By hannahgreenwald Last updated:
“Hey, what’s up?”
“How’s it going?”
“How have you been?”
In our everyday encounters with other people, we use these phrases over and over.
In this post, you’ll learn eight other ways to say “How are you?” in Spanish that are a little more exciting.
I’ll even provide some appropriate responses.
- The Basic Greeting: ¿Cómo Estás?
- Why You Should Go Beyond the Basics with “How Are You?”
- “How Are You?” in Spanish: 8 Ways to Change Up This Greeting
- ¿Cómo andas (tú)?
- ¿Qué me cuentas?
- ¿Cómo te va?
- ¿Cómo va todo?
- ¿Cómo van las cosas?
- ¿Qué tal?
- ¿Qué hay?
- ¿Qué pasa?
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
The Basic Greeting: ¿Cómo Estás?
You have to learn the basics before you can move past them, of course.
The most basic greeting that you would use to ask “How are you?” to one person, in an informal setting, is:
¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
A slight variation on this greeting is ¿Cómo estás tú? This means exactly the same thing, but includes the optional pronoun tú (you).
In Spanish, the way you conjugate a verb changes depending on how many people you’re addressing, and on whether you’re in a formal or informal situation. In this case, the important verb is estar (to be).
(If you’re unclear on verb conjugation, check out this basic guide to conjugating the Spanish present tense.)
So, depending on who you’re speaking to, you may have to slightly adjust your conjugation. For each of the examples below, I’ll provide the appropriate pronoun in parentheses. Just like tú in the example above, these pronouns are optional and do not affect the meaning of the sentence.
¿Cómo está (usted)?
The pronoun usted refers to a singular “you” in a formal situation. Use this greeting when talking to a stranger, someone much older than you or someone in a position of superiority. For example, you might use ¿Cómo está? when greeting your friend’s grandfather, your boss, your professor, the queen of Spain and so on.
¿Cómo están (ustedes)?
Ustedes refers to a plural “you.” Use it when greeting two or more people at the same time.
Across Latin America, ustedes can be used in formal or informal situations. In Spain, it’s used exclusively in formal situations (like usted).
¿Cómo estáis (vosotros)?
If you happen to be speaking Spanish in Spain, use vosotros when talking to a group of people in an informal situation, such as when you’re speaking to a group of friends.
There are many ways to respond to the greeting “How are you?”
In Spanish, a safe response is:
Bien, gracias. ¿Y tú? (Fine, thanks. And you?)
This is a polite and simple way to keep the conversation going.
Of course, if you’re in a formal situation or talking to more than one person, you’ll want to substitute tú for usted, ustedes or vosotros where appropriate.
Why You Should Go Beyond the Basics with “How Are You?”
Sure, the abovewill get you through basic Spanish conversations. But why stop there? There are tons of ways to greet and be greeted in Spanish—it’s a good idea to know more than one.
Learning alternate greetings can allow you to vary your tone to suit more formal or casual situations. You wouldn’t greet your best friend the same way you would greet a client, right? It’s the same in Spanish—different greetings sound more natural in different company.
Plus, varying your speech patterns helps you sound more like a native speaker. I’ll bet when you talk in English, you don’t constantly repeat the phrase “How are you?” You probably change it up with phrases like “How’s it going?” or “What’s going on?” Moving beyond “How are you?” means moving beyond classroom Spanish and learning real-world Spanish.
Not to mention, learning slangy alternatives to common phrases can be a lot of fun. If you’re ever unsure about a slang term, language learner forums like the ones at WordReference can be great resources. You can also check out the meaning of slang words with the contextual dictionary on FluentU. Once you find the meaning of a new word, you can create a flashcard of it and see how it’s used by native speakers in the authentic Spanish videos of the program’s library.
Finally, it’s good to expand your vocabulary because—duh!—native speakers will use these phrases when they talk to you! When they do, you’ll want to understand and be able to respond.
“How Are You?” in Spanish: 8 Ways to Change Up This Greeting
For each of these greetings, I’ll let you know how to politely respond. You can, of course, also respond to any of these greetings by letting your conversation partner know how you’re actually doing.
But when you’re talking with strangers or acquaintances, it’s good to know how to give a noncommittal response like “It’s all good” or “Oh, nothing much.”
Unclear on how to pronounce any of the words in this post? Forvo is a great resource with crowd-sourced pronunciations provided by native speakers.
¿Cómo andas (tú)?
The verb andar means “to walk” or “to go,” so this greeting is similar to the English “How’s it going?” It’s slightly more casual and slangy than the basic ¿Cómo estás?
Andar is a regular -ar verb, so its other conjugations are:
¿Cómo anda (usted)?
¿Cómo andan (ustedes)?
¿Cómo andáis (vosotros)?
