What does “Cómo estás” mean?

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?) It`s a question that they certainly ask you frequently when you come to Spain. Do you know what you have to answer?

In this Spanish lesson, we will show you several expressions for being able to answer this question. For sure you will impress your Spanish friends.

In Spanish, generally, the use of “usted“, instead of ““, implies a formal tone.

¿cómo está usted?

¿cómo estás? ()

But how do we answer this question?

Spaniards use the verb ESTAR to describe our state of mind and our physical state. For example:

  • -> Estoy bien, gracias (I’m fine thanks).
  • -> Estoy mal (I do not feel well).

WARNING: We do not use the verb SER.

Another way to answer the question, how are you or how do you feel, is with the reflexive verb ENCONTRARSE:

  • -> Me encuentro bien, gracias (I feel good, thanks).
  • -> No me encuentro bien (I don’t feel good).

In some cases we use the verb TENER to express physical sensations:

  • -> Tengo frío (I’m cold).
  • -> Tengo calor (I’m hot).
  • -> Tengo hambre (I’m hungry).
  • -> Tengo sed (I’m thirsty).

Likewise, we use these SPANISH IDIOMS to say that we are good, bad, tired, etc.:

TENER UNA SALUD DE HIERRO: It is said of someone who is very healthy and never have any illnesses.

ESTAR COMO UN ROBLE: When a person is strong and healthy like an oak tree.

ESTAR COMO UNA ROSA: To have a very good appearance and a good colour in the face.

ESTAR REVENTADO: To be extremely tired. Usually used to talk about physical exhaustion.

ESTAR HECHO POLVO: To be very tired or sad for some reason.

ESTAR ALICAÍDO: To be tired, depressed or mentally exhausted.

TENER AGUJETAS: The pain felt after physical exercise. Usually when you are not used to it.

ESTAR PACHUCHO: Being unwell or slightly ill.

TENER MALA CARA: Looking bad. Dark circles under the eyes and pale skin due to illness or motion sickness.

QUEDARSE EN LOS HUESOS: Losing a lot of weight.

VER LAS ESTRELLAS: Severe pain after a blow, or being in a lot of pain due to illness.

ESTIRAR LA PATA: It means to die. It is a very informal expression.

¿Cómo estás?, spanish lessons

Now that you know how to answer when someone asks you “¿cómo estás?”, remember that you have to conjugate the verbs. For example:

Tener mala cara -> (yo) tengo mala cara. (tu) tienes mala cara.

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