Quite as well as can be expected.

Hi everyone

I’ve heard this expression a number of times, especially when someone asks you how you are. There are people who answer: ‘Quite as well as can be expected.’ Does this mean that the person who asked you the question and gets that reply starts to wonder if some things have been going wrong in the past? I’ll make my question clearer by a dialogue.


Jack: ‘How are you, Keith?’
Keith: ‘Well, quite as well as can be expected.’
Jack: ‘Oh I see, what’s been going on then?’

Is my interpretation, correct?


To me it sounds like a formulaic and noncommittal reply. The other person could follow up by asking for further information, or could just move on, depending on whether they were interested.


‘Quite as well as can expected’ suggests to me that there is an underlying hint that the person being asked the question suggests:In view of has happened.

Thanks Dozy and Alan.