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 youre sending a work email to someone you havent even met face to face, you will always find yourself asking this one thing.
Of course, you might ask some variant, like Hows it going? or even How ya goin? (if there any Australians reading this).
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
How are you?¿Cómo te va?
How is it going?¿Cómo andas?
How are you?¿Qué pasa?
Whats 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?
- All the Ways to Say How Are You in Spanish
- ¿Cómo estás?
- ¿Cómo te va?
- ¿Cómo andas?
- ¿Qué pasa?
- ¿Qué hay?
- ¿Qué hay de nuevo?
- ¿Qué tal?
- ¿Qué tal todo? / ¿Qué tal va todo?
- ¿Cómo van las cosas?
- ¿Cómo va todo?
- ¿Cómo va?
- ¿Qué onda?
- ¿Todo bien?
- ¿Qué cuentas?
- ¿Cómo te trata la vida?
- ¿Qué hubo?
- ¿Qué hacés?
- ¿Qué es de tu vida?
All the Ways to Say How Are You in Spanish
Below theres more detail on each Spanish phrase that means How are you?.
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 tú (you), and it should be used only in informal situations, such as with friends, young people, children people you know well!
The decision on using tú vs usted is relatively simple. If youre 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 shouldnt 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: Hows 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 theyre doing, but you can also use it to ask about something more specific. For example, if you run into a friend you havent seen for a long time, you could simply ask ¿cómo te va?, but you could also ask ¿cómo te va con el trabajo? (Hows 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 (Im doing well!), but you can always simply say bien. You wont necessarily hear this in every region, though.
Read next: I Love You in Spanish 7 Heartfelt Ways to Express Love
Q: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo andas?
A: ¡Bien! ¿Y tú?
Q: How are you? (lit how are you walking?)
A: Good and you?
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, theyre 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 tú, 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 theyre actually asking how you are.
Q: ¡Eh! ¿Qué pasa?
A: ¿Qué pasa, tío?
Q: Whats happening / whats up?
A: Whats up man?
¿Qué pasa? is very common in Spain, but not so much in Latin American countries. It literally means Whats happening? or Whats going on. In a greeting context, it means something like Whats 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 dont need to give an answer. You can simply respond with another ¿Qué pasa?
But, overall, you shouldnt 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?).
Q: ¿Qué hay?
A: ¡Pues no mucho!
Q: Whats new?
A: Not much!
Another way to ask how are you in Spanish in a conversation with local people is ¿qué hay? , meaning something like Whats new?.
This question can be used in colloquial conversations. When someone asks you ¿qué hay?, they arent 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 [going on], what about you?).
For more informal slang ways to say how are you in Spanish, check out the video below.
¿Qué hay de nuevo?
Q: ¿Qué hay de nuevo, amigo?
A: Aquí ando, muy bien.
Q: Whats new friend?
A: Hanging in there, very good.
If you still arent feeling any of these expressions and want another way In this case, the question ¿qué hay de nuevo? literally means Whats new?. An answer you could get is aquí ando, which means something like Hanging in there, or Same old, same old.
Curious fact: in both Latin America and Spain, Bugs Bunnys catchphrase is: ¿Qué hay de nuevo, viejo?
Q: Hola, ¿qué tal?
A: Bien, ¿usted?
Q: How are you?
A: Good, you?
This simple phrase is widely used in all Spanish-speaking countries, and it can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
You can also say ¿qué tal estás? (tú) or ¿qué tal están? (ustedes).
Tal comes from the Latin talis and refers to the special quality of things. Therefore, ¿qué tal? technically means something like What is your current state?.
¿Qué tal todo? / ¿Qué tal va todo?
Q: ¿Qué tal va todo?
A: Pues, muy bien.
Q: Hows everything going?
A: Very good you?
Someone might also ask you ¿qué tal todo? or ¿qué tal va todo? These are some variants of the question ¿qué tal?
¿Cómo van las cosas?
Q: ¿Cómo van las cosas?
A: Todo bien, por suerte.
Q: How are things going?
A: Everythings good, luckily.
¿Cómo van las cosas? is something you could ask someone with whom you have some confidence. It means How are things going? or How do things go?.
