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"¿Cómo van las cosas?"

Translation:How are things going?

5 years ago

118 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/scottandkelseyb

is this sentence directed toward a group of people since it uses 'van'? Or is that just how you would ask it in general?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/transcend77

The things (cosas) they go (van).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeyDC65

It could be directed at a single person or a group. This is completely analogous to the expression in English. For example, you can walk up to your friend and ask "How are things going?". Or you can address a group with the same sentence. "Hey guys! How are things going?"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom968478

to which one replies Toda va bien in my experience

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/achilli

I'm wondering this, too. Transcend77's answer doesn't really seem to answer the question at all.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CEShann
CEShann
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Cosas is plural. Therefore you use the plural form of the verb.

Remember in Spanish questions the traditional construction is to place the subject after the verb, especially if there is a so-called "question word" involved.

If it helps you at all, just think of this as saying "How go things". This sentence sounds primitive, but it does a good job of showing you what the sentence is actually doing. Las cosas is the subject.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OverTH40

Do Spanish speakers really use this expression?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tgris

I'm wondering the same. Any native speakers that can help here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ntrujiilo89

I'm not a native speaker but I work with people from all over Central America and I'd say the more common thing to say would be "Como le va/van?" when casually asking someone how they are. But that's not to say there's not tons of other short greetings that vary country to country that I won't even bother listing here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tistics

My Colombian friend always asks me "Como te va?" for "How is it going?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ktm315
ktm315
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I think that's more literally, "How are you doing?" Which, I would imagine, is why more people use it. The example translation sounds okay, but it's a bit awkward and I don't know if that would be my first choice of a greeting either...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virzak

how is it going? is that not a correct translation?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

"Como va" = "How is it going?" "las cosas" = things, and "van" is a plural verb General idea between the two English versions is close, but difference in grammar is significant

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aprit
aprit
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that makes more sense. I did not know that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/megustamivida

More or less the same intent, but since we're working with vocabulary, and cosas are "things," then, no. I went through exactly the same thought process choosing my answer. :-D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arturohiero

It is.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kathy_ontheway

I do not understand the difference between the following two sentences: 1 Como escribes una carta? in this one "una carta" seems to be an object 2 Como van las cosas? in this one "las cosas" seems to be an subject. How can I distinguish between these two?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alisonespanol

escribes in your first sentence has tu as the subject. We know this because of the ending -es. In the second sentence the verb ending -an means they is the subject, therefore las cosas has to be the subject.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andrewdahliscool

I entered "How go things?" It looks like Duolingo has added "How goes things?" since other people have posted asking why it wasn't accepted.

My question here is 'go' v. 'goes'. The subject here is plural (things), so why would you use a singular form of the verb when translating to English?

I only know this phrase informally so it probably isn't the best example from which to try and build a rule, but I can think of "How goes it?" sounding correct but "How go it?" not. Is "things" treated as one object? What gives?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachvx
rachvx
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I think "How goes things" is grammatically incorrect - "how things goes" is not right. "How things go" is right. So you're right - "How go things" is a better option.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Morne
Morne
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How goes things is a phrase I have used and heard used, technically correct or not.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roosky2003

But I've never heard an English speaker say it !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LazCon
LazCon
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It must be a colloquialism. I hear "How goes things" quite frequently in the midwest and south, even if it is grammatically incorrect since "things" is plural and "goes" is used with singular nouns. (The car (singular) goes... The cars (plural) go... ) Oddly, "goes" seems to be one of the English words that has taken on a variety of meaning beyond the basic 'to physically move from one place to another.' I routinely hear it used as a replacement for "says/said... (Someone may say, "I told him not to do that again. Then he goes (said) 'You're not the boss of me.' Then I go (say), 'I brought you into this world, I can darn sure take you out." Then, he goes..., etc." Also, it is not uncommon to see "goes" used as a substitute for is/are. "How goes it?" or. "How goes things?"

Accurate or not, it may be that some people consider "things" to be a reference to "the situation at hand" and thus use the singular verb. "How is/goes the situation at hand?" becomes "How's things?" or. "How goes things?" Just a thought.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markbooth
markbooth
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I went for "How go the things?", which seems fine to me but perhaps it's not strictly grammatically correct. Still seems better than "How are the things?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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"The things go."

It's not common in English to ask "How go the things?", but it isn't incorrect grammatically. Where I'm from, it is usually "How are things going?" (a present progressive tense instead of just a present tense) or "How is it going?" I've also used "How are things?"

