Updated: Sep 28
¿Qué tal? You guys should already know what those words mean! If you don’t then read my You Had Me At Hello post. I explain it all there. In the meantime, let’s continue on. So, we’ve already established how to say “hello” and “how are you” but what’s the word for goodbye? That’s easy!
Fare Thee Well My Friends
Ok, so it’s not quite as dramatic as that, but the word for goodbye in Spanish is:
Why is it “adiós”? Well, it’s a little by like why we say “farewell” or “goodbye”. In English “farewell” is…well, it’s exactly like what I just said, “fare thee well”, “goodbye” is a contraction and corruption of the phrase “god be with you” or “god be with ye”. Similarly, “adiós” is a contraction of the phrase “A Dios”, meaning “To God”.
Strike Up A Conversation
Pretty neat huh? Ok, so we know how to say “hello”, we know how to say “how are you” and we know how to say “goodbye”, but how do we answer the question “how are you”. That’s easy. The most basic answers are “I’m very well”, “I’m ok”, “I’m not ok”, “I’m very bad”. Let’s start with the positive ones, shall we?
So, let’s start with “I’m very well”. This is very simple, and just like it’s English counterpart, it’s only three words long:
¡Estoy Muy Bien ¡
Easy, right? Oh! There is one thing you need to remember. When saying “muy”, think of a cow “mooing”, and then smiling. So, “muy” needs to sound like “moo-ee”. That’s it!
Ok, the next one is “I’m ok”. It’s basically the same phrase, but without the “muy”!
Again, really simple right? Ok, let me ask you, how do you say “I’m not ok”? It’s a little difficult right? Well, there are two ways. One of them can be a little more dramatic than the other. So, we’ll start off with the less dramatic on.
No Estoy Bien.
Now, be careful with this one. In Spanish, whenever you’re dealing with verbs, if you want to say something along the lines of “I am not”, or “I do not”, then the “not” part of the sentence has to be placed before the verb, so “no estoy”, “no hago”, “no puedo”, these are all correct. So, “no estoy bien” means “I’m not ok”.
Ok, the second version is when something really bad has happened, or if you’re feeling ill. This version I’d suggest you use with caution, because it’s the same as saying “I’m not feeling well”.
If you type this up in Google, they’ll translate it as “I’m wrong”, but when paired with “¿cómo estás?” or “¿qué tal?”, the it is still essentially, “I don’t feel well” or “I feel bad”.
Alright, onto the last one, which you’ll hardly ever use, unless in an emergency situation, or if you’re going through an emotional crisis, or if you just really, really want to be dramatic. This one means “I am very bad” or “I feel very bad”.
¡Estoy muy mal!
Ok, so I’m borrowing the word “muy”, because it’s on the other end of the emotional spectrum, at the moment. It’s the most basic way to convey the fact that you’re not feeling well, or something terrible has happened. Of course, it’s also one of the easiest phrases that a Spanish speaking native can understand. So, you won’t have any problems when greeting someone!
Ok, so now we know how to answer the question “how are you”. Of course, there are many different other ways you can answer it, like “estoy terrible”, “estoy feliz”, “estoy fenomenal”, “estoy horrible”, but that all depends on your mood and whether or not your Spanish speaking friend is close to you, and understands what is going on with you. However, speaking with someone new, the basics are always the best ways to reply to them.
So, it’s your turn now. Practice with a family member, or a friend, and see if you can ask each other how you feel today. Why not get them to join in with you? Learning together is always much more fun, it’s daunting yes, but at least you can get some practical experience, right? Well, that’s it from me today. I look forward to seeing you again, next time!