In English, the phrase “How are you?” (or some variant) comes at the beginning of almost every conversation. Whether you just met someone, run into a friend or you’re sending a work email to someone you haven’t even met face to face, you will always find yourself asking this one thing.

Of course, you might ask some variant, like “How’s it going?” or even “How ya goin’?” (if there any Australians reading this).

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In Spanish, the first translation for “how are you” that most people learn is is: ¿cómo estás? But, there are lots of ways to ask how are you in Spanish! It all depends on the context and the country.

Here are all the ways to ask “How are you?” in Spanish with plenty of examples, so you know exactly when and how to use these expressions.

How Are You in Spanish at a Glance

Here are all the ways you can express it, with a rough English equivalent for each one.


Spanish

English


¿Cómo estás?

How are you?


¿Cómo te va?

How is it going?


¿Cómo andas?

How are you?


¿Qué pasa?

What’s happening? What"s going on?


¿Qué hay?

What"s new?


¿Qué hay de nuevo?

What"s new?


¿Qué tal?

How are you?


¿Qué tal todo?
¿Qué tal va todo?

How are you?


¿Cómo van las cosas?

How are things going?


¿Cómo va todo?

How is everything?


¿Cómo va?

How"s it going?


¿Qué onda?

What"s up?


¿Todo bien?

All good?


¿Qué cuentas?

What"s new? What can you tell me?


¿Cómo te trata la vida?

How"s life treating you?


¿Qué hubo?

What happened?


¿Qué hacés?

What are you doing?


¿Qué es de tu vida?

What"s going on with your life?


Contents


All the Ways to Say How Are You in Spanish

All the Ways to Say How Are You in Spanish


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Below there’s more detail on each Spanish phrase that means “How are you?”.

¿Cómo estás?


Q: ¿Cómo estás? or ¿Cómo está?A: Bien, gracias, ¿y tú? or ¿y usted?


Q: How are you?A: Good and you?


¿Cómo estás? is the most widespread version of “How are you?”, and you can use it in almost every context. It also works in every Spanish-speaking country.

Keep in mind that ¿cómo estás? uses the pronoun (you), and it should be used only in informal situations, such as with friends, young people, children… people you know well!

If you’re addressing someone formally, then you should switch to the formal pronoun usted, and say: ¿cómo está? You can use this expression in formal situations such as in a job interview, in a bank, with elderly people or whomever you feel you shouldn’t treat too casually.

Another conjugation you might want to know is that for the plural second person: ¿cómo están? (or ¿cómo estáis? in Spain). Use it when talking to two or more people!

Finally, if they ask you ¿Cómo estás?, an appropriate response might be Muy bien, ¿y tú? (“Very good, how about you?”). If talking in a formal context, then it would be: Muy bien, ¿y usted?

Read next: 4 Ways to Say How Are You Feeling in Spanish

¿Cómo te va?


Q: ¿Cómo te va?A: Muy bien, ¿y a ti?


Q: How’s it going?A: Very good and you?


¿Cómo te va? is not the literal translation of how are you? A more accurate translation of this expression could be “How is it going?” Also, keep in mind that ¿cómo te va? is more informal than ¿cómo estás?

You can use this question to ask the person how they’re doing, but you can also use it to ask about something more specific. For example, if you run into a friend you haven’t seen for a long time, you could simply ask ¿cómo te va?, but you could also ask ¿cómo te va con el trabajo? (“How’s your work going?”) or ¿cómo te va con tus clases de natación? (“How are your swimming lessons going?”).

A warning! Some Spanish speakers may complicate this question a bit more, and ask: ¿Cómo te está yendo? An answer to this question could be: me está yendo bien (“I’m doing well!”), but you can always simply say bien. You won’t necessarily hear this in every region, though.

Read next: I Love You in Spanish – 7 Heartfelt Ways to Express Love

¿Cómo andas?


Q: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo andas?A: ¡Bien! ¿Y tú?


Another way to ask how are you doing in Spanish is ¿cómo andas? Literally, andar means “to walk” or “to go”, but if someone asks you cómo andas, they’re not asking you about the way you walk, but how you are.

This question is particularly used in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Spain. But, keep in mind that Argentina and Uruguay use voseo. Wait… what is voseo? It refers to the pronoun vos, a substitute for , the singular second person pronoun used in other countries.

For example: if you want to say “You eat”, you must say vos comés (noting the accent on the final syllable) instead of tú comes. Therefore, in that South American region the correct question would be ¿Cómo andás?, with a stress on the final “a”. Also, the answer will not be bien, ¿y tú?, but bien, ¿y vos?

Extra tip: It is common in some Spanish-speaking countries for people to ask the question in the first person plural. If you are in Argentina, for example, someone might asks you: ¿Cómo andamos? (“How are we?”) even though they’re actually asking how you are.

¿Qué pasa?


Q: ¡Eh! ¿Qué pasa?A: ¿Qué pasa, tío?


¿Qué pasa? is very common in Spain, but not so much in Latin American countries. It literally means “What’s happening?” or “What’s going on”. In a greeting context, it means something like “What’s up?”.

This expression is very colloquial. If you meet a friend on the street while you are walking around Barcelona, and he says ¡Eh! ¿Qué pasa, tío?, you don’t need to give an answer. You can simply respond with another ¿Qué pasa?

But, overall, you shouldn’t use ¿qué pasa? as a greeting in Latin America. Someone might interpret that you are actually asking “What is happening?”, and they could ask you back ¿qué pasa con qué? (“What about what?”).

¿Qué hay?


Q: ¿Qué hay?A: ¡Pues no mucho!


Another way to ask how are you in Spanish in a conversation with local people is ¿qué hay? , meaning something like “What’s new?”.

This question can be used in colloquial conversations. When someone asks you ¿qué hay?, they aren’t necessarily wondering what is actually new. It is a catchphrase to start a talk, or simply to greet someone.

If you ask ¿Qué hay?, the answer you will get could be no mucho, ¿y tú? (“Not too much , what about you?”).

See more: Convert To A Mixed Number 23/8 As A Mixed Number 23 8/2 To Improper Fraction

For more informal slang ways to say how are you in Spanish, check out the video below.