I'm not a native English user, so when I want to ask someone if he/she feels hot / cold, I will ask the question as per the grammar: Are you hot? Are you cold?

But I wonder how do Americans or British people usually say when they ask such a question in their daily life.

The scenario is that when I myself feel OK, I ask this question to my kid, boy/girl friend, wife/husband, friend, etc. If the answer is "no" then I will do nothing, whereas if the answer is "yes" then I will, for example, turn on AC / fan / heater, open / close the window, etc.

  • 1
    One way to do this in U.S. English is by asking, "Does it seem hot [or cold] in here?" The other person may then answer "A little" or "Not to me," as the case may be. I think that the appeal of this wording is that it frames the question not as one of personal discomfort (which the other person may seek to minimize when asked directly about it) but as one of objective reality—even though it is actually indirectly inquiring about the other person's level of subjective comfort.
    – Sven Yargs
    Sep 9, 2019 at 2:34
  • 3
    You simply ask "Are you hot?" or "Are you cold?" That's how people generally put the question. Now, for "hot," that doesn't mean that someone won't give you a flip answer, like "Yeah, I'm hot, baby," as "hot" can also mean sexually attractive or sexually aroused, but those people know what you actually mean. That merits an eye-roll, not changing the way you phrase it. Sep 9, 2019 at 2:44
  • “Are you warm enough?” and “Are you too warm?” is another way to do it.
    – Xanne
    Sep 9, 2019 at 3:39

1 Answer 1


What you state in the question is idiomatically correct in standard English. Asking someone "Are you hot?" or "Are you cold?" is normal, though a bit informal. (That is, it's probably something you'd say to family members and friends.)

If addressing someone you don't know (or don't know well), such a question might seem a bit direct or "personal." In that case, it's probably more common to direct the person to the potential source of heat or cold. For example, "Is this open window producing too much of a breeze?" Or, "The thermostat is set to X. Does that seem okay?" Sometimes if you sense another person is uncomfortable, you might just offer an action as a remedy, too. For example, "It seems a bit stuffy. Shall I open a window?"

As noted in comments, another way of getting around the direct approach is sometimes to ask the question in general terms, rather than asking for personal comfort level, as in, "Does it seem hot in here?" or even just, "Is it hot in here?" It's still the same question, but less directed at another person's comfort level. (In casual circumstances in American English, you can also utter, "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?" when you're uncomfortable but trying to gather information about others' comfort level.)

These latter options are only necessary if you're less familiar with the person you're addressing and/or it's unclear that you are the person who could control the temperature. If you know the person you're addressing and it's in a social situation where you should clearly be the one to raise/lower temperatures, or open/close windows, or whatever, it's also common just to ask, "Are you hot/cold?"

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    "Though a bit formal"??? No, it's not a bit formal. That's the most common way to say it. I'm not being "a bit formal" with my three-year-old when I ask her, "Are you hot?" Sep 9, 2019 at 3:38
  • Athanasius's answer is "though a bit informal", I think your opinion is as same as his @BenjaminHarman
    – Columbia Rover
    Sep 9, 2019 at 4:21
  • @BenjaminHarman - I've never been on this community before and my answer was just migrated here. In any case, did you seriously downvote my answer because you misread it?
    – Athanasius
    Sep 11, 2019 at 21:09

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