What is meant by what have you been up to?


“What have you been up to?” is a common English question - but it’s difficult lớn understand because of its idiomatic meaning. It contains the phrasal verb ‘to be up to,’ which means ‘to be doing something.’ In this blog, we’ll show you how lớn use “what have you been up to?” and other greetings that we can use when meeting old friends after a long time.

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What Does What Have You Been Up to Mean?

“What have you been up to?” is another way of asking “what have you been doing?” We can ask it lớn find out everything a person has been doing within a period of time, for example, “what have you been up khổng lồ this week?”

We can also ask this question accusingly when we think someone, specifically a child, has been misbehaving.

How lớn Anwer on Question What Have You Been Up To?

The most common answer to lớn this question is “nothing much, & you?” and this means that you haven’t done a lot today, this week, recently, or since you last spoke to each other.


We usually use the present perfect continuous tense to lớn give more information than simply ‘nothing much/not much.’

Other answers for “what have you been up to?” include:

“I’ve just been working a lot.”

“I’m still finishing the project I’ve been working on.”

“I’ve been working, cooking, and driving around a lot.”

“I’ve been travelling.”

“I’ve been running around non-stop! It feels lượt thích I can’t get a break.”

We can also respond with ‘same here’ if the question is returned, & we had the same experience as the person asking it:

Person a: “What have you been up to?”

Person b: “Nothing much, and you?”

Person a: “Same here.”

If we’re being accused of misbehaving, we might respond with:

“I haven’t done anything!”


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How do You Reply to lớn What Has Been Up?

We use “what’s up?” lớn ask how someone feels now. It’s either a casual greeting or it’s a way of asking if someone is OK because they appear sad or annoyed.

We use the present perfect question “what has been up?” to find out how someone has been since a point of time in the past until now. We use it as a casual greeting khổng lồ find out how our friends have been since we last saw them or as a question lớn find out why someone has been acting differently & strangely. Sometimes people have problems answering this question, no because they don’t know what it means, but because they have an English communication barrier và they have problems speaking English even if they know grammar. If you have the same problem you can check our không tính phí seminar.

We can also showroom ‘with you’ khổng lồ indicate that we have noticed something is wrong & we’re accusing the person of acting weird: “what has been up with you?”

The most common response is usually:

“Nothing. I’m fine. I’ve just had a lot on my mind.”

Note: the context of the question và the tone of the person asking will tell the responder if someone is asking “what has been up?” as a casual greeting or as a question khổng lồ ask “are you OK? I’ve noticed you’ve been acting strangely.”

The best thing about this question is that the responder can decide how much, or how little, they wish to share about their lives.


As a response to a casual greeting:

“Nothing much. Và you?”

“I’ve been busy, but nothing interesting.”

“Nothing lớn report. How about you?”

“I’ve been studying and working part-time.”

As a response lớn being asked about a bad mood:

“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.”

“I’m OK. I’m just tired.”

“I’m just busy. I’m sorry if I seem off.”

What You Been Up To

“What you been up to?” has the same meaning as “what have you been up to?” It is not grammatically correct to lớn leave out ‘have,’ however, native speakers often break grammar rules. “What you been up to?” is the more common spoken question and its meaning is “what have you been up to?”

You can choose to lớn use either question. There is no difference in meaning between these two questions.

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What Have You Been Doing

“What have you been doing?” has the same meaning as “what have you been up to?” It is a more formal question and a clearer và direct way of asking someone about the things that they have been doing since you last saw them.

‘Be up lớn (something)’ is an English phrasal verb with an idiomatic meaning. Therefore, it is better khổng lồ use “what have you been doing?” in formal situations when we meet someone we already know & haven’t seen for a while.

We can only ask someone “what have you been doing?” “what has been up?” và “what have you been up to?” if we know the person and we haven’t seen them for a while.

If we meet someone for the first time, we must only ask “how are you?” and “how are you doing?”

“What’s up?” is also an acceptable greeting for someone you have just met, but it’s important lớn remember that it is very casual và can only be used in informal situations.

How lớn Reply on What"s Been Up?

The most common answer khổng lồ “what’s been up?” is “nothing much, how about you?” The person is asking about our lives and we typically respond with “nothing much” unless something exciting has happened.


If we want khổng lồ give more information than simple “nothing much,” we can; but remember khổng lồ keep it short và to the point:

“Not much. Same old. And you?”

“Same thing, different day.”

“Nothing exciting.”

“I finally got a promotion!”

“I won the lottery!”

“I finished work & I’m on holiday. I’m enjoying the time off.”

How to Pronounce What Have You Been Up To

There are a lot of reduced sounds & contractions in the pronunciation of the question “What have you been up to?”

To say this sentence like a native speaker, we must reduce ‘have’ khổng lồ ‘ve’ & ‘you’ khổng lồ ‘ya.’ Also remember to lớn pronounce ‘been’ as ‘bin’

“What’ve ya bin up to?”

The stressed words in this sentence are ‘what’ and ‘up to.’ Everything else is reduced and linked together.

“What’veyabin up to?”

What Have You Been Up to lớn Lately

We can ask “what have you been up to lớn lately?” to restrict the time of the question. Perhaps we don’t want to know about everything someone has done since we last saw each other. It could have been years since you last saw or spoke lớn each other. We can add a time word to restrict the time & make it clear that we only mean ‘these days.’

What Have You Been Up khổng lồ Lately Meaning

‘Lately’ means ‘recently,’ therefore, this question means “what have you been doing recently?” The inferred meaning is ‘I haven’t seen you in a long time. Fill me in on the things you have done recently.’ An appropriate response is “I finally quit my old job và I’ve started working at a new company.”

How to Reply on What Have You Been Up To?

“What have you been up to?” is an inquiry into your life. If nothing exciting has happened, reply with “nothing much.” If something exciting has happened, tell them.

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“I’ve been getting back into reading recently. Would you lượt thích some book recommendations?”

“I’ve been working hard và I’m almost finished paying off my debts.”

“I’ve been planning a holiday. I can’t wait lớn get a break.”

“I’ve been running around lượt thích a headless chicken. So busy!”

“Life’s been keeping me on my toes.”

What Have You Been Up lớn These Days

‘These days’ ‘lately’ & ‘recently’ all have the same meaning. They refer to lớn a time period that started a little while before the present that continues into the present time. “What have you been up to these days?” also restricts time to ‘recently.’

It’s a way of asking “has anything exciting happened in your life recently? Have you done anything interesting or exciting? Have you changed your habits? Or is everything still the same as it used to lớn be?”

Meaning of The Question What Have You Been Up to lớn These Days

This is an informal question that means “what have you been doing?”

What Have You Been Up lớn or Too?

‘To’ is correct. ‘Too’ means in excess or as well. If I ask someone “what? Have you been up too?” it would be in response khổng lồ them telling me that they haven’t been able to lớn sleep và I’m telling them that I haven’t been able lớn sleep either.