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'.
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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."
¿Cómo como? ¡Como como como! How do I eat? I eat the way I eat!
I heard this as a sort of light hearted joke in SA.