How Questions Game- Good and Bad

A LESSON PLAN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS

Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Questions
Type: Lesson Plans
Submitted by:
Published: 8th Mar 2020

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Lesson Plan Text

How Questions Game- Good and Bad

In groups of two or three, have real conversations using “How…?” questions and 
responses like those below, avoiding unsuitable conversations by thinking carefully about:

-

When you are speaking

-

Your relationship (and so how personal you can be)

-

What you already know about your partner

-

What questions and responses are rarely or never suitable

You also can’t repeat questions that you or other people have used (and you can’t use 
“How about you?”/ “And you?” on its own to do that), but try to make the next question or 
topic similar if you can to make the conversation go smoothly. You can also ask extra 
follow-up questions like 
“Why…?” if you like. 

Ask about any questions or responses below which you don’t know how to use and/ or 
don’t know how to respond to.

Underline questions and responses which are rarely suitable/ which you be careful about 
using.

Compare with the ones in bold below. Other answers are possible. 

Find questions and responses which have (basically) the same meanings.

Compare with the suggested answers below. All others probably have different meanings, 
so check that you understand the differences. 

Suggested answers 2

How are things?/ How are you doing?/ How’s it going?/ How’s life (treating you)?
A nightmare/ An absolute nightmare/ Terrible/ Awful
Not so good/ Not so great
Nothing special/ Same ole same ole
Alright/ Okay
Can’t complain/ Mustn’t grumble
Not bad/ Good
Wonderful/ Fantastic/ Superb/ Amazing/ Fabulous/ Excellent
Mind your own business/ Never you mind/ None of your business/ That’s none of your 

business

How about you?/ What about you?/ And you?

p. 1

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

Roleplay similar small talk conversations, first as yourselves and then as other people who
you might speak to in English such as:

-

client/ customer

-

supplier/ vendor

-

colleague

-

boss

-

acquaintance

p. 2

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

Possible small talk questions with how (including probably unsuitable questions)

How are things?
How are you coping with…?/ How are you dealing with…?
How are you doing?
How are you feeling?
How are you getting on with…?
How are you?
(But) how are you really?
How did… go?/ How did you get on with…?/ How did… react to…?
How has your day been (so far)?
How has your trip/ visit/ stay been (so far)?
How has your week been (so far)?
How have you been (since we last met)?
How is working in/ for (name of a company/ division/ department/ section/ team/…)?
How is working under (name of a boss)?
How is working with (name of a colleague)?
How was (name of place)
How was the party (last night)?
How was the traffic (coming from…/ this morning/ on… road)?
How was your bank holiday/ public holiday?
How was your date?
How was your day off?
How was your evening?
How was your flight?
How was your (summer/ Xmas/ New Year/ Easter) break/ holiday/ vacation?
How was your journey?
How was your lunch/ dinner/ meal?
How was your trip?
How was your week?
How was your weekend?
How was…?
How’s (name)?
How’s business?
How’s it going?
How’s life?/ How’s life treating you?
How’s married life?
How’s the weather now/ outside now/ in…/ where you are/ over there?
How’s work?

p. 3

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

How’s your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/ wife/ partner/…?
How’s your cold?
How’s your daughter/ son getting on at university?/ How’s… getting on with/ at/ in…?
How’s your diet going?
How’s your family?/ How are your family?
How’s your hangover?
How’s your hotel?
How’s your leg (recovering)?/ How’s your… (recovering)?
How’s your love life?
How’s your new office/ desk/ job/ position/ flat/…?
How’s your project going?/ How’s…. going?
How’s your (football) team doing?/ How’s your team getting on?
I heard that you… How was it?/ How was the weather?/ How did you get on?/ How…?
You said that you were going to… How was it?

Possible responses (including probably unsuitable responses)

A nightmare/ An absolute nightmare
Absolutely hectic
Absolutely terrible
Absolutely wonderful
Actually, I can’t remember
Alright
Amazing/ Superb
Awful
Can’t complain/ I can’t complain
Don’t ask!
Excellent
Fairly busy
Fabulous/ Fantastic
Hmmm okay I guess
I don’t want to talk about it
I’d rather not say, if you don’t mind
I’d rather not say
I’m perfect
Mind your own business
Mustn’t grumble
Never you mind
(That’s) none of your business
Not bad
Not so busy
Not so good

I……………

(How about you?) 
(What about you?)
(And you?)

…….…?

p. 4

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

Not so great
Nothing special
Okay
Really good
Really busy
Really great
Really relaxing
Same ole same ole
So stressful 
So-so
Very productive
You don’t want to know!

p. 5

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

Suggested answers 1

Ones which are probably not suitable or you need to be careful about using are in bold

How are things?
How are you coping with…?/ How are you dealing with…?
How are you doing?
- How are you feeling?
How are you getting on with…?
How are you?
- (But) how are you really?
How did… go?/ How did you get on with…?/ How did… react to…?
How has your day been (so far)?
How has your trip/ visit/ stay been (so far)?
How has your week been (so far)?
How have you been (since we last met)?
How is working in/ for (name of a company/ division/ department/ section/ team/…)?
- How is working under (name of a boss)?
- How is working with (name of a colleague)
?
How was (name of place)
How was the party (last night)?
How was the traffic (coming from…/ this morning/ on… road)?
How was your bank holiday/ public holiday?
- How was your date?
How was your day off?
How was your evening?
How was your flight?
How was your (summer/ Xmas/ New Year/ Easter) break/ holiday/ vacation?
How was your journey?
How was your lunch/ dinner/ meal?
How was your trip?
How was your week?
How was your weekend?
How’s (name)?
How’s business?
How’s it going?
How’s life?/ How’s life treating you?
- How’s married life?
How’s the weather now/ outside now/ in…/ where you are/ over there?

p. 6

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

How’s work?
How’s your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/ wife/ partner/…?
How’s your cold?
How’s your daughter/ son getting on at university?/ How’s… getting on with/ at/ in…?
- How’s your diet going?
How’s your family?/ How are your family?
How’s your hangover?
How’s your hotel?
How’s your leg (recovering)?/ How’s your… (recovering)?
- How’s your love life?
How’s your new office/ desk/ job/ position/ flat/…?
How’s your project going?/ How’s… going?
How’s your (football) team doing?/ How’s your team getting on?
I heard that you… How was it?/ How was the weather?/ How did you get on?/ How…?
You said that you were going to… How was it?

A nightmare/ An absolute nightmare
Absolutely hectic
Absolutely terrible
Absolutely wonderful
Actually, I can’t remember
Alright
Amazing/ Superb
Awful
Can’t complain/ I can’t complain
Don’t ask!
Excellent
Fairly busy
Fabulous/ Fantastic
Hmmm okay I guess
I don’t want to talk about it
I’d rather not say, if you don’t mind
I’d rather not say
I’m perfect
Mind your own business
Mustn’t grumble
Never you mind
(That’s) none of your business
Not bad
Not so busy
Not so good
Not so great
Nothing special

I……………

(How about you?) 
(What about you?)
(And you?)

…….…?

p. 7

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

Okay
Really good
Really busy
Really great
Really relaxing
Same ole same ole
So stressful 
So-so
Very productive
You don’t want to know!

p. 8

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2020

300 pages of other social English materials: 

https://www.usingenglish.com/e-books/social-english/

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