I'd like to understand whether there is any difference between two greetings.

You okay?


Are you okay?

Do they mean the same thing? When would I use one or the other? Are there differences in "level of language" or formality, or any other differences?

  • 1
    You okay? is just a spoken version of Are you okay?. There is no difference.
    – achAmháin
    Oct 30, 2018 at 13:56
  • 1
    Framed as a question, the single word utterance Okay? could be a shortened version of 2- or 3-word [Are [you]] okay? (Are you alright?), but it could also be used to mean something like Are you okay / satisfied with [whatever was just said/done] / Do you agree? On the other hand, I think a single word utterance such as Satisfied? (or the 2-word form You satisfied?) can only be interpreted as Are you satisfied? Oct 30, 2018 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


The meaning of the two sentences is exactly the same. The only difference is that

Are you okay?

is grammatically correct (since it has a verb) while

You okay?

is informal and something you're more likely to hear in casual conversation or over text. It's just quicker or lazier to chop off the "are" at the beginning.


Here is a scenario where the difference between the two phrasings is important:

The Heimlich Maneuver and Cardio-Pulmonary Respiration (CPR) are urgent, potentially life-saving actions that are also dangerous. They should only be performed on a person who is not breathing. Furthermore, the "cardio" portion of CPR should only performed on a person whose heart is not beating.

Therefore, I was taught that the first step of the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR is to ask, "Are you OK?". The purpose is to get the person to try to answer verbally. If the person can say anything -- even a weak "no", then neither the Heimlich Maneuver nor CPR should be performed.

In a verbal conversation, the minimal formality of "Are you OK?" requests a verbal answer.

"You okay?" is so informal that it can be answered with just a gesture. In a situation where the asker needs to know if the answerer can exhale, this is too informal.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .