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As far as I know, How are you? is not supposed to be answered [1]: In most of the cases it just means hi!.

Question: Regarding the closest German equivalent, i.e. "Wie geht's (dir)?", should this question be answered?

[1] I've never lived in an English speaking country, so correct me if I'm wrong

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I have to add that I feel a bit pressured if colleagues ask me that when they just want to say hi. I feel an urge to respond but I don't want to lie on the one hand and I don't want to elaborate on the matter either because, you know, we're not friends and we won't be talking anyway. So I actually get a little tiny bit discomforted by it. If you mean "Hi" then say "Hi" ... or just say "Alles gut". Then I can just say "yes." which might be a lie too but I don't have to fill the lie with content. I just have to say "yes". Others might find "Alles gut" a bit presumptive though :) –  Emanuel Jan 23 at 12:32

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, if you are greeted with Hey, wie geht's dir?, there is usually an expectation to receive a reply:

Danke, gut! Und dir?
Geht so, und selbst?

Or if you do not want to return the question, simply:

Geht so!

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+1 for Geht so since no native German would answer the question in a positive manner. –  Lars Beck Jan 23 at 14:58
Muss ja, ne is what I usually say –  rompetroll Jan 23 at 16:56
Wie immer is what I replay to someone I already know. My opponent doesn't really expect a long answer. –  nixda Jan 25 at 9:15

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