What is the difference between "¿qué haciendo?" and "¿qué estás haciendo?" Do they mean 'How are you doing?'

  1. ¿Qué haciendo, loco?

  2. ¿Qué estás haciendo, loquillo?

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    Where did you read or hear the expression ¿Qué haciendo? ? Dec 17, 2013 at 10:27
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    «¿Qué haciendo?» is incorrect Spanish. I have never seen it before but googling seems to show that's some MSM slang. (Silly though: «¿Qué haces» or «Ke ase?» are shorter.) Dec 17, 2013 at 13:29
  • @CarlosEugenioThompsonPinzón Where did you exactly deduce that from?
    – c.p.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:39
  • @JorgeCampos about the SMS slang part? Googling with "que haciendo" (with quoting marks) led me to this: answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100909054621AA0w5AK Dec 17, 2013 at 19:56
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    @CarlosEugenioThompsonPinzón gracias por la referencia. Bueno, he oido gente con mucha educación decir ¿qué haciendo? Es un tono relajado y amigable. Al menos a panameños y mexicanos les he oido ese saludo; es un mero regionalismo. No creo que sea totalmente incorrecto. Intenté expresar eso en mi respuesta haciendo referencia a Colombia y España, por nombrar sólo dos casos concretos.
    – c.p.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:01

5 Answers 5


"¿Qué haciendo?" could be some type of expression typical from South America, although I've never heard it before, it could be some derivative from "Spanglish".

"¿Qué estás haciendo?" is the correct form in Spanish to ask "What are you doing?"

  • 2
    Not from my part of South America. I've never heard it neither in the street or from television shows from other countries. Please don't speculate. If you haven't heard it in your country just say so. Dec 17, 2013 at 13:21
  • I'm more prone to think it's some derivative from Spanglish, as usually those ones tend to override verbs on phrases in a way similar to spoken english. It also could be a mispell of "¿Qué haces?" that would be more accurately translated to "How are you doing?"
    – Bardo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:29
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    Other variations more correct and informal to "Watcha doing?" / "What's up?" could be "¿Qué pasó?", "¿Cómo va?", "¿Qué pasa?", "¿Cómo va eso?", "¿Cómo lo llevas?", "¿Qué tal?"...
    – Bardo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:34
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    I don't think this is a bad guess, but guesses probably shouldn't be answers.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 18, 2013 at 9:20
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    Qué haciendo doesn't exist, probably someone trying poorly to speak spanish Jan 13, 2014 at 8:25

I have occasionally seen the phrase ¿Qué haciendo? in writing, in very informal contexts, such as Facebook or SMS messages. I believe it is indeed a shortened form of ¿Qué estás haciendo?

I don't suggest using, ever. Even in these informal contexts....

Unless ur goal iz 2 mock the ppl who talk that way, or 2 B ironic. U will B h8ed.

  • Oh, I don't think idiots is the right word. ¿Qué haciendo? is exactly the equivalent of whatcha doin'? Absolutely grammaticaly incorrect, but widely used.
    – c.p.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:05
  • It's a more close equivalent of "What doing?" which I have also heard in English, and it sounds quite idiotic to me. Although I think it's a regionalism even in English, so perhaps I'll soften my chiding a bit.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:09
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    I think that this is intentional bad grammar, used in very informal contexts for funny/cool effect.
    – leonbloy
    Dec 17, 2013 at 14:21
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    @Flimzy -1 well, being reasonable, language is not about showing who can detect more mistakes in the interlocutor's speech. In Spain people say pa', instead of para. Is that bad grammar? No. True, there are certain rules, but not even native speakers are so hard to make that judgements. Also, I think that for you to be able to qualify people as idiots, as your original answer expressed, and your last comment did, you must have lived in all possible regions where Spanish is spoken. Have you?
    – c.p.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 17:26

If you want to see the short answer, scroll down.

Long answer: Spanish is a complex system, a complex language. It's spoken in lots of countries in about three continents. In every single country –what is even more, every region in every country– Spanish develops independently. To deem idiotic (as other answer did) or erroneous an expression, implies that the person who produces that judgement has lived and understood every single kind of Spanish.


  • If you visit Colombia (not my country, btw.) you'll hear:

¿Qué más?

What does it mean? It doesn't have a verb either. But if you are intelligent you'll figure out soon that it's a nice greeting there.

  • If you go to Spain (and not only there), people say pa' instead of para. Is that a mistake? No.

In the same line of thought:

¿Qué haciendo?

is a translation you could find for how you doing? (but that's definitely not it's origin). I dare to say that ¿Qué haciendo? is even "less incorrect" than whatcha doin'? – even so, absolutely grammatically incorrect if you see it as part of formal writing standing for the meaning "what are you doing?". But the phrase doesn't mean that: It's just slang and means "Hi!"

Condensed answer:

The difference between "¿qué haciendo?" and "¿qué estás haciendo?" is that the former means just hi! ̣–at least in Mexico– while in the latter you actually expect an answer from your interlocutor (everywhere). The loco or loquillo part actually I've heard it from Central America. It means just "dude!, buddy!". All in all, the former means "hi buddy!".

Again, it's slang. Be tolerant; if you don't like it or you are not an expert, don't use it.

By the way, it has the same structure as

A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando.

This is not correct grammatically, but it's used.

  • Surely, trying to translate slang will result on a totally shocked interlocutor.
    – Bardo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:32
  • @Bardo I don't see your point. I never said the interlocutor was talking another language.
    – c.p.
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:37
  • I mean that anyone making a literal traduction from slang to try to apply it on other language obviously won't result on the slang equivalent of the original expression, it will be some type of aberration like "¿Qué haciendo?".
    – Bardo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 13:42
  • If you deem it as "slang" please specify where/when is this slang commonplace. Dec 17, 2013 at 18:06

Todos están equivocados! Con la sola excepción de que este "qué haciendo" se trata de un regionalismo y de una expresión coloquial. Nada tiene que ver con "¿qué estás haciendo?".

La gente la utiliza con el sentido de "¿cómo así?", o "¿con qué derecho?". Un poco equivale al "how come?" que se utiliza en inglés.

Un ejemplo: El jefe dice que te va a descontar el daño de tu próximo sueldo. El empleado contesta "Qué haciendo?"


"¿Qué haciendo?" Is not a correct sentence in Spanish. It may be slang, but not proper Spanish. It lacks a verb.

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