Clarify the meanings of these expressions and the functions of 'ir'.

¿Cómo te vas?

I suppose this is the reflexive form 'irse' and it means "how you leave" or "how you go".

¿Cómo te va?

I heard this is equivalent with "Cómo te va la vida a ti", however not sure of the function of 'ir' here. It seems 'ir' has a meaning of 'cause an effect' such as "What has the life done to you", but not sure. Checked Wordreference but there seems to be no such meaning explicitly.

Also when I was in hospital in Colombia, a doctor asked "¿Cómo va?" after a while when he gave me an injection. I suppose he asked "How is the treatment working?" or "How did the medicine work?". Is it correct?

Kindly suggest what is the function of 'ir' here.

¿Cómo se va?

Is it equivalent with '¿Cómo se va la vida a usted?', as well as '¿Cómo se va (para el estación)?' asking how to get to somewhere depending on the contexts? Can I say "¿Dónde se va esta calle?" to ask "Where does this road lead to"?

Kindly suggest what is the function of 'ir' here.

4 Answers 4


¿Cómo vas?

Exactly the thing you say. Example:

A- Me voy a Colombia
B- ¿Cómo vas?
A- En avión

¿Cómo te va?/¿Cómo va?

You're also on a good trend here. However, it's way more general. I would summarize its use as

1)"How do you feel (about something that's happening NOW)?"
2)"How do you do?" "What's up?" "How is it hanging?" 
3)"How are things going for you?"

That's why your doctor asked "¿cómo va?" and he didn't asked "¿Crees que la inyección está surgiendo efecto?". It's shorter, friendlier, you name it. For the second use you can use it as formal "¿Cómo le va?" (notice Ud. pronoun) or informal as you want. Since informal is very different you have to pick your "Hello world" choice as you do with english.

Notice that in English you don't have a "subject" responsible of the way you do. So, it's the same in Spanish. This might be a problem sometimes when the subject/object is not specified. Sometimes you have to ask "Cómo va qué cosa?" in order to know what the asker is referring to.

¿Cómo se va?

This is not for the Ud. pronoun. It's equivalent to "How could I/we/anyone go there?" Example

A- Tengo que ir a Calle 5 y Avenida 3, ¿sabés cómo se va? (also "sabes tú como ir?")
B- Si, tienes que tomar el bus X hasta Avenida 3 y Calle 4. Luego, caminar hasta calle 5

¿Cómo va? or ¿Cómo te va? are very used in Spanish language.

Normally there's not big difference between those. The first one is used for people who just are not used to communicating by using the proper pronoun

As for va, it's commonly used for "progress,"

cómo te está yendo, cómo te ha ido.

here you have a continuous and past participle way to express to other person how is he/she doing with her/his stuff.

As for cómo se va, this applies in very particular cases like:

¿cómo se va a su casa? (where refering to usted and va stands for "ir.")

como se le va la vida a esa persona (where va stands for "progress.")

¡cómo se te va a ocurrir! (where va stands for the idea you're about to say and not like you were explicitly going somewhere.)

  • Thank you for the answer. So 'va' in "como te va" is similar to 'go' in "how is it going" and 'te' is an indirect object in "como te va". Just wonder what is 'se' in "Como se le va la vida a sea persona".
    – mon
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 17:45
  • I like the part about progress. // @mon you are correct and I added that to the accepted answer. Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 2:53

Cómo te va

The easiest translation of "cómo te va" is "how is it going".

"Cómo te va" is quite similar in meaning to "cómo estás", it's just a bit more informal and colloquial. "Cómo te va" can also be used to ask about more specific events, whereas "cómo estás" is just for a casual greeting or to query someone's wellbeing in that moment. This article explains the difference further and has some useful examples of when you'd use each one. However, in most situations they'd be interchangeable.

Cómo te vas/Cómo se va

"Cómo te vas" and "cómo se va" are essentially the same, they only differ in terms of formality (or who you're talking to).

  • Cómo te vas - 2nd person singular in an informal setting

  • Cómo se va - 2nd person singular in a formal setting OR third person singular

    That being said, it's not a very common expression and would only be used if you're talking specifically about the manner in which someone is leaving. It would be more natural to use the verb "ir" (without the reflexive pronoun) to ask how someone is getting somewehere: "Cómo vas a la escuela hoy". Even more natural sounding would be to use the verb "llegar". Like someone wrote above, "como se va" can also mean "how does one go/get to X place".


Qué tal / Cómo + ...

The specific formula:

  • me va (a mi) - How am I doing
  • te va (a ti) - How are you doing
  • le va (a él / ella / usted) - How is he / she / you / it doing
  • nos va (a nosotros / nosotras) - How are we doing
  • os va (a vosotros / vosotras) - How are you all doing
  • les va (a ellos / ellas / ustedes) - How are they / you all doing

Note: You can leave out the question word to answer the question...

  • (A mi) me va bien / mal
  • etc...

However, irse has a totally different meaning of to leave with a different conjugation...

  • ex: Cómo te vas / Cómo se va ... How are you leaving to...

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