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  • Foto del escritorMonica Jones

The 18th and informal greetings!

Last weekend was Chile’s National Holiday (Fiestas Patrias)! Hopefully you were able to celebrate by going to a Chilean fair (fonda), dancing Chile’s national dance (Cueca) or eating a Chilean hotdog (completo) at a barbecue. Read about my experience celebrating Chile’s National Holiday while also learning informal greetings and how to respond to them in English.

On September 18th I was a little late to my friend's Chilean Independence Day barbecue. I got there around five o’clock. Luckily, I was just in time for Chilean hotdogs (completos) and Chile’s famous Earthquake cocktail (Terremotos).

“Hey, how’s it going?” (1) I asked my friend, Laura, when I go to her apartment.

“Moni! Welcome! It’s going great (1). All of my family is here and we’re so excited to have you join us to celebrate Chilean Independence Day! Feel free to say “hello” to everyone on the patio and grab something to eat and drink,” Laura responded enthusiastically.

When I walked out on the patio, I started to greet her family. I already knew her two kids, Gustavo and Gloria, but I was meeting the rest of her family for the first time. “Hey Gustavo, long time no see! (2) How’s life?” (3) I asked Laura’s son who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. “Monica! It’s been a while. Life’s good (3) I’ve just been finishing up my last year of high school and playing lots of soccer.”

Then Gustavo politely asked me, “What’s new with you?” (4) I responded, “Not much (4). I just got back to Chile a couple months ago. I was living in Cusco for almost a year while teaching English classes online. It’s been great to be back in Santiago and spend time with old friends!”

Laura’s daughter, Gloria, got to the barbeque right as I was finishing up meeting the rest of her family. “Hey Gloria! It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. How’ve you been?” (5) Gloria replied, “Hi Monica! I’ve been good (5). How about you?”

“I’ve been good too (5). What’ve you been up to (6) since I last saw you?” I asked her. “I’ve been studying (6) at the university to be a veterinarian,” she replied.

“That’s awesome! I remember that you’ve always loved animals so it doesn’t surprise me that you’re studying to be a veterinarian,” I said to Gloria. I continued to catch up with Gloria and Gustavo as well as get to know the rest of Laura’s family since I had just met them for the first time that day. It was a fun-filled Eighteenth barbecue with spectacular company, food and drink.

1.) How’s it going? ¿Cómo va todo?

Possible responses: It’s going well. It’s going okay. It’s going alright.

2.) Long time no see. Hace tiempo que no te veo.

3.) How’s life? ¿Cómo está la vida?

Possible responses: Life’s great! It’s okay. It’s not bad.

4.) What’s new (with you)? ¿Qué hay de nuevo (contigo)?

Possible responses: Not much. I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I’ve been working at a new job.

5.) How’ve you been? ¿Cómo has estado?

Possible responses: I’ve been….good, okay, not bad, alright, not great, etc.

6.) What’ve you been up to (lately)? ¿En qué has estado (últimamente)?

Possible responses: I’ve been working a lot lately. I’ve been spending time with my family.

What other topics do you want to learn about?! Write in the comments below or write me at or @monicayourprofe and let me know!

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