Other words/phrases for “to reciprocate a question”

Would you say the word ‘reciprocate‘ (in the context of responding to a courtesy/greeting question by returning the exact same question) is too formal a word to expect in casual conversations.

  • If so what are some more informal alternatives? Does the phrase “ask back” work? As in:

When someone greets you with ‘how are you?’, you have to ask back.

  • Conversely, I would also like to ask for some formal alternatives as well.

Many thanks in advance.


Respond in kind.

In kind (Oxford): In the same way; with something similar.

Examples (also from Oxford):

  • ‘Treat the players right, and they will respond in kind.’

  • ‘The least that can be done is to take him seriously and to respond in kind.’

  • ‘In kind, I ask him to withdraw and apologise because I do not like his claiming that I am a stooge of anyone else.’

  • ‘I was finding it difficult to respond in kind to his teasing.’

  • ‘And he responded to me in kind last night saying that he understood that and that it was an attack against him.’

Your example:

When someone greets you with ‘How are you?’, you should respond in kind.

Source : Link , Question Author : JUNCINATOR , Answer Author : aparente001

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