When I put how quickly will you walk? into Google Translate (maybe not the ideal source but that's my starting point), it gives me:

¿Con qué rapidez vas a caminar?

Based on this and other examples from Google Translate, I see the pattern that in Spanish, a "how" question using an adverb takes the form:

¿Con qué [noun form of quality described by adverb] [verb]?

Intuitively, though, I would think that the template would be:

¿Cómo [adverb] [verb]?

Which is more natural? I found no Google hits for either Con qué rapidez vas a caminar or Cómo rapidamente caminas.

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    If this isn't a duplicate, it's a near duplicate. There are three possible structures: ¿cuán [adj]...? / ¿qué tan [adj]...? / ¿cómo de [adj]...? The first is universal, but can be of a rather high register. More commonly​ you'll hear the latter two, but they are strongly differentiated by region (such that in some, the other could potentially even sound wrong). May 10, 2017 at 16:56
  • You'll use the unmarked form of the adjective. So ¿cuán rápido vas a caminar? for example May 10, 2017 at 17:05
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    @DGaleano I shouldn't say I've never heard cuán, but I feel pretty confident that a direct question like this wouldn't be used with cuán, but it sounds much more natural for me when embedded like in No tengo ni idea de cuán rápido corre (probably because de cómo de sounds awkward but that's just a guess*) May 10, 2017 at 20:10
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    @DGaleano I hope what I said didn't imply that cuán would per se sound natural there — in fact I intended to say the opposite (and moreover my understanding is that cómo de sounds outright wrong in Colombia). The general reality, I think, is that the structure —of any variant— is no where near as commonly used as in English. More often than not, the most natural Spanish equivalent will use some other structure entirely, which is probably how cuán started dying out (as happened with cúyo/a(s), replaced by de quién(es)) May 10, 2017 at 20:37
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    @DGaleano yes, to us cuán is also rather formal and I don't recall hearing anyone using it in a normal conversation. And yes, in Spain we would go for the cómo de... form: no tengo ni idea de cómo de rápido corre or even no tengo ni idea de lo rápido que corre.
    – fedorqui
    May 11, 2017 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


As you probably already reckoned from the comments, there are many alternative ways to express the English meaning of "how adverb do you verb". Which is more "natural" will depend on the local dialect and the register.

In the formal register the "correct" form employs the question word cuán, with an adverb following. There are a number of adjectives that, while having a regular adverbial derivation in -mente, are often used adverbially in their singular masculine adjectival form. These include rápido, despacio, lento, fuerte, etc. So for your example it would be either of the following:

¿Cuán rápido vas a caminar?
¿Cuán rápidamente vas a caminar?

Other less formal ways employ the phrases cómo de and qué tan:

¿Cómo de rápido vas a caminar?
¿Qué tan rápido vas a caminar?

If the adjective is not one of those that can be used adverbially, you will always have to add -mente. The rest will be the same.

You may in some cases use a phrase like con qué [noun] as you proposed (¿con qué rapidez...? etc.) but this sounds distinctively forced in most contexts that I can imagine. It may be the appropriate form in technical speech:

¿Con qué velocidad partió el proyectil?

Finally, your idea:

¿Cómo [adverb] [verb]?

This is ungrammatical and you shouldn't use it. It's a straight calque from English how [adverb] but Spanish doesn't work like that.

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