Do you always reply todo bien or bien to the famous question of cómo estás? Make your conversations more interesting by responding to “cómo estás?” with some funny, irreverent, and thought-provoking phrases.
For common questions like this, it’s always worth having a variety of answers ready at the tip of your tongue! That’s why we’ve compiled this list of almost 30 responses to use next time someone asks you how you are in Spanish. Since life isn’t always a bed of roses, we’ll include the good, the bad and the ugly ways of responding to cómo estás, with common expressions from different Latin American countries. Improve your fluency with this handy guide!
The Good – Cool And Funny Responses
We hope you need this list more than the others since it’s where you’ll find lots of different ways of saying you’re doing just fine. Remember to add gracias (thank you) to these when you use them!
¡Todo chévere! (Pronunciation: TOH-doh CHEY-ve-re / Translation: Everything cool!)
¡Todo piola! (Pronunciation: TOH-doh pee-OH-lah / Translation: Everything cool!)
Very common in Argentina
¡Requetebien! (Pronunciation: RE-ke-te-beeyen / Translation: Super super good!)
Sin novedades (Pronunciation: Sin noh-ve-DAH-des / Translation: Nothing new)
¡Pura vida! (Pronunciation: POO-rah VEE-dah / Translation: Pure life!)
Note: this is the most common response in Costa Rica.
¡Biensísimo! (Pronunciation: Beeyen-SEE-see-moh / Translation: Very very well!)
This one is mostly heard in Bolivia.
Tranquilo/a (Pronunciation: Tran-KEE-loh/lah / Translation: Chill)
Bien nomás, papa. (Pronunciation: Beeyen no-MAHS, pah-PAH / Translation: Doing ok, father)
This is a typical response in the (Peruvian) Andes where a lot of locals address each other as papa (father) and mama (mother) without being related. Make sure you are putting the tress on the second pa, or you’ll be calling them a potato!
¡Cañón! (Pronunciation: Kah-NYON / Translation: Literally it means cannon, but can be understood as amazing!)
Todo viento, ¿bosnia? (Pronunciation: TOH-doh BYEN-toh, bohs-nee-yah / Translation: All good, and you?)
This is one from Argentina with a double wordplay, todo viento replaces bien with viento, and vos is replaced by bosnia.
¡Genial! (Pronunciation: Gey-nee-AHL / Translation: Excellent!)
¡A1! (Pronunciation: AH ooh-noh / Translation: A1/On the top of the world!)
¡Mejor imposible! (Pronunciation: Mey-HOR im-poh-SEE-bleh / Translation: Couldn’t be better!)
¡Arrechísimo/a! (Pronunciation: Ah-re-CHEE-see-moh/mah / Translation: Amazing!)
This response to “como estas” really only flies in Venezuela, since it comes from the word arrecho which means horny, and let’s just say it sounds pretty strange and out of context for non-Venezuelans!
¡Puro relax! (Pronunciation: POO-roh ree-LAX / Translation: Chill!)
This phrase in Spanish is used a lot in Honduras and Guatemala.
¡Más feliz que perro con dos colas! (Pronunciation: Mahz fey-LEES khe per-roh kohn dohz KOH-lahz / Translation: Happier than a dog with 2 tails!)
This is a pretty good Spanish idiom to use if you’re set on really impressing the other person with your colloquial Spanish knowledge!
The Bad – When Things Aren’t Going Your Way
Had a fight with your partner? Made a mistake at work? Feeling super tired? Here are the ways you can express you’re not having the best of days.
Más o menos (Pronunciation: Mahz oh MEY-nohs / Translation: So-so)
Allí (nomás) (Pronunciation: Ah-EE noh-MAHZ / Translation: So-so)
Estresado/a (Pronunciation: Es-tre-SAH-doh/dah / Translation: Stressed)
Aburrido/a (Pronunciation: Ah-boo-REE-doh / Translation: Bored)
Muy preocupado/a (Pronunciation: Moowee prey-o-coo-PAH-doh/dah / Translation: Very worried)
Remal (Pronunciation: Rey-MAL / Translation: Awful)
Agotado/a (Pronunciation: Ah-goh-TAH-doh/dah / Translation: Exhausted)
Destrozado/a (Pronunciation: Des-troh-SAH-doh/dah / Translation: Destroyed)
This could either be because you’re very tired or very sad.
Please note that most of the ones in this list are adjectives, so men have to use the o-ending and women the a-ending.
The Ugly – Slang Spanish Grumpy Replies
And to finish off, here are the slangiest expressions and idioms to use when you’re not doing so great and sound like a true local.
Matadazo/a (Pronunciation: Mah-tah-DAH-soh/sah / Translation: Knackered)
Jodido/a (Pronunciation: Ho-DEE-doh/dah / Translation: Messed up)
Empinchado/a (Pronunciation: Em-pin-CHA-doh/dah / Translation: Super angry)
Fregado/a (Pronunciation: Frey-GAH-doh/dah / Translation: Screwed)
Hasta las huevas/patas (Pronunciation: AHS-tah lahs WE-baz/PAH-taz / Translation: Terrible)
This expression is quite Peruvian.
Now let’s put them into context: look at the short conversation below and observe what expressions the speakers are using.
Alfredo no va bien (Alfredo isn’t doing great)
|Spanish version||English version|
|Alfredo: Hola Mayra, ¿cómo estás?|
Mayra: Allí, tranquila, gracias. ¿Y tú, cómo estás?
Alfredo: Estoy fregado, amiga, no sabes.
Mayra: Guaw, ¿qué pasó? Ven, vamos a tomar un café para que me cuentes.
Alfredo: Ya, vamos.
|Alfredo: Hey Mayra, how are you?|
Mayra: You know, chill, thanks. And you, how are you?
Alfredo: I’m screwed, my friend, you have no idea.
Mayra: Wow, what happened? Come on, let’s go grab a coffee so you can tell me.
Alfredo: Alright, let’s go.
Languages are infinite and ever-changing, and remember Spanish is spoken in 20 countries in Latin America, so the lists above are by no means complete! However, you have just learnt the majority of the most common responses, and should have more than enough new expressions to try out next time someone asks you ¿cómo estás?