Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How should you reply to "what's up?"

share|improve this question
    
If the question annoys you, you could routinely start complaining about your sciatica and bunions when asked... –  T.E.D. Aug 3 '11 at 13:42
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

"What's up" means "What's happening." I usually just reply "nothing." because nothing is happening to me.

But, there are alternatives, such as the usual reply to a greeting:

  1. Not much
  2. Nothing. Yourself?
  3. I'm good, yourself?
  4. Good. How are you?

However, if there is something that you would like to tell the other person e.g. You've sold your car, it might go like this:

A: What's up?
B: I've sold my car.
A: Good on you mate!

share|improve this answer
3  
Additionally, some people just reply with "What's up?" It might sound strange, but then I've heard the same sort of echoing response with "How do you do?" –  Nicholas Aug 3 '11 at 3:56
    
"I'm good.." and such are really better suited for "How are you doing?" But +1 anyway. –  Bob Aug 2 '12 at 17:52
1  
Adding to Nicholas's comment, "What's up?" does not perform the role of a question; it has the functionality of a generic greeting. "Hello" may be answered with "hello", and similarly with "What's up?" –  Pantalones Aug 3 '12 at 4:20
add comment

Normally people reply "not much", which I think is the appropriate way of answering this question when you are not doing anything. But in case you are doing something, it would be better to say what you are doing.

share|improve this answer
1  
Saying what you are doing is not required; you could also give a generic answer. –  kiamlaluno Aug 3 '11 at 5:07
add comment

To me, and probably to most of my fellow Britons, the question "What's up?" means "What's wrong?" or "What's the matter?" — usually asked of someone looking sad or angry. The normal reply would be to say "Nothing" or give the reason for the sadness or anger.

share|improve this answer
1  
Here in the US it is a fairly standard greeting, and the asker typically is not at all interested in, and does not want to hear about any problems you might be having. –  T.E.D. Aug 3 '11 at 13:43
add comment

Some dude: Hey, what’s up?
You: Just chillin.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.