You can respond to this in the same way you would respond to ¿Cómo estás?An answer like Bien (good), Bastante bien (pretty good) or Muy bien (very good) is appropriate.
This greeting is quite slangy. It literally translates to “What do you tell me?” Think of it as a Spanish equivalent to the English “What’s going on?”
It would be a little awkward to use this greeting in the usted form since it’s so informal—but here are all of the conjugations just in case.
Forusted:¿Qué me cuenta?
For ustedes: ¿Qué me cuentan?
For vosotros: ¿Qué me contáis?
Note here that contar is a stem-changing verb!
If someone asked you “What’s going on?” in English, you might respond with “Oh, not much.” It’s similar in Spanish. If someone asks you ¿Qué me cuentas? you might respond with something like:
Nada en especial.(Nothing special.)
Lo normal.(The usual.)
No mucho.(Not much.)
It would sound a little strange to respond with something like Bien, gracias. This might be tricky to keep track of, but if you practice enough, you’ll unconsciously start to realize what response sounds right and what sounds awkward.
This greeting translates to something like “How’s it going?” It can be used in formal or informal situations. In this case, to change the greeting you’ll have to change the indirect object pronoun from te to le, les or os.
For usted: ¿Cómo le va?
For ustedes: ¿Cómo les va?
For vosotros: ¿Cómo os va?
When responding to this, you can re-use the verb va (it goes), from the infinitiveir(to go).
Me va bien.(It’s going well.)
Me va mal.(It’s going badly.)
You can replace bien or mal with any other appropriate adjective you can think of. Some examples are espectacular (spectacular), genial (great), normal (normal), regular (just okay) or terrible (terrible).
Very similar to the last one, this phrasetranslates to “How’s everything going?”
Luckily, in this case there are no verbs to conjugate and no indirect objects to change around—you can use this same greeting regardless of what situation you’re in.
To respond, you can say Va todo ___, filling in whatever adjective suits your mood. (See above for examples.)
¿Cómo van las cosas?
This greeting means “How are things?” Like the previous case, there is no need for conjugation here, since the verb van (they go) refers to the noun las cosas (the things).
If somebody asks you this,you can respond with a simple Bien (good) or Mal (bad), or you can make a full sentence such as:
Las cosas van bien.(Things are going well.)
Thisis an informal greeting to be used among friends in a casual setting. It is similar to the English “What’s up?”
However, unlike the English “What’s up?” you should not respond to ¿Qué tal?with “Nothing much” or any variant thereof. Instead, respond with an adjective—bien, mal, regular, genial, terrible,etc.—like you would respond to¿Cómo estás?
This super informal greeting literally translates to “What is there?” and should only be used in very casual, friendly situations. You can think of it as a shortening of ¿Qué hay de nuevo? (What’s new?). Again, no conjugations to worry about here.
A good, appropriately casual response to this greeting would be something like Todo bien (all good) or No me quejo (can’t complain).
This Spanish greeting has crossed over into English-language slang, so you may already be familiar with it! It’s another super colloquial way to ask “What’s up?” or “What’s going on?”
A normal response would be some variant ofNadaorLo normal.See the section on¿Qué me cuentas?for some examples of good responses.
The next time you have to greet someone in Spanish, move out of your comfort zone!
You wouldn’t just repeat “How are you?” over and over again in your native language, and there’s no reason to do so in Spanish.
Native speakers will pick up on your varied vocabulary, and it’ll make you sound much more natural.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
If you'd like to say “Hello, how are you?” in Spanish, you can use “Hola, ¿cómo estás?” (informal/singular). If you are greeting someone in a more formal setting, you'll want to use “Hola, ¿cómo está?” (formal/singular).What are five Spanish greetings? ›
- Hola – Hello.
- Buenas – Hi (informal)
- Buenos días – Good morning.
- Buen día – Good morning (less common, used in Argentina)
- Buenas tardes – Good afternoon.
- Buenas noches – Good evening.
- Bienvenido – Welcome.
|English||Spanish – Informal|
|Good morning||Buenos días|
|Good afternoon/ Good evening||Buenas tardes|
|Good evening/ good night||Buenas noches|
When someone asks you ¿Cómo estás? If you feel alright, you say estoy bien; you could also say, estoy muy bien, to give more emphasis, which means “very good” or “very well.” You can also add one extra word, gracias, meaning “thanks”, and estoy bien, gracias; it means “I'm fine, thank you.”What are 3 different greetings in Spanish? ›
- Hola - Hello.
- Buenos días - Good morning.
- Buenas tardes - Good afternoon.
- Buenas noches - Good evening.
Instead of saying “adios” to someone who you just met, you can simply say “mucho gusto!” And if you are wondering how to respond to “mucho gusto”, the best answer is “igualmente” o “mucho gusto también”.What are 15 ways to say hello? ›
- Spelling: Nǐ hǎo (nee haow) Hindi. ...