"How goes it?" is also grammatically correct.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hugheth

"How go things" is a phrase I use fairly regularly, I believe it's grammatically correct

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swingophelia

Awkward though - probably intentionally so in your usage, in the vein of dropping words or using acronyms (e.g. "WTF!") being sometimes hip. "How do things go" sounds more natural to me, though "How are things going" is most natural and common.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aldrenean
Aldrenean
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I think this is just a case of less formal speech being more common over time. "How go things" is more formal construction, less common but certainly correct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VinhLive

Why the heck would they add the las? It makes it sound like "How are the things going?"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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The Spanish version requires "las", The English version requires "the" be omitted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quetura16

literally translating this sentence doesn't make sense...the best advice i can give is to accept it as an expression. Learn and use it as such. As CEShann said think of it as "how go things"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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That is what I put "How go things?" and this was accepted by Duo Lingo. It is the same as "How are things going?" which would be the preferred question.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hugh_T
Hugh_T
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"how do things go?" is not correct?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jazzdragon022

How do things go is asking it in a literal sense, like How do things go in here? or How do things get from point A to point B? How are things going is asking how the project (or life or practice etc) is doing.

The sentence can also mean "How are things going to the event?" In which you are asking the same point as "How do things get to the event?" The nuances on when to use either is past my level of explanation, being a native speaker I just know, sorry I can't explain it better. :(

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alisonespanol

In English, if we say how do things go, that means something is true more than once, and it is likely to be asking a question which describes a state that is true not only then but at other times. (We call this the present simple.) How are things going relates to the present moment, and may not be true later or tomorrow, for example. This is the present continuous. In the sentence above we would always use the present continuous if we use the verb go. Replying to minch below too. You do hear "How goes things?", but it is rather informal and grammatically incorrect. How's it going? is also common. What I am still discovering is whether Spanish has the same usage for the simple and continuous form as in English. There do seem to be some differences.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shuttlecock

where is the "are" in that sentence?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ryankey721

I'm a little late and am just learning this myself, but I believe the van contains the "are". For example, "Yo voy" would mean both "I go" and "I am going".

Why this verb contains the participle as well, I don't know, sorry.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ciemuna

It's in the conjugation of 'van' if you hover over the word it says 'are going'

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tpprioli

"How are things going" wasn't accepted??? Does anyone here know why?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/achilli

It was accepted for me. Did you make sure to put the question mark at the end?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mnicky

the question mark is not required :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anita021

is there any difference between simple present and present continuous in spanish?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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There is, actually.

The form of the present continuous (present progressive) is the present tense of "estar" plus the gerund (present participle). The gerund ends in "-ndo". Specifically, it ends in "-ando" for "-ar" verbs and "-iendo" for "-er" and "-ir" verbs. For example, "estoy escribiendo" (I am writing).

Another example: if you call someone and they are unable to come to the phone because they are on the other line. "Está hablando..." ("He/she is speaking...")

The present continuous of "ir" ("to go") is "yendo". It's irregular.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aehie
aehie
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Why is "How are THE things going" reported wrong? There's the "las" article...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alisonespanol

In English when we talk about things in general, we tend to leave out the article, so it's bad English to put in 'the'..

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Manny_k

Are we learning English grammar or Spanish here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blueberrymaiden

Apparently both, for some people...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuHoover

I gave the same answer because I was translating literally without realizing what the sentence was actually saying. The sentence didn't make immediate sense to me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aidanmartin3

For those of you wondering: Las is used here since you're talking about something in general, the rules for definite article usage are as follows:

  • in general
  • Days of the week, (masculine, not used after form of ser)
  • languages (not used when object of verb) ex: el japones es interesante, hablo ingles
  • body parts and clothing
  • time (feminine)
  • possession
  • when talking about someone
3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Let's confuse everyone more! My children don't use this at all. They say "What's up?"

Originally, that meant "What is happening?", but now they use this to find out all about the other person's day, what they are doing and have been doing and how well it went.

It can also mean "What is the matter?"

If there was a project that someone did for school, they might still ask "How did it go?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/decadave

Las cosas is just "things" not "the things"???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/t.winkler
t.winkler
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¿Qué wea?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spanish.waffles

I was just laughing so hard because

How go the things?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnny930039

Listening to the poor pronouncing male voice, he clearly says "les". The dude's voice is horrible.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mister-Whistler

I first translated it in my head "How goes the things?" Jajaja

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JairoAlons
JairoAlons
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the form "How are doing things" may be correct.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mom373253

Easy

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/loek654581

No perdon

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shira522069

Is'nt "How thing are going is" better english then "how are things going"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boskolavaleye

How are or how things are is just the same

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prakhar786

Las casas van buenes.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Slveig5

What is the difference between ESTOY & SOY

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaMuir2

How going the things

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J1erry

I answered "What things go?" as if I were moving or taking someone else's things. Does anyone know if this is a valid answer?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zahorani
Zahorani
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Can I say " how things are going "

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeyDC65

Yes, but not as a standalone question.

