English as a Second Language/greeting


I am an international student in the US from Asia. People sometimes greet me with expression I don't understand, such as:

What's up?
What's new?
How's it going?

How can I respond?

What's up?  (What is happening in your life).
Typical response:  Not much/Not a lot, what's up with you?

What's new?  (What has happened new to you since the last time we spoke)?
Typical response: Same as above.  If you really have something new to share, do so briefly, such as "I bought a new car!"  "I have a cavity." etc.

How's it going?  (How is life treating you/How are you doing)
Typical response: Pretty good.  Great!  (we wouldn't say bad.  If there's a problem, say "OK," "alright," "so-so.")

English as a Second Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of www.coleinstitute.com, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

Past/Present Clients
I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.