How Are You In Spanish? – 10 Different Phrases To Strike Up Conversation

10 different ways to say how are you in Spanish

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As a beginner student, one of the first phrases you’ll want to learn is “how are you?” in Spanish.

Just like any other language, it’s the most natural way to strike up a conversation and in Spanish, there are several ways to pose this question, depending on whether you’re speaking with friends, or in a more formal setting. 

In this post, we’ll show you 10 different ways that you can say how are you in Spanish. We’ll introduce you the first five in this video. Scroll down to #6 for the video with the other five. Once you’ve seen all ten we have a final quiz video so you can practice what you’ve learned, which also includes some of the most common compliments in Spanish.


Now let’s dive in!

1) ¿Cómo estás? – ¿Cómo están? – ¿Cómo está?

This is the most basic and neutral greeting in Spanish, translating directly as “how are you” in English.

Keep in mind, the conjugation of estar will depend on whether you’re speaking with a friend (¿cómo estás?), or a group of people (¿cómo están?), or even asking how a third person is (¿cómo está tu primo? – how is your cousin?)

  • Ernesto:  How is your family, Veronica? – ¿Cómo está tu familia, Verónica?
  • Veronica: My family is doing well, thanks. And yours? – Mi familia está bien, gracias. ¿Y la tuya?

2) ¿Qué tal?

¿Qué tal? is common and popular way to informally greet someone, and uniquely enough, a response is not always needed. It’s commonly used among neighbours, or as a greeting between acquaintances who you bump into. The best English equivalent is the informal phrase, “what’s up?

  • Pedro: Hey, Raúl!, what’s up? – ¡Hola, Raúl, ¿qué tal?
  • Raúl: Everything is okay! – ¡Todo bien, Pedro!

For a deeper explanation on qué tal, as well as a comparison between these two most-common greetings in Spanish, check out our dedicated post on qué tal vs cómo estás.

3) ¿Cómo has estado? – ¿Cómo ha estado?

Another practical greeting that is pretty simple and direct – it can be used in both formal or informal scenarios. It’s especially common when you haven’t seen a person for a long time, and you want to catch up with them. It can be translated as: “How have you been?

  • Mary: It has been a while since our last reunion, Nancy. How have you been? – Ha pasado tanto tiempo desde nuestra última reunión, Nancy. ¿Cómo has estado?
  • Nancy: Well, I’ve been really busy lately – Pues, últimamente he estado muy ocupada.

4) ¿Cómo va todo? – ¿Cómo van las cosas?

¿Cómo van las cosas? in English translates as “how are things going?,” while ¿cómo va todo? in English is simply “how’s everything going?

These expressions usually elicit an answer, since you’re showing interest in the person’s life, whether asking about their family, job, or just being generic. Either can also be preceded with ¿Qué tal?

  • Patricia: Hi, David! How are things going? – ¡Hola, David! ¿Cómo van las cosas?
  • David: Everything is going well, Patricia. I got a new job in a shoe store – Todo va bien, Patricia. Conseguí un trabajo nuevo en una zapatería.

5) ¿Qué (me) cuentas?

¿Qué me cuentas? is a casual and very colloquial expression. It can be translated directly as “what do you tell me?,” but a better equivalent in English is “What’s going on?” It’s considered more like slang, and so it’s not something to be used in a formal scenario. 

As in English, you can reply to this question with: Nada nuevo (nothing new), nada en especial (nothing special), lo normal (the usual), or no mucho (not much).

  • Vanessa: Hi, Rafael! We haven’t seen each other for a year, what ‘s going on? – ¡Hola, Rafael! No nos hemos visto en un año, ¿qué cuentas?
  • Rafael: Not much. I am still living in the same place and working in the same office – No mucho. Sigo viviendo en el mismo lugar y trabajando en la misma oficina.

Ok now with those first five done, are you ready for the video of the next five?


6) ¿Qué es de tu vida? – ¿Cómo te trata la vida?

This greeting comes really handy when you haven’t seen a friend for ages, and you meet them again. You want to know what things are new in their life since the last time you met.

¿Cómo es de tu vida? is similar to saying “how has your life been?” in English, whereas ¿Cómo te trata la vida? translates directly as “how’s life treating you?