- Spelling: Namaste (na ma stay) Spanish. ...
- Spelling: Hola (oh la) French. ...
- Spelling: Bonjour (bon jour) Arabic. ...
- Spelling: Marhaba (mar ha ba) Bengali. ...
- Spelling: Hyālō (hyaa lo) Russian. ...
- Spelling: Privet (pree vyet) Portuguese. ...
- Spelling: Olá (oh la)
- Hi there.
- Good morning.
- Good afternoon.
- Good evening.
- It's nice to meet you.
- It's a pleasure to meet you. As you may have assumed, these last two only work when you are meeting someone for the first time. We hope you enjoy putting these new English greetings to use!
- Good morning/afternoon/evening. These are classic, formal phrases to use when greeting someone, whether it's the first time meeting them or if you've already met them before. ...
- Pleased to meet you. ...
- It's nice to meet you. ...
- It's good to see you. ...
- How are you? ...
- Hey. ...
- What's up? ...
- What's new?
For example, “Good morning” is generally used from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. whereas “Good afternoon” time is from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Good evening” is often used after 6 p.m. or when the sun goes down.
- Spanish: hola.
- French: bonjour.
- German: guten tag.
- Italian: salve.
- Chinese: nǐn hǎo.
- Portuguese: olá
- Arabic: asalaam alaikum.
- Japanese: konnichiwa.
- buenos días - good morning.
- adiós - goodbye.
- buenas tardes - good afternoon.
- buenas noches - good evening.
- muy buenos - a shortened version of the above three greetings, suitable anytime.
- hola - hello.
As with English, French people tend to reply to Ça va? with a positive response – Bien, or Bien, merci – much the same way as we would use fine in English. The following responses are polite enough for a new acquaintance, but general enough for a good friend, too: Très bien, merci. Very well, thank you.What does que tal meaning? ›
que tal ? - what of it?What does Gracias Muy bien? ›
very well, thank you.What are 3 ways to say hello? ›
- buenas noches.
- buenos dias.
- good day.
Hola – Hello, hi
Hola is the most common Spanish greeting. Although it's considered informal by some, in reality you can say it to your best friend or to a complete stranger.
The response to gracias that you're most likely to use or hear is de nada (you're welcome), or you could say, if appropriate, a tí (thank you). For greater emphasis you can use no hay de qué (don't mention it).What do you say after gusto es mio? ›
JESÚS: El gusto es mío. JESÚS: The pleasure is mine.What does De nada mean? ›
Interjection. de nada. think nothing of it, you're welcome, don't mention it, no worries.
- French. Formal: Bonjour. Informal: Salut.
- Spanish. Formal: Hola. Informal: ¿Qué tal? (What's up?)
- Russian. Formal: Zdravstvuyte. ...
- Chinese. Formal: Nǐn hǎo. ...
- Italian. Formal: Salve. ...
- Japanese. Formal: Konnichiwa. ...
- German. Formal: Guten Tag. ...
- Portuguese. Formal: Olá
- Hi there.
- Hey, What's up?
- What's going on?
- Hey! There she/he is.
- How's everything?
Howdy / Hey mate / Hey man / G'day / and Gidday mate all indicate that we know a person quite well. How are you? / What's up? / How's it going? are casual ways to say hello in English and indicate that we've known that person for some time. How's you? is a casual and tender way to ask after someone's wellbeing.How do you greet in one word? ›
Smile as you say hello and try to make eye contact, showing that you're friendly and would like to talk some other time. For example, if you see your crush as you're walking to your seat, say, “Hey, Adam!” with a smile and keep walking. Speak loudly and clear enough so that your crush hears you.What's short for hello? ›
Hi is equivalent to hello, but it is considered a little bit more informal in tone. In fact, it was recorded a lot earlier than hello. Hi developed from the Middle English hy, similar to hey and ha.How do I say hello to my boyfriend? ›
- Hey handsome. This will be so much better than using the same old hi. ...
- I love your… This is something very subjective. ...
- I miss you. ...
- I love it when you… ...
- I wish I could see you right now. ...
- You are my best friend.
Early morning: 6-9 a.m. Mid-morning: 8-10 a.m. Afternoon: noon-6 p.m. Early afternoon: noon-3 p.m.Is 11 40 am still morning? ›
Until about 11:30, it's Good Morning. From about 11:30 until 12:30, it's Good Noontide.Is 4pm evening or afternoon in UK? ›
afternoon - the time between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m. evening - roughly the time between 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.
- English. Hello!
- isiNdebele. Lotjhani!
- isiXhosa. Molo!
- isiZulu. Sawubona!
- Sepedi. Dumela!
- Setswana. Dumela!
- Sesotho. Dumela!
- Xitsonga. Avuxeni!
