"Doing alright" sounds like a good answer to "How are you doing?".

Is it an acceptable answer to "How are you?" too?

  • 1
    Why do you think it might not be? – ColleenV Aug 23 '19 at 19:14

"Doing alright" is an elided sentence, a shortened form of:

I am doing alright.

When someone asks, "How are you doing?" it may seem natural to repeat the doing:

Doing alright.

However, when someone asks, "How are you?" it may seem natural to repeat the "to be" verb:

I'm alright.

Since the full version contains both am and doing, the shortened form is fine for either question.

Incidently, most dialogues that begin with "How are you?" or "How are you doing?" are followed up with stock phrase answers that don't really need to answer the question using a parallel construct. It's just cordial small talk. I've heard all of the following answers to my "How ya doin'?" queries, and I've never bristled at the grammar or questioned the appropriateness of any of them:

  • How're you doing? (This is considered a valid if not expected answer, especially in some regions.)
  • Fine. (Or: Great. Or: Wonderful.)
  • Good. You?
  • Living the dream!
  • Peachy. (Or: Peachy keen.)
  • Fair to middlin'.
  • Surviving.
  • Just right.

That last one is not very common (in fact, I've only known one person who used it regularly); however, I've always thought that was a great answer to a ubiquitous question.

  • 1
    Next time I am going to use "Peachy". Some (including me) say "not too bad" or "I've been better". "Just right" seems something a man with a great suit would use, like James Bond. Pretty cool. – AIQ Aug 24 '19 at 1:59
  • 1
    @AIQ - Actually, it was a welder who usually wore plaid flannel shirts. But he projected both an optimistic outlook and a contented demeanor, so he could pull it off. – J.R. Aug 24 '19 at 2:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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