Is there a difference between 'como' and 'cómo'? I'm confused. It's supposed to be two different words, right? Where do I draw the line?

When I look up how it says that it's both 'como' and 'cómo'.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 10:32

5 Answers 5


It's actually a good bit more than two words, but it's easiest to think when to use the accent then when not to.

  • como (no accent) can be used as a verb (from comer), noun (dated word meaning a trick), adverb, conjunction, or preposition.

  • cómo (accent) can mean either the interrogative/relative pronoun how? (¿Cómo estás? No sé cómo lo haces.) or can be used to express incredulity where English uses what? (¿Cómo?). The moment you hear yourself giving a questioning intonation, you'll accent it.

There is a well known phrase, ¿Cómo como? Como como como. which uses three of these. The first is the question How?, the second, third, and fifth are the verb I eat, and the fourth is like/as. So... How do I eat? I eat like I eat.

But you can extend it further adding in the incredulous cómo and get ¿Cómo cómo como? Como como como. to mean "What do you mean how do I eat?! I eat like I eat."

  • 2
    @jabujavi please do not edit my post with incorrect information. Como is a preposition per the DRAE "Como. 13. prep. en calidad de. Asiste a la boda como testigo." Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 4:55
  • 'Cómo': how. It is often used to make questions

  • 'Como': as, like, such as.

So you would say:

Eres tan bueno como él You are as good as him.

Es como un gran monstruo It is like a big monster

Eres como un genio You are such as a genious


¿Cómo como? ¡Como como como! How do I eat? I eat the way I eat!

  • The first como (the one with the accent) is the word "how", introducing a question.
  • The second como is "I eat".
  • So is the third and fifth one.
  • The fourth como is "the way". It is like the first one except that it's used in an indication, while the first one is used to introduce a question.

I heard this as a sort of light hearted joke in SA.

  • (Yo) 'como' = I eat

  • 'Cómo' = how

The accent mark tells you whether it's referring to the verb 'comer' or the auxiliar 'how'.


Siempre como en casa antes de ir al colegio I always eat at home before going to school

¿Cómo estás? How are you?

  • 5
    Esta respuesta deja fuera otras funciones/tipos de "como" sin acento, por ejemplo "Me siento como en casa". "Como" no es sólo la primera persona de presente de indicativo de Comer.
    – Diego
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 13:01
  • Tienes toda la razón
    – Jose Maria
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 7:00
  • '(Yo) Como' = I eat

It comes from the verb 'comer'. It is the 'yo' form present tense.

  • 'Cómo' = How

Sometimes when people want to say how in Spanish, they can say 'Cómo'. One expression that has 'cómo' is:

¿Cómo estás? How are you?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.