  • How are things going?
  • Let me ask her how things are going.
  • I'm here to report on how things are going.
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zahorani
Zahorani
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Thanks my dear, but why it was not a correct translation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/morningstarbee

How go the things? It always takes me a second to break it down into a logical grammar instead of the english im used to.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elojo1
elojo1
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Have just been chastised for translating a phrase literally so here I said "how are things" and was duly punished for leaving out "going". Can't b***dy win!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/okpeery

How is everything going? That is not correct?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CEShann
CEShann
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As remarked above, the sentiment is the same, but it is important that you recognize the difference in grammar.

Just as in English the phrases "How is everything going?" and "How are things going" have the same general meaning, the structure of the sentences are different. It is good practice recognizing this while learning second languages.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/acidliam

How's things going was rejected. Seems a bit harsh.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HisashiYarouin

This is a thing with English grammar: "things" is plural and should go with the plural sense of "are" (e.g. "How're"), not "is" (as in "How's").

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sendero

Me too, that's a very common phrase between English people. 'How's things going chum?'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YoSoyAmigo

Is "How goes things?" an accepted translation or too casual?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fluent2B

That isn't even proper English. "How go things" would be better, though not very conventional.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dimxps
dimxps
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That's just wrong.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dekingston

Why would it not be "how goes things"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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"How go things?" or "How are things going?" for this exercise, but in real life you could also say in this situation "How goes it?" or "How's everything?" Notice that "everything" is considered singular and takes "is" or "goes", while "things" is considered plural and takes "are" or "go". More possibilities "How is everything going?", "How are things? (going is understood) (" How're things?" - no one says that), How is everything? (going is understood). The funny thing is without "going" it is closer to the real meaning, because you are asking someone to describe how things are or how everything is, as well as, what progress has been made. For example, I am working on a project and someone asks "How are things going?" I tell them that I am almost done and the project is looking good, but I ran out of these items and will get more by tomorrow; so, it should be done by Wednesday.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/minch

how do the things go? Not Correct?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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No, in English this expression takes "go" or "are going".

I know it is confusing. We do say "do" for emphasis and in questions like "Do you want to eat that ?" which you could answer "Yes, I do." or "How do I write this?" which you could answer "This is how you write this:..........."
The answer to "How are things going?" or "How go things?" which is less common or perhaps to "How do things go?" (I don't hear people ask it this way, but theoretically it could work.) would be a quick "Things are fine." or less commonly "Things go well." or an explanation of the status of something in progress or of how your day went.

In this expression, we omit the word "the".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mkj77

I'm confused. I thought "son" means are. Why does the word "van" mean are as well in this sentence? And does this mean if I use the word "son" in this sentence like "como son las cosas?" would that be wrong?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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Yes, that would be wrong. This cannot be translated word for word. The verb "are" is used as a "helping verb" or auxiliary verb with the verb participle "going" to make a particular present tense of the verb "to go" called continuous/progressive.

"Van" can be translated as "go" or as "are going". English has two options.

We sometimes say "How are things?" but going is understood. It actually means "How are things going?"

In Spanish this verb tense does not use a helping verb. " Como van las cosas?" Perhaps it is easier to translate this to "How go things?" which is a less common way of saying it in English, but you won't confuse the two verbs.

Then, you can switch to the more common English version afterwards.

Just wait, there will be other verb tenses in which Spanish uses its form of "to be" or "to have" with its main verb and in English we might use a different form of "to have" or "to be with our main verb and it will look very different. We just have to memorize the way each language constructs the particular verb tense and take the whole verb together to translate and not each individual piece of the verb. Do you think when we say "I have been feeling better lately." that they use "have been feeling" to say the same thing? We need to recognize that this is a form of the verb "to feel" and the other two verbs are just helping to make this particular verb tense form.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TylerReg

Does this basically mean "How are you"

Or does it mean, if in a certain context if you are a contest of some sorts and you need to make some things move, and you can't do it but you're partner does, you might ask, "How are the things going?" or "moving?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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No, the question is asking "How is everything going for you?" . The answer could be the status of a project you are working on or an explanation of all the things that happened in your day. It is a general question so we say "How are things going?"

