The classic greeting, "How are you?" is typically translated as "Как делa?" in Russian. However, many other similar greetings exist that convey different nuanced meaning a variety of social settings. In this article, we introduce you to 15 different ways to ask "How are you?" in Russian.
For more Russian vocab about greetings, we'd also recommend our Hello and Goodbye vocab resource.
Please refer here if you'd like to learn more about how to respond to "How are you?" in Russian.
Как (твои / ваши) дела? = How are you?
Как (у тебя / у вас) дела? = How are you?
This is the most common way to ask how someone is. It translates literally to English as "how are things?" On its own, it's definitely more on the informal side. To make the phrase a bit more polite, add "Ваши" or "у Вас".
Как ты / вы? = How are you?
"Как ты?" is another common way to ask how someone is. Versus, "как дела?" it is a bit less formal on the "ты" pronoun and a bit more formal on the "вы" pronoun.
Как жизнь? = How are you? / How's life?
This is a good one to use when you're catching up with someone you know casually. Asking "Как жизнь?" really implies you are interested in hearing about what that person has to say.
Как ты поживаешь / Вы поживаете? = How are you doing? (lit., How are you living?)
Think of "Как Вы поживаете?" as a more formal version of "Как жизнь?" For sure, you can still use it in the "ты" form with people you know. However, the more common, "Как Вы поживаете?" is definitely reserved more for formal situations.
Что нового? = What's new?
"Что нового?" sounds like it would be translate closely to the American greeting, "What's up?" However, it's typically more formal and less casually used. Actually, few young Russian use this phrase. You'll find it more often on TV.
That being said, if you want to give a quick response to the question, "Что нового?" these responses are solid:
Ты / Вы как? = How are you?
Как ты / Вы? = How are you?
"Как ты / ты как?" is a casual, shortened variation to the most common greeting, "Как дела?" Meanwhile, "Как вы / вы как?" is still formal, but slightly more casual than "Как ваши дела?"
Как живётся? = How's life? (lit., how is it living?)
"Как живётся?" is similar to "Как жизнь?" but is more likely to be used by older people. It comes across as quite sweet and polite.
Как настроение? = How are you? (lit., how is the mood?)
"Как настроение?" is a pleasant, informal way to greet friends and family. This is typically done as a cheerful way to communicate. Speakers will often use it with audiences on TV and in real life.
Как сам / сама? = What's up? (lit. how are you yourself?)
This is a very informal way to ask how someone is and will frequently be used after you have already answered someone else's question to you. This phrase declines, so remember to add an "-а" ending if you're talking with a woman. To note, you wouldn't expect to use this phrase in the plural, addressing multiple people.
Че там? / Как там? = You aight? (lit., what's there?)
Very informal way to ask how someone is.
Как оно? = How are things? (lit., how is it?)
Very relaxed way of catching up with people you know well.
Как делишки? = How are things? (lit., How are little things?)
This cute phrase turns "дела" ("things") into the diminutive form, "делишки." It will often be used by young girls and those communicating with them.
Как ваше ничего? = lit., How is your “all right” doing?
When answering the question, "How are you?" then Russian word "ничего" means "all right." And so when you ask this question, you're getting ahead of someone's expected reply and making it clear you want to get a more fulsome response. "Как ваше ничего?" might be how an exasperated parent asks their grumbling, uncommunicative teenage son how he's doing, for example.
These English transliterations are not uncommon among today's young Russians, especially online.
Хау а ю? = How are you?
This is a literal transliteration of the English greeting, "How are you?"
Вотсап? = What's up?
This is a literal transliteration of the English greeting, "What's up?"