  • Maritza: Hey there, Valeria! Long time no see. What are you up to? – ¡Hola, Valeria! Cuánto tiempo sin verte. ¿Qué es de tu vida?
  • Valeria: Well, everything is going well. I got married last year and moved to Quito. – Pues, todo va bien. Me casé el año pasado y me mudé a Quito.

7) ¿Cómo te va? – ¿Cómo le va?

¿Cómo te va? can be used in both formal and informal settings, depending on which pronoun we use. Its direct English counterpart is “How are you doing?

We use this expression with the indirect object pronouns: me, te, le, les, or os. For example: ¿Cómo les va? / Nos va bien – How are you doing? / We‘re doing well.

  • Betty: Hi, Marcos! How are you doing in Canada? – ¡Hola, Marcos! ¿Cómo te va en Canadá?
  • Marcos: I’m doing great. I’m studying French and English – Me va buenísimo. Estoy estudiando francés e inglés.

8) ¿Qué hay (de nuevo)?

¿Qué hay de nuevo? is a colloquial and informal expression, widely used in a professional or work environment between colleagues. In short, it just means “what’s new?” It became very popular for being used by Bugs Bunny with his iconic phrase “¿Qué hay de nuevo, viejo?,” or in the English version of the cartoon “what’s up, doc?

  • Teacher: So, what ‘s new? How was your holiday? – Entonces, ¿qué hay de nuevo? ¿Cómo estuvieron tus vacaciones?
  • Student: It was ok. My family and I went camping – Estuvieron bien. Mi familia y yo fuimos a acampar.

9) ¿Cómo andas? – ¿Cómo anda?

Meaning essentially “how’s it going?,” this expression is very similar to “¿cómo va todo?,” but more informal. When you ask someone ¿cómo andas?, most people will probably respond with: “Bueno, ahí vamos” (“well, so far so good”) or “No me quejo” / “No me puedo quejar” (“I can’t complain”). It’s a common expression used both among Spaniards and South Americans.

  • Miguel: Hi there, Daniel! How are you doing? – ¡Épale, Daniel! ¿Cómo andas?
  • Daniel: Well, I can not complain, Miguel. What about you? – Bueno, no me puedo quejar, Miguel. ¿Y tú?

10) ¿Qué pasa? – ¿Qué más?

These expressions are very informal. They’re usually only used when there is a high level of confidence or friendship. Both ¿qué pasa? and ¿qué más? can be interpreted as “what’s up?” or “what’s goin’ on?” in English.

Its use is often rhetorical, similarly to the case of “¿qué tal?,” in that we don’t necessarily expect an answer from the other person.

  • Two friends run into the street: Hey, what ‘s up, buddy? ¿What ‘s new? – ¿Qué más, compadre? ¿Qué hay de nuevo?

If you’re in Colombia, you’ll likely even hear a slang version of this expression: ¿qué más pues?

How are you in Spanish: Quiz video

Before we move on to the typical responses, why don’t you see how well you’ve learned these ten ways to ask how are you? in Spanish! You’ll hear each Spanish phrase and have a few moments to remember the English version before hearing the answer. See how you do!

In addition, this video also offers some practice with some of the best compliments in Spanish. We recommend checking out that post to help you with your small talk too, along with its video lesson to help you learn each Spanish compliment.



How are you in Spanish – Typical Responses

Now that you’ve got your Spanish small talk started, you need a few responses to keep it going! Here are a bunch of easy ones for you. Keep in mind all these answers may be accompanied by “¿Y tú?” (“And you?“) at the end.

English Response

Spanish Response

I am fine, thanks!

¡Estoy bien, gracias!

Everything is good!

¡Todo bien!

So far so good!

¡Bien hasta ahora!

¡Por ahora todo bien!

I am doing great!

¡Me va súper bien!

Everything is going well!

¡Todo va bien!

Good enough!

¡Bastante bien!

So far so good!

¡Bueno, ahí vamos!

I can’t complain!

¡No me puedo quejar!

Same old same old

Lo mismo de siempre

Same as always

Igual que siempre





Not very well

No muy bien


Más o menos




With these ten common phrases for asking how are you in Spanish, along with a good list of common responses, you’re well on your way to mastering some basic Spanish small talk. Keep practicing with the video quiz, or even better, with some native Spanish speakers, and you’ll have these basic Spanish phrases under your belt in no time!


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