If you put "How are the things going?" Then we would be looking at how some specific things move, but that is not the context of this lesson. We do not use "the" in this expression, but in Spanish they have to use las.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brennan1996

I put: how are they going to the things? Is this wrong because there is no "a"? It's hard to tell the order of the sentence

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LazCon
LazCon
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Yes. There's no directional word like 'a' (to), 'hacia' (toward), or 'de' (from.)

Order can be difficult. I tend to do a direct, literal translation in my head, then think about what the most common English phrase is that would mean the same thing. ('Tengo una camisa negra' = I have + a shirt + black. = I have a black shirt. ) Similarly, 'Cómo van las cosas' = How + they go (plural, since it said 'van', not 'va') + things/the things. = How go things. Since the literal meaning of How do these particular things go (walk, fly, use gasoline) seemed like an odd question, I opted for the more common (How are things going in your life or on your project) How are thing going.

I'm still a bit unclear as to when to include the article (un, una, el, la) since sometimes the article is there in Spanish but not used in English translation. Think of our earlier lessons "No leemos durante la cena." We do not read during (the) dinner. You did not have to use (the) in the answer because it's implied.

I get the feeling the articles are much more important in Spanish than English. Most nouns have them. They must match in gender and number (masculine, feminine, singular, plural). Whereas, in English we often skip them altogether. "I eat breakfast." becomes "I eat the breakfast." (Yo como el desayuno.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/collectedsoul

I think literally this is like 'how they go, the things?'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/atntony
atntony
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"How are the things" was accepted. (?????)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian53
pleiadian53
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I didn't have trouble translating it but was kind of surprised at first that Spanish also has this expression. I mean it's verbatim (well, almost). In many ways, Spanish and English are very similar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GotToNY
GotToNY
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Hahaha I wrote "How's it going?" And it said wrong..?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cc2014es

The article "the" before things should be allowed. The question could be specific to certain things under discussion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AikateriniSt
AikateriniSt
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Wtf.. is this literally translated??????

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JT_____11
JT_____11
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i did how are thing go and i got it wrong. wouldnt it be como yendo las cosas?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArunavaC

Would "Wassup?" or even "What's up?" be correct? Would DL accept it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AshleyBlackwood

Yay! idioms!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Niko2445

Why isn't it, "Como estan las cosas van?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feyMorgaina
feyMorgaina
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Okay, I got this right, but do they say this in Spain? Or is this a greeting specific to Latin American Spanish? "How are things going?" or "How is it going?" in English is similar to "How are you?" contextually. Although, I have specifically asked "How are things going?" or "How is everything?" when I am hoping to hear specifically about a person's activities.

In any case, my other Spanish materials teach "¿Cómo estás?" ("How are you?") as a greeting. Formally, one asks "¿Cómo esta usted?" instead. There is also "¿Qué tal?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cleverthings

I translated this as, "how are you going to the things?" When I saw just how wrong I was I found it quite amusing.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlekseyOm

I think "how are you doing" is not worse, no matter what you mean saying "cosas". literally, in "how are the things" things here are not material objects

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eastonkugler
eastonkugler
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Isn't this an English idiom? Does Spanish use it as well?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xenia283426

Qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm,.1234567890@€&():;«»-!=/+?',·™$`^¥-_{}©®|°[]<>£"¢#%*~.…,…

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissRichie

I don't understand why "How is it going?" not a correct translation?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hello_world_hola

This has been addressed before. Here's rspreng's comment: "'Como va' = 'How is it going?' 'las cosas' = things, and 'van' is a plural verb General idea between the two English versions is close, but difference in grammar is significant". You can try reporting your answer as correct, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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More commonly, "How goes it? This is less specific than "How are things going?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hannah15lee

this makes no sense to me

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/james.ray1
james.ray1
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I translated this literally as "how go the things?" and was marked wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnjeTheNerd

Wie geht's?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zorba333

Vvan sounds liuke pan

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanKeesvan

I understood: i eat bread ,these things, :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mahaniok

"How are you" is not accepted for some reason?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrShow

Because it is completely different. If you were working on a difficult project and I want to know if it was going ok, I wouldn't say, "How are you?" I would say, "How are things going?"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

"esta" = you are and "van las cosas" = things are going not quite the same, IMO ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iwakuya
iwakuyaPlus
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I thought the answer was 'How do they run things' hahaha how silly

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alice51k

That sounds really awkward and weird

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vanessahere

Mark

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alice51k

Wnat does that mean!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Continues talking to friend) yuk yuk yuk

5 months ago