When they ask you ¿cómo van las cosas?, they are inviting you to briefly tell how your things are: your family, your job, your studies, your health It is a very common way to start a conversation.
¿Cómo va todo?
Q: ¿Cómo va todo?
A: Muy bien, gracias
Q: How is everything going?
A: Very good, thank you!
This expression is similar to ¿cómo van las cosas? While todo means everything, you dont need to do a monologue about how you are doing in every single aspect of your life. You can respond with a simple muy bien, gracias (Very good, thank you!).
Q: ¿Cómo va?
A: Bien, ¿vos?
Q: Hows it going?
A: Good you?
This question is similar to ¿Cómo te va?, but it is substantially more informal. It is common to use it among people who have a lot of confidence. It is very common in countries like Argentina and Uruguay, where the pronoun vos replaces tú.
Q: ¿Qué onda?
A: Todo bien, ¿y tú?
Q: Whats up?
A: Everythings good you?
This question is very popular among young people in fact its used almost exclusively by younger people. Using this phrase with elderly people or people from your work environment is probably not a good idea.
Onda means wave; However, this expression means Whats up? This informal greeting is mostly used in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Guatemala and Chile.
Q: ¿Todo bien?
A: Todo bien, gracias.
Q: All good?
A: Everythings good, thanks.
So you came in here wondering how to say how are you in Spanish? As you can see so far, there are lots of ways! And if you want to sound like a local, you must learn about ¿todo bien? , which literally means All good?.
If someone asks you that, you can answer Todo bien, ¿y tú? or with Todo bien, gracias.
Q: ¿Qué cuentas?
A: No mucho, la verdad.
Q: Whats new? (What can you tell me?
A: Not much, really.
This question is used to ask a person whats new. The verb contar, in this case, means to tell: What can you tell me?
You can also use the variant ¿qué te cuentas? or you can even say ¿qué me cuentas?, especially if you are going to gossip: ¿qué me cuentas de la vecina? (What can you tell me about the neighbor?).
¿Cómo te trata la vida?
Q:¿Cómo te trata la vida?
A: No me puedo quejar.
Q: Hows life treating you?
A: I cant complain.
It literally means: Hows life treating you? And yes, its a pretty broad question. Some possible answers could be bien, mal, or no me puedo quejar (I cant complain).
Sometimes, if you have been doing something new, the question could become: ¿cómo te trata el nuevo empleo? (How is your new job treating you?) or ¿cómo te trata la paternidad? (How is being a dad treating you?).
Q: ¿Qué hubo?
A: Bien, ¿y usted?
Q: Whats up?
A: Good, and you?
In countries like Colombia or Panama ¿qué hubo? is a very common slang greeting. It is similar to ¿qué hay?, although it literally means What was there? or What happened? When someone asks you ¿qué hubo?, they will normally do it very quickly. In fact, it might sound something like ¿Qubo?.
Read next: Critical Colombian Slang The 15+ Essentials for Learners
Q: ¿Qué hacés?
A: ¡Hola! No mucho, ¿y tú?
Q: Whats up?
A: Good, and you?
¿Qué hacés? literally means What are you doing?. It is especially common In Argentina and Uruguay (countries that mostly use voseo vos instead of tú). There, in some contexts, it can also mean How are you?
Typically, this phrase is used as a greeting. Therefore, there is no real intention to know how the other person is, but rather it would mean a simple Hi!
¿Qué es de tu vida?
Q: ¿Qué es de tu vida?
A: Bueno, comencé un curso de pastelería
Q: Whats going on with your life?
A: Well. I started a pastery course
This is a phrase that you can typically use when you havent seen a person for a long period of time and actually want to know what theyve been up to. It literally means Whats going on with your life?
Its a fairly broad question that invites us to talk about the current state of things: work, family, activities, studies, travels, and so on.
There are lots of ways to ask how are you in Spanish. The one you will choose will depend on the level of familiarity you have with the other person and the place where you are.
Spanish is the official language of more than 20 countries, and each of them has its own regionalisms. If youre travelling to a Spanish-speaking country, we recommend you to do a little research.
For now, you already know 18 ways to ask how you are in Spanish. ¡Buena suerte!Share this: