What are common alternatives to

Wie geht es dir?

that can be used to ask how the other person is doing?

It would be nice to have some alternatives as a reference here, since "How are you doing" is perhaps the most basic phrase used in a conversation. There hasn't been a thread on this as far as I've looked.

  • "Wie ist das werte Befinden?" is an archaic phrase which is can be an icebreaker, due most people will interpret it as a funny way to ask how it's going. Not suitable for respectfull purposes, but at a bar, club or with friends.
    – jawo
    Oct 17, 2014 at 9:00

3 Answers 3


Not necessarily, but often in the way of you say "fine", and then we go on:

Wie geht's? (without the dir)
Wie geht's, wie steht's?
Wie stehen die Dinge?
Alles klar?

If you ask "Wie geht es dir?" with more empathy, in the sense of actually want to know how you do:

Alles klar/gut/ok/[another positive adjective]?
Alles in Ordnung bei dir?

If you know someone very well, and you haven't seen each other a while (e.g. because the other has been on a vacation with his/her significant other), you can even use



Wie läuft's?

Alles fit?

Was macht das Leben?

All of these are very informal.

If you want to be formal you use:

Wie geht es Ihnen?

This does not really change much. Most other ways to ask are for casual contact with relatives or friends.

  • 1
    Long time no see, number 3.
    – user6191
    Oct 13, 2014 at 13:07

We should also note that in Germany asking this will inevitably give you an answer. In a formal setting you may hear a standard "Danke, gut" irrespect of this being correct or not but the less formal it gets the more you will have to be prepared to hear an honest answer even if it was: "Mir geht's nicht so gut. Meine Freundin hat mich gestern verlassen, mein Job wurde gekündigt, und mein Vermieter hat mich herausgeschmissen."

Regionally (e.g. in Swabia where I live) poeple even start complaining after you had asked (which is considered a polite response then).

"Wie geht's?" - "Oh, schon recht, aber..." (list of misfortunes)

To signalize you are not really interested in hearing such details some poeple do not ask but put it in a statement like:

Ich hoffe Ihnen geht es gut. Lassen Sie uns nun ...

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