How to Say How Are You Doing in Spanish

How to Say How Are You Doing in Spanish


When meeting other people, we commonly use phrases such as “how have you been?”, “How’s it going?”, or “Hey, what’s up?”. Those phrases may seem simple but in fact, they are not a real question at all. They are considered variations on everyday greeting. This greeting type is very different from Spanish greetings. If you learn Spanish, you will find out that there are lots of variations of saying “How are you doing” in Spanish. 

At first, you may hear that a native speaker start each session of conversation with “Como estas?” and by memory, you will respond “Bien, gracias. “Y tu?”. Yes, that’s a conversation that works in any situation, but it feels a little bit boring. To be honest, not all conversations with Spanish speakers will go this way. 

In fact, there are lots of variations of saying “How are you doing?” in Spanish that can be more interesting. Check these out!

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¿Como estas?

The most basic Spanish greeting to say “how are you doing?” in an informal setting is “Como estas?”. A little bit of variation can be “¿Como estas tu?”. That means the same thing, but that includes “tu” as the optional pronoun. “Tu” means “you” by the way.

The way you are conjugating a verb change is based on how many people you are addressing. Besides, it also depends on the setting whether it’s an informal or formal situation you are in. the most important verb, in this case, is “estar” or you can define it as “ to be” in English. 

¿Como esta (usted)?”.

Therefore, based on who you are talking to, you may have to somewhat change your conjugation. For example, if you want to talk to a stranger about how he/she is doing, it’d better to use “Como esta (usted)?”. The pronoun “usted” means you in a formal setting. Using this greeting is highly recommended particularly when you are talking to someone who is older than you, someone who is in a position of dominance, or to a stranger. 

“¿Como estan (ustedes)? 

This phrase is used when asking more than one person. You can use this phrase when greeting more than one people together. Moreover, ustedes can be used in informal or formal settings across Latin America. On the other hand, it is exclusively used in a formal setting (just like usted).  

¿Como estais (vosotros)?

The use of vosotros is commonly on in Spain. You can use this phrase when you are speaking to a group of people, particularly in an informal setting, like when you are talking to a group of your friends.
¿Como andas (tu)?

“andar” or “andas” means “to go” or “to walk”. If translated into English, this phrase means “How’s it going?”. It is more slangy and casual than the simple ¿Como estas?. Andar is an  ar- verb, and other conjugations are “anda”, “andan (ustedes)”, and “andais (vosotros)”. The response is similar to the basic greeting such as “Bien (good)”, “Muy bien (very good), or “bastante bien (pretty good)”.

¿Como te va?

This greeting is flexible as you can use it both in formal and informal settings. To change the greeting, you will have to change the indirect project pronoun from te (you) to le, les, and os.

e.g: ¿Como le va? (for usted)

¿Como les va? ( for ustedes)

¿Como os va? ( for vosotros)

To respond to this greeting, you can say “ me va mal (it’s going badly)” or “me va bien (it’s going good)”.

The next time you greet somebody in Spanish, consider those phrases. You can use those variations to make your Spanish sounds more natural. 


Bonnie Baldwin