“How’s it going?” is a typical conversation starter used by English speakers. The most common response to this answer is, “It’s going well/fine/good/ok.” You can also answer with one or two words such as “OK”, “fine” or even “not bad.”
If you aren’t feeling happy, you can reply to the question with “not so good” or “pretty bad.”
It usually doesn’t stop there. After answering, the question can be asked back to the initial inquisitor in the form of “how about you?”; this is a polite gesture and often opens up the floor for further conversation.
Feel free to elaborate with real life details if you are talking to someone you like and feel comfortable with and want to chat with further (such as your Cambly tutor!). For instance, you can respond, “Not so good. My cat is sick so I took him to the veterinarian last night and now I’m really worried.”
Answering with simply “It’s going” (with no adjective to complete the sentence) and pairing it with some body language (such as a raise of the eyebrows or a shrug of the shoulders), a funny voice, a sigh or a laugh can convey that you are bored or stressed, but handling it ok. This usually gives some comic relief to an unpleasant situation.
Finally, a version of this question can be used when checking in about a specific topic. Maybe you started school, and someone wants to know about how your experience has been. So, when they ask, “How’s school going for you?” you most likely will answer, “It’s going great! I’m especially enjoying my English speaking class!”
Author: Louise US, Cambly Tutor
If you’d like to keep this conversation going with Louise, give her a call on Cambly or make a reservation with her here: https://www.cambly.com/en/student/tutor/Louise%20US