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One of the first things you probably learned in Spanish is how to ask and answer an everyday question such as "¿Cómo estás?" ("How are you?"). Do you ever get tired of the stock answer, "bien"? If so, check out our forum, where participants recently offered some popular (and, in some cases, unconventional) alternatives. Join the discussion...

Comments

November 25, 2006 at 5:39 am
(1) Chris says:

It’s comó estás.. stress the other “o”

September 16, 2008 at 5:40 pm
(2) Nathan says:

To Chris,

You’re mistaken. It’s not the second O that is stressed. The first O is stressed, and the reason it has an accent mark is to distinguish it from “como” without an accent mark, which means, “like” or “as”.

Other words like this in Spanish:
Que vs. qué (that or which vs. what)Quiero que me llames Nathan, BUT Qué quieres hacer esta noche?

Cual vs. cuál (declaratory which vs. interrogative which) Su estilo es muy eccentrico, lo cual me gusta mucho. BUT Cuál es la diferencia?

Más vs. mas (more vs. but, although mas used as “but” is very literary, in Italian the word is “mai”)

Accent marks in these cases do not change the pronunciation of the word, but they signify a different meaning.

September 17, 2008 at 5:14 am
(3) Declan Davis says:

Yeah Nathan’s right. Also, his last point is a nice one. Usually – although there are of course exceptions – it’s the vowel in the penultimate syllable is stressed. So in the case of ‘como’ the penultimate syllable is ‘co’ and so the first ‘o’ in ‘como’ is always stressed. Adding the accent doesn’t change the pronunciation, it just tells the reader that it’s a question word.

This stress convention explains why we have an accent in ‘dámelo’ (give it me). The convention would make us stress the vowel in the penultimate syllable, i.e. the ‘e’ in ‘me’. But this takes the stress away from the verb, in this case the verb is ‘dar’. So we add an accent to tell the reader, and for that matter the speaker, to stress the ‘a’ in ‘da’ and as such keep the stress on the verb.

October 14, 2008 at 11:35 am
(4) Lollypop says:

Estupendo Grathias

December 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm
(5) Latisha says:

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS LITTLE CLEAR UP. I AM A DOUBLE MINOR IN SPANISH AND ASIAN STUDIES, AND THIS LITTLE TIP HELPED ME OUT A WHOLE LOT!!

GRACIAS

May 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm
(6) juan says:

if you have time during the day practice saying your vowels A E I O U

as they sound in spanish or ask a spanish speaker help you as you say them. believe me this is a big secret being able to say those vowels as a native speaker change drastically the way you sound in spanish.. many times spanish speakers want to make fun of english speakers who want to say something in spanish by exagerating the vowel sounds from english into spanish words.. this is where there is a big separation from english to spanish. i met once a japanese student who thought phrases in spanish sounded a lot easier than english words, and that has to do with other people who have languages that deal with syllables.

September 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(7) dude says:

¿Por què no te callas, Nathan?

November 30, 2009 at 9:32 am
(8) karen says:

i’m spanish and i always forget the diference betwen mas and más! jaja

March 2, 2010 at 10:58 pm
(9) Ashanti says:

Como estas noche bien como Mena moma pappy wentahose het bueno

March 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm
(10) Autumn says:

Hey! Thanks, i now know the defference between qué, and que. Thanks alot, this really helps. Also my first ever Spanish line i ever learned was: “No me gusta frijoles”, meaning I dun’t like beans. Yes it’s pretty random but yea this helps tons!

March 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm
(11) Spanish Guide says:

No me gustan los frijoles.

August 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(12) Hannah says:

Me : como estas???
You:bein e ested???
Me: bein

Can’t spell right

January 18, 2011 at 8:57 am
(13) Steve says:

Sorry, Autumn, but it’s “no me gustan frijoles” since the word “frijoles” is plural. I guess you’re gonna get served those beans, kiddo.

January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am
(14) Cata says:

This is so hilarious!! My native language is Spanish, and I got to this site ´cause I had a doubt in my language…. Funny how you can learn things from people all over the world. I mean I now how to say and write things in Spanish, but many times don´t know the rules…
Hanna:
- ¿Cómo estás?
- Bien, ¿Y usted?
- Bien.

Though probably — Bien, ¿y tu? — would be more appropriate since the other person started “tuteando” (as we say in Argentina)

May 28, 2012 at 9:59 am
(15) Shonny says:

Ha Ha Ha :)

I ‘m spanish, and when i was studing english in the Secondary school i said.. “it’s so difficult” but really… the spanish it’s more difficult :)

Hola, yo soy español, y cuando estudiaba inglés en la escuela secundaria yo decía: Es muy dificil! Cuando realmente el español es más dificil todavía!!

:)

September 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm
(16) miranda says:

jajaj, soy mexicana y se hablar español perfectamente bien, y si no me entendieron estudien mas

January 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm
(17) nikki says:

como estas

February 9, 2013 at 10:23 am
(18) santiago says:

en realidad es : ” ¿cómo estás? ” the correct form!

April 13, 2014 at 6:38 am
(19) Wiliam says:

I’m Spanish from El Salvador and I still have problems using (como and comó). I don’t know which one is correct

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