll be okay!)

8. Wie läuft’s? (How’s it going?)

Wie läuft’s?“, which is short for “Wie läuft es?” (literally: How is it running?), is a very informal way of asking about someone’s well-being. It’s typically used among young people and peers. This phrase is often used when you want to catch up on what’s been happening since you last met – like, after a great weekend or a party!

See how this phrase might come alive in dialogue:

  • Christian: Hi Clara, wie läuft’s? (Hi Clara, how’s it going?)
  • Clara: Ganz gut, ich hab einen neuen Job! (Pretty good, I got a new job!)

9. Bist du ok? (Are you OK?)

Bist du ok?” can be used when you suspect something might be wrong with the person you’re talking to or if they look upset. It’s an informal but still pretty direct way of asking about the immediate state of someon.

This phrase usually surfaces in dialogues like so:

  • Hans: Du siehst so blass aus. Bist du ok? (You look so pale. Are you okay?)
  • Georg: Nur ein bisschen Kopfschmerzen. Danke der Nachfrage! (Just a slight headache. Thanks for asking!)

10. Wie fühlst du dich? (How are you feeling?)

Wie fühlst du dich?” is a more personal and intimate question, often used when someone is recovering from an illness or going through a tough time. (It happens to the best of us…)

It’s generally reserved for people with whom you have a close relationship.

An instance of this expression in use could be:

  • Gabriel: Ich habe gehört, du warst krank. Wie fühlst du dich jetzt? (I heard you were sick. How are you feeling now?)
  • Lukas: Viel besser, danke! (Much better, thanks!)

Different ways to answer how are you in German

When you’re learning German, it’s not just about asking questions, it’s also about knowing how to respond. One way to do that is to check the common German phrases we have but alternatively, here’s a short overview of possible answers.

Some of these answers include responses for when you’re feeling good and some when you’re stressed or just a little bit overwhelmed – don’t worry about it, it’s natural to feel blue sometimes.

How to answer to the ‘How are you?’ question in German

Mir geht es prima!
I’m doing great!
Ich bin ein bisschen müde.
I’m a bit tired.
Ich fühle mich nicht so wohl.
I’m not feeling too well.
Alles bestens, danke!
All is well, thank you!
So lala.
Ich bin gestresst.
I’m stressed.
Fantastisch, danke!
Fantastic, thank you!
Ich bin etwas genervt.
I’m a bit annoyed.
Es könnte schlechter sein.
It could be worse.
Überwältigt, aber glücklich.
Overwhelmed, but happy.
Einfach nur großartig!
Just awesome!

Practice asking how are you in German

Complete the sentences below with the appropriate German question or phrase for asking someone about their well-being, based on the context provided.

Do you want to practice more German? Request the full practice worksheet now!

Learn German with Conversation Based Chunking

Conversation Based Chunking is an effective method in language learning where you study common phrases – or how we like to call them: chunks – as whole pieces, rather than breaking them down into individual words. This strategy helps you learn how to say and understand phrases as native speakers use them.

Learning the different ways to say “How are you?” in German can expand your vocabulary and help you browse through various social situations with greater ease. Remember that language alsof reflects culture, and understanding the little things of these German greetings can give you insight into their culture and tell you a lot about social norms.

Keep practicing with our German Conversation Based Chunking Guide, and soon, asking and answering “How are you?” will become a natural part of your German-speaking experience!

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