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STOP Saying “Cómo Estás”! Say THIS Instead (8 Alternatives)

STOP Saying "Cómo Estás", Say THIS Instead (8 Alternatives)

Today, I will be teaching you 8 different ways for you to ask someone “How are you?” in Spanish. I mean “¿Cómo estás?” is a perfect way to ask that, but it is somewhat overused by Spanish learners.

So, if you want to stand out, you better start using some alternatives! —number 7 will come in handy if you want to sound like a local in Mexico!

As I have mentioned previously, I am going to give you 8 chunks you can use instead of ¿Cómo estás? because, well, if you have watched my videos before, you already know that I like to prepare you to impress native Spanish speakers.

1. ¿Qué tal?

This phrase could mean “What’s up?”, “How are you?” or “How are things?”

To use it in a sentence, you could say:

  • Hola, ¿cómo estás? (Hello, how are you?)
  • Yo, muy bien, ¿y tú qué tal? (I am very good, and you? What’s up?)

2. ¿Cómo vas?

Literally: How are you going?

Since vas comes from the verb IR (to go), and if you want to say something specific, like, “How are you going with something?”, then, you may say:

  • ¿Cómo vas con la mudanza? (How are you going with the move?)
  • Un poco cansada, pero vamos bien. (A little bit tired, but we are going good.)

3. ¿Qué hay de nuevo?

This means “What’s new?” So, just like mi amigo Bugs Bunny said, this phrase is used when you haven’t seen your friend for a long time and, instead of popping a random ¿Cómo estás?, impress them by saying:

  • ¡Hace mucho que no te veo! ¿Qué hay de nuevo? (Long time no see! What’s new?)

4. ¿Qué cuentas?

This phrase could be translated as “What’s your story?” or “What story can you tell me?”

This is a way of asking someone how are they doing by asking them a story about how their life has been like lately. For example:

  • ¡Hola, Ana! Supe que te fuiste a vivir a Houston. ¿Qué cuentas? (Hello, Ana! I heard you moved to Houston. What’s up / What’s your story?)

5. ¿Cómo andas?

This phrase also means “How are you?”, but let’s break it down:

The word cómo means how and andar, by itself, is the act of moving somewhere (by walking, going, hanging around). Therefore, in English, it could have the following meaning:

How are you “dealing with this movement?” or “How are you moving?”

  • Estar fuera de casa puede ser difícil. ¿Cómo andas? (Being far away from home can be difficult. How are you?)

6. ¿Qué pasa?

This one is somewhat popular: maybe you have heard it in movies or on the streets. Its literal translation is “What’s happening?” So, you can apply it in the following way:

  • Hola, amigo, ¿qué pasa contigo? (Hello, my friend, what’s happening with you?)
  • Encontré un nuevo trabajo y estoy muy feliz, ¿y contigo? (I found a new job and I am very happy, and with you?)

7. Say it the Mexican way

Remember I told you, in the beginning, we have our own Mexican way of saying “What’s up” or “How you doing?” —yeah, once again, Mexicans and their nonsensical slang.

Mexicans say ¿Qué onda?, which literally translates into “What wave?”, but when used in context, it means “How are you doing?”. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Mexico and if you use this phrase, creéme (believe me), you will be speaking like a local!

For example:

  • ¡Hola, wey! ¿Qué onda? (Hello, dude! How you doing?)
  • Nada, estoy estudiando para mi examen de inglés, ¿y tú? (Nothing, I am just studying for my English exam, and you?)

8. ¿Todo bien?

La forma más rápida y fácil de decir (the quickest and easiest way to say) “All good?”

So, fortunately, this phrase may be translated word for word from English. Therefore, feel free to use it next time you are trying to talk to your Spanish-speaking friends.

  • ¡Hola, amigo! ¿Qué tal? ¿Todo bien con tu familia? (Hello, my friend! What’s up? All good with your family?)
  • Sí, amigo, muchas gracias. ¿Y tú qué onda? ¿Qué tal? (Yes, my friend! Thank you so much! And you? How you doing? How are you today?)

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So, mis amigos, did you know all of these chunks in Spanish to ask “how are you?” Or do you know any other chunks that can be used instead? If that is the case, then let me know in the comments below! 

I really hope you have learned something new today and that you feel ready to take your Spanish to the next level. You can start by taking our Free Spanish training, where we explain the chunk method we use to help you speak Spanish fluently without cramming word lists and grammar rules.

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