I'm english and I'm starting to learn Spanish on my own. My boss is fluent in Spanish and she sometimes says to me in the morning,

Buenas días, que tan?

Or something similar along those lines. She said the appropriate response is good or fine or however you're feeling.

I've searched a lot but I cannot find anything talking about que tan. It just translates to how in Google Translate. Is it some sort of slang (for "how are you")? Or is it just a shortening of the phrase? What is the reasoning behind this saying?


2 Answers 2


The correct term is: ¿qué tal? This a very used term when you already said something: hola, ¿qué tal?; buenas tardes, ¿qué tal? etc.

  • No wonder I couldn't find anything on it! I misheard what she said... Thank you!
    – Tur1ng
    Jul 11, 2015 at 21:31
  • 2
    Just a note to add that ¿qué tal? is short for ¿qué tal estás? (how are you?)
    – MikMik
    Jul 13, 2015 at 13:53

The correct answer is not qué tal. Qué tan is used differently.


How big is Mexico City?

¿Qué tan grande es la ciudad de México?

  • 1
    Welcome to Spanish Language! Note that "qué tal" is indeed what the OP wanted to ask, so it IS the correct answer. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that "qué tan" is also possible in Spanish, so thank you for the clarification.
    – Charlie
    Apr 3, 2017 at 6:27

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