I usually hear people ask others "What's up?" when they first meet each other. But what does this sentence mean? Does it mean "How are you?" or "What are you doing?' And if asked with such phrase, how should I answer?


What it means:

In this context, "up" means "happening". "What's up?" is a casual greeting that means

  • "How are you doing?"

  • "What are you doing?"

  • "What things are happening around you?"

People use this phrase mostly when seeing friends or acquaintances.

How to respond:

Sometimes, people say "What's up" as a generic casual greeting. The typical response is "not much" (even if you are doing something). You can also reply with any casual greeting:

  • "Hi"
  • "Hey"
  • "What's up"
  • "'sup" (short version of "what's up") etc.

Other times, people want to have a conversation, and might expect an answer. In this case, you can say what you are doing/how you are feeling/etc, in a casual manner:

  • "I'm just cleaning my apartment"
  • "feeling sick, might have caught the flu"

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