I learnt that one of this is officially accepted, is there any difference between I am fine, thank you, and I am very well, thank you ?.

I was preparing for an interview, and a friend of mine interviewed me just to be sure I'd prepared enough for the interview. The pre-interviewed question was below.

Friend: Hi, how are you?

Response: I'm fine, thank you.

He said in most context, it is better to say I'm very well, thank you.

  • 1
    "Officially"? English, unlike some languages, has no official rules and no officialdom to attempt to police them.
    – choster
    Nov 16, 2018 at 14:15
  • Interesting. Never have thought to pay serious attention to this.
    – user17814
    Nov 29, 2018 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


The I'm fine response is neutral. It's a way of saying "nothing is wrong" in a positive statement. By giving this response you indicate that nothing out of the ordinary is going on, it's essentially a generic but polite response to a generic, polite greeting.

However the I am very well response is much more positive. There's no real reason you couldn't use it, but most people tend to use the neutral response.

I can't really say why English speakers prefer a neutral response to a positive one, there might be some interesting implications there, but that's just how it is.

  • 1
    I think that there must be regional, social, cultural variations. Most people I know say 'I am very well' whether they are or not. If one of them says 'I'm fine' I would look concerned and ask gently what was wrong.
    – JeremyC
    Nov 9, 2018 at 22:54

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