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What is an appropriate response to “what's up” greeting?

What should be the response to "what's up"? I don't get satisfied and often confused with my answer saying "fine/working/chatting".

There are various situations and time of conversations such as

  • chat with a friend
  • chat with a business partner
  • chat with your boss
  • etc.

So, what should be the response that would satisfy the questioner?


1 Answer 1


The usage of what's up is totally dependent on the context in which it is used.

As you've mentioned few scenarios above, what's up while chatting with a friend would usually be meant to greet a person in an informal way or rather to start off a conversation. So in such a context you could probably give a response telling your friend about what you are upto?

Whereas when the same is used in a formal way, as in while speaking to a boss/business partner, it can probably refer to any of these "What is going on?/ What's the latest news?/What is the progress of the work done so far?

All in all, it's just about the context, whether it is formal or informal. Based on these two contexts you can give a response accordingly.

  • +1 for drawing attention to the difference in responses between chatting with a friend and chatting with your boss. With a friend it is used more like a greeting, but with your boss it usually is a request for a status report or something similar.
    – HaL
    Commented Apr 7, 2011 at 19:08

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