DON’T Say WIE GEHT’S, say THESE 5 Alternatives Instead!

DON’T Say WIE GEHT’S, say THESE 5 Alternatives Instead!

DENISA (in different situations)
Hey, wie geht’s?
(Hey, how are you?)

Hey, wie geht’s?
(Hey, how are you? )

Hey, wie geht’s?
(Hey, how are you?)

Wie geht’s? (How are you?) is commonly used in Germany. Of course, you can use it, but maybe you should mix it up from time to time. In this video, I will give you 5 alternatives. Ich bin Denisa von Spring German. Los geht’s!

1. Wie geht es dir / Ihnen? (How are you? formal / informal)

Hey, wie geht es dir?
(Hey, how are you?)

Alles super. Und dir?
(All good, and you?)

Auch alles gut, danke.
(Same, thank you.)

This one is the most obvious one for the beginning. It’s very known, too, because it’s the formal version of “Wie geht’s?” (How are you?) and is used to ask how someone is doing. Here are some possible responses:

  • Mir geht’s gut, dir? (I’m fine, and you?)
  • Alles gut, und dir? (All good, how about you?)
  • Mir geht’s ganz okay. (I’m okay.)

But there is another form when talking to elderly people:

Hallo Frau Wagner. Na, wie geht es Ihnen heute?
(Hello Mrs. Wagner. So, how are you today?)

Mich hat’s leider erwischt. Und dir, Denisa?
(Unfortunately, I got sick. And you, Denisa?)

Oh nein, gute Besserung. Mir geht es gut, danke.
(Oh no, get well soon. I’m fine, thanks.)

If you want to show respect to an elder person, a stranger, or someone in a professional setting, you say “Ihnen” (you, formal) which is the formal you. We have a whole video about how to decide whether to address someone formally or informally here.

Chunk alert!

Mich hat’s erwischt (I got sick) is a colloquial saying, meaning that someone got sick. A synonym is “Ich bin krank” (I’m sick). Literally, the chunk means “I got caught”. Everyone can say it, no matter how old they are. Your response to that would be the chunk “Gute Besserung” (Get well soon).

If you want to learn more chunks in German, check our free essential German chunking kit. The link is in the description.

2. Alles klar? / Alles gut? (Everything alright?)

Hey, alles klar?
(Hey, everything alright?)

Ja. Ich bin gerade auf dem Weg nach Hause. Und bei dir?
(Yes. I’m on my way home. What about you?)

Ich geh meine Eltern besuchen. Ist bei dir alles gut? Du warst doch so lange krank, oder?
(I’m going to visit my parents. Is everything okay with you? You were sick for a long time, weren’t you?)

Ja, das stimmt. Es ist alles wieder gut, danke.
(Yes, that’s right. Everything’s alright again, thanks.)

Gott sei Dank.
(Thank God.)

Alles klar? (Is everything alright?) means “Is everything okay?” and is a casual way of greeting someone. It’s used by everyone, so it doesn’t matter how old you are. Maybe you shouldn’t use this with business partners, but you can use it with everyone else, so with your family, friends, colleagues and so on.

If you have the feeling that something is wrong or the person might be sad/ill etc., you can ask “Ist alles gut bei dir?” (Is everything okay with you?).

Stay tuned because at the end of the video I will give you two slang alternatives often used by younger people.

3. Was gibt’s Neues? (What’s new?)

Hey Vanessa. Lang nicht mehr gesehen. Was gibt’s Neues?
(Hey Vanessa. Haven’t seen you for a long time. What’s new?)

Hey Denisa. Ja, stimmt. Nicht viel. Bei dir? Was macht die Arbeit?
(Hey Denisa. That’s right. Not much, how about you? How’s work?)

Alles beim Alten. Willst du dich mal wieder auf einen Kaffee treffen?
(Same old. Do you want to meet up for a coffee anytime soon?)

Sehr gerne.
(I’d love to.)

This alternative is used when you haven’t seen a friend or colleague for a long time. So instead of saying “Wie geht’s?” (How are you?) you ask “Was gibt’s Neues?” (What’s new?). This is a great conversation beginner. Similar to “Was gibts Neues?” (What’s new?) is “Was macht die Arbeit?” (How’s work?). Here you can also ask other things like:

  • Was machen die Kinder? (What’s up with the kids?)
  • Was macht die Uni? (How’s university?)
  • Was macht das Leben? (How’s life?)

Literally, “Was machen die Kinder?” means “What are the children doing?”. Of course, you don’t want to know what the children are doing at the moment, but you want to know in general how they are doing. You could translate this question as “What’s up with the children?”. So remember these two alternatives when you already know the person in front of you: “Was gibts Neues?” (What’s new?) and “Was macht die Arbeit?” (How’s work?)

4. Wie läuft’s?”(How’s it going?)

Hey, Vanessa. Na, wie läuft’s?
(Hey Vanessa. So, how’s it going?)

Alles gut, Gott sei Dank. Bei dir?
(All good, thank God. How about you?)

Bei mir auch, danke. Ich muss weiter. Bye.
(Same with me, thanks. I have to go. Bye.)

Bis bald.
(See you.)

Wie läuft’s? (How’s it going?) means “How’s it going?” and is a more casual way of asking how someone is doing. It’s used in familiar situations with friends. You shouldn’t use this one in business meetings or official appointments in general.

This phrase is commonly used among friends in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

5. Was geht (ab)? (What’s up?)

DENISA comes into a room and screams
Was geht ab?!
(What’s up?!)

Hey! Willkommen auf der Party. Getränke stehen in der Küche.
(Hey! Welcome to the party. The drinks are in the kitchen.)

Super danke. Alles gute zum Geburtstag, Vanessa.
(Great thanks. Happy Birthday, Vanessa.)


This is a very common slang or teenage used chunk which means “what’s up”. It’s used as a greeting or as an alternative for “Wie geht’s?” (How are you?). Some people leave the “ab” (up) away, so they just say “Was geht?” (What’s going on?). It is commonly used among friends as a way to start a conversation and inquire about the other person’s current situation or mood.

6. Summary

Here is a summary for you.

Alternatives for “Wie geht’s”? (How are you?)

If you want to be able to talk more with the person in front of you, then you need to learn all the basics for small talk. We have a whole video about it here. See you there!

Similar Posts