How Do You Say How Are You in Spanish?


IF you have learned how to say hello in Spanish, the next useful thing you might want to learn is how are you in Spanish.

Well, the answer depends on who you are asking.

If the person is a friend or family member or a child, then you would ask cómo estás? Cómo (pronounced koh-moh) means how. Estás (pronounced eh-stahss) is the second person present tense of the verb estar, the infinitive for to be. Estás translates into you are. If you needed to write the Spanish phrase down, note that you not only have a question mark at the end, but an upside down question mark at the beginning. (I love this – knowing ahead of time that a question is coming up!)Colorful Street, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

If the person you’re asking is a stranger, an authority figure, an elder or someone you should be showing a bit of extra respect to, say, la policia (no need to translate that one!) , then you would ask cómo está (pronounced koh-moh eh-stah) or cómo está usted? Usted (pronounced koh-moh eh-stah oo-stehd) stands for you, formal. Saying usted is optional.

If you are addressing a group of people all at once, maybe a classroom of Spanish students, you can ask cómo están? This plural form is both formal and informal and is then appropriate for both friends and strangers.