Asking How Someone is Faring in Twi | Common Twi Expressions

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You’re welcome to the fourteenth lesson under the Common Twi Expressions series. In our last two lessons, we looked at 4 Ways to Ask for Someone’s Name, and 4 Ways to Tell Your Name in Twi. You may click on either of the links to check them out if you missed any.

In the present lesson, I provide you with 4 different Twi phrases for asking how a person is doing. I have arranged these four phrases in the order of formality, starting with the most formal down to the informal. You should, therefore, consider the status of the person you’re addressing and choose the right question accordingly.

In the embedded video below, I go a step further to break the questions down, telling you about what each component means, towards a literal translation of each option.

If you came only for the text, you will find that beneath the video.

Video Lesson

Ways to Ask How Someone is Faring

  1. Wo ho te sɛn?

your body is like how?

‘how are you?’

  1. Ɛte sɛn?

it is like how?

‘how’s it?’

  1. Wo ho yɛ

your body (is) good?

‘you’re good?’

  1. Bɔkɔɔ?/ Bɔkɔɔ deɛ?

calm?/ calm though?

‘are you okay?’


  1. As aforementioned, some of the options above (especially the last one) are quite informal and should be used with caution. If you’re addressing, for instance, an elderly person, it would be appropriate to use the first one (wo ho te sɛn?), or the second at worst (ɛte sɛn?). You’re safe with the last two if you’re addressing a colleague, a friend, sibling, age mate.
  2. Irrespective the option (among the four) that you choose to use, you will sound polite if you begin your question with ‘mepa wo kyɛw (please)’ or the short form ‘mepaakyɛw’. This may sometimes not be a choice but a requirement depending on the status of the person you’re addressing (e.g. an elderly person, a chief/king, etc.)

This is where today’s lesson ends. Please be sure to subscribe to the website, our YouTube channel, and also join other learners on our Facebook page. Until our next class, it’s ‘bye’ from Yaw.


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STEPHEN AWIBA, known by his students as YAW, is the founding editor of LEARNAKAN.COM and LEARNAKANDICTIONARY.COM. He was born and raised in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital of Ghana, where Akan (Asante Twi) is spoken as the first language. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana and an MPhil in English Linguistics and Language Acquisition from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).


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