We say "¿Quién eres tú?" for "who are you?" in Spanish ok.

So why can't we say "¿Cómo eres tú?" for "how are you?" in Spanish?

"Eres tú" means "are you" so why is "Cómo eres tú" incorrect for "how are you"?

  • 2
    Welcome to the site. You might find this Q&A helpful spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/19836
    – mdewey
    Jul 5 '18 at 17:43
  • i have always wondered how english speakers can identify the difference between the way they are and the way they are "at the moment" because what's the difference in between "i'm hungry" and "i'm tall" when are you going to stop being tall? , are you always hungry?
    – Mike
    Jul 5 '18 at 18:51
  • @Mike - Well, if you want to ask someone in English what they are like, you'll say, "What do you look like?" or "What sort of person are you? Laid back? Serious? Happy go lucky?" In other words, you would never use "How are you?" to try to get a self-description. Jul 6 '18 at 2:08
  • @mdewey - Agreed, and in fact I think we could take the "might" out of that comment! Jul 6 '18 at 2:09

The thing is that translating the verb be to spanish, it has to be done with two verbs with different meanings: ser and estar. And they can't be used interchangeably. If you think about it, it's a little simpler for us speaking spanish because como estás tú? and como eres tú? are two completely valid questions but with completely different meanings. One could be answered bien, mal, contento, molesto, aburrido, dormido, etc... the other one could be answered: inteligente, alto, bajo, gordo, flaco, parlanchín, cándido, maléfico, etc.

So, if what you mean is to greet someone, you mean como estás tú?. If you are inquiring about how the person would define him/herself, you would ask como eres tú?.

  • Thanks a ton for this ......can u help me this I m trying to learn Spanish through udemy ok now I m having hard time with all the verbs and then their conjunction . Tons of verbs then there tons of conjunction do we need to learn all verb and their conjunction to understand and speak Spanish isn't there a thumb rule or shortcut something??
    – user19753
    Jul 6 '18 at 17:18
  • I wish there were. I love spanish because I didn't actually study it to speak it. I learned it on the go while growing up.... but if I had to study it today? I'd hate it. :-) I remember I had the same issues trying with french. Verbs and conjugations. It's painful.
    – eftshift0
    Jul 6 '18 at 17:53
  • You Know french too ? How many language you know? What's your native language?
    – user19753
    Jul 15 '18 at 21:12
  • Me? French? je ne parle francais pas. Only studied it for a little bit and quit because I found it too difficult (verbs and conjugations to blame, basically). My native language is spanish.
    – eftshift0
    Jul 16 '18 at 14:46

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