¿Cómo estás?: Learning Spanish with La Profesora

Improve conversation skills by practicing questions and answers in Spanish.

¡Hola mis amigos! ¿Cómo están ustedes? Actually, that’s what today’s post is about: how to answer the question, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?) If we're talking about simple social pleasantries, the exchange would go like this:

¿Cómo estás?  (How are you?)

 Bien. ¿Y tú?   (Fine. And you?)

 Bien, gracias. (Fine, thank you)

But if you're conversing with family or friends and you genuinely want to know how someone is doing, we'll need a little more than that.

If you want to ask a person or persons how how they are, here are your choices:

1)  ¿Cómo estás? (koh-moh es-tahs)

This form is used when talking to one person that you address by their first name.

¿Cómo estás, Ana?

2)  ¿Cómo está usted? (koh-moh es-tah ew-stead)

This form is used when addressing one person with a title.

 ¿Cómo está usted, Doctor Garcia?

 3) ¿Cómo están ustedes? (koh-moh es-tan ew-stead-es)

This is the plural form, used when talking to more than one person.

¿Marta y Juan, cómo están ustedes?

¿Señorita Martin y Señora Moreno, cómo están ustedes?

 If “y” is new for you, it means “and”, and is pronounced “ee”.

 So basically there are three phrases that you can memorize to ask “How are you?” Yes, it’s two more than we have in English, but the differences are slight so memorization isn’t too tricky.

 Now that you’ve mastered the questions, you need to know how to respond when someone asks you, ¿Cómo estás?

Estoy” (es-toy) means “I am”. Use “estoy” and one of the following words, and you’ve got yourself a perfect answer in Spanish:

 Estoy bien (bee-en):  I’m fine, well

 Estoy feliz (fay-lees): I’m happy

 Estoy de buen humor (day bwayn oo-more): I’m in a good mood

 Estoy de mal humor (day mahl oo-more:) I’m in a bad mood

 Estoy regular (reh-goo-lahr): I’m okay

 Estoy triste (trees-tay): I’m sad

Easy, right? This next part gets a tiny bit tricky, but still pretty easy. Here goes: if you’re a female, you have to change the “o” ending on the following words to “a”. That’s it, not bad at all. And if you’re a guy, never mind.

 cansado (cahn-sahd-oh): tired          [cansada: cahn-sah-dah]

 enfermo (en-fair-moh): sick              [enferma: en-fair-mah]

 preocupado (pray-ah-koo-pah-dough: worried 

                                                        [preocupada: pray-ah-koo-pah-dah]

 nervioso (nair-vee-oh-so): nervous    [nerviosa: nair-vee-oh-sah]

 aburrido (ah-burr-ee-dough): bored   [aburrida: ah-burr-ee-dah]

 deprimido (deh-pree-me-dough): depressed  [deprimida: deh-pree-me-dah]

 ocupado (oh-koo-pah-dough): busy   [ocupada: oh-koo-pah-dah]

 contento (con-ten-toh): happy          [contenta: con-ten-tah]

 enojado (en-oh-ha-dough): angry      [enojada: en-oh-ha-dah]


Just one more thing and I’ll let you go practice (you are going to practice, right?)

 To make a negative statement, just put “no” in front of “estoy”:

 No estoy bien.

 No estoy cansada.

 No estoy enfermo.

Pretty simple phrases to memorize, and you're ready for conversation.


Today's idiom is an answer to the question, ¿Cómo estás?

Tengo hambre (ten-go ahm-bray): I'm hungry

It's an idiom because it really means "I have hunger".


I have two websites today that may appeal to those who are more advanced or who would like a challenge:

www.onlinenewspapers.com/mexico.htm   links to newspapers throughout Mexico

www.hulu.com/la-que-no-podia-amar       a Mexican "novela" on Hulu!


¡Qué tengan una buena semana! (Have a great week!)






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