The dictionary says it was Thomas Edison who put hello into common usage. He urged the people who used his phone to say "hello" when answering. His rival, Alexander Graham Bell, thought the better word was "ahoy." Ahoy?What are 5 ways to say goodbye? ›
- Bye bye!
- See you later, See you soon or Talk to you later.
- I've got to get going or I must be going.
- Take it easy.
- I'm off.
We've already learned that Hola means “Hello”. This greeting, when turned into a question, is also a very common way of answering the phone in Spanish. It's not a formal way of doing it, but it can still be used most times.Is Hola bye and hello? ›
“Hola” is the most common/generalized way of saying “Hi”/“Hello” in Spanish. People use it in all contexts! But of course, just like in English, there are plenty of other ways to greet people, say how are you, and say goodbye.Can Bien mean OK? ›
In informal situations where you feel like answering “okay,” you can simply say está bien or bien.How do you reply to Bien merci? ›
The usual response to merci is de rien (You're welcome – literally, It's nothing) or il n'y a pas de quoi. In a more formal context, you could say Je vous en prie or Je t'en prie.How do I reply to Bonjour? ›
What is the proper response to bonjour? It's more than sufficient to simply say bonjour back in response to those who greet you, but if you want to go a step beyond, you can respond with comment allez-vous, which is the French equivalent of asking how it's going.What is Hasta manana mean? ›
hasta mañana in American English
(mɑˈnjɑnɑ ) Spanish. so long; (I'll) see you tomorrow.
How to Say Hello How Are You in Spanish. If you'd like to say “Hello, how are you?” in Spanish, you can use “*Hola, ¿cómo estás?” (informal/singular). If you are greeting someone in a more formal setting, you'll want to use “Hola, ¿cómo está?” (formal/singular).
No hay de que is a Spanish expression people use to say 'you're welcome', as a result, we use it as a way to answer people's gratitude. Unlike other phrases, 'no hay de qué' is more intense or stronger than 'de nada' or other similar expressions. It can be translated as 'there's no need' or 'you're very welcome'.What does tres bien? ›
very good, very well. excellent.What is muy buena? ›
muy buena very good mst.What language is bien gracias y tú 😁? ›
bien gracias - translated from Spanish to English.How do you greet someone professionally in Spanish? ›
In more formal situations, you might say hola followed by buenos días, tardes, etc.Is Bienvenidos formal or informal? ›
While it's used in a formal manner, bienvenidos is still filled with the gracious hospitality of the Spanish people. You'll hear it in various forms depending on the number of people and gender of the audience, including bienvenidas, bienvenido, and bienvenida.What is a typical Spanish greeting? ›
The common verbal greeting is “Buenos dias” (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night) depending on the time of day. People may also say “¿Como está?” (How are you). A more casual greeting is “Hola” (Hello).How do you start a formal message in Spanish? ›
- If you don't know the exact person you're writing to, use Muy señor(a) mío/a (My dear Sir/Madam)
- For writing to an institution, use Muy señores míos (Dear Sirs)
- The most formal opener is Distinguido/a Señor(a) (Distinguished Mr./Mrs.), followed by the person's surname if you know it.
Casual and informal greetings in Spanish
The most common word to say “goodbye” in Spanish is adiós, but there are several other options depending on the situation.
The only correct way to say thank you very much is muchas gracias.Do they say no pasa nada in Mexico? ›
"No pasa nada" is a Spanish phrase meaning "It is OK" or "Calm down." It is an epitome of Mexican spirit, according to Christian Burgos, a Mexican TV personality in Korea. "We use it all the time," Burgos said.How many greetings are there? ›
Hello, Bonjour, Hola, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте!How do you greet a guy in Spanish? ›
- Hola — Hello.
- Buenos días — Good morning.
- Buenas tardes — Good afternoon.
- Buenas noches — Good evening.
- ¿ Cómo está? — ...
- ¿ Cómo estás? — ...
- ¿ Cómo están? — ...
- ¿Qué tal?
“Hello” in Spanish: ¡Hola!
This is the absolute basic greeting you need to know in Spanish and it can be used to salute any person regardless of the circumstance: formal or informal.
- "Dear [first name]"
- "I hope this email finds you well"
- "Hello or hi"
- "Hope you're having a great week"
- "[First name]"
- "Dear Sir/Madam"
- "To [title/designation]"
- "To whom it may concern"
- "Dear Mr/Ms"
- "Dear [first name]"
- "Hi, [first name]"
- "Hello/Hello, [name]"
- Muy señor mío: (Dear sir,)
- Estimado señor: (Dear sir,)
- Muy señora mía: (Dear madam,)
- Estimada señora: (Dear madam,)
- Muy señores míos: (Dear sirs, dear sirs/madams,)
- Estimados señores: (Dear sirs, dear sirs/madams,)