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Italian: Come Stai?

Hello...I was curious if there is a reasoning or something I am missing when it comes to this phrase? Maybe I am not far enough in the class yet but wouldn't "Come sei" be more of the "How are you?"

Thank you.

February 21, 2017



Just to add to what the others have said, "Come stai?" means "How are you?" (in the sense of "What is your current state?") while "Come sei?" means "What are you like?" ("What are your permanent characteristics?"). It's a little tricky in Italian because, unlike in Spanish, you can use "essere" with some temporary conditions (tired, busy, etc.), but you wouldn't ask about them with "Come sei?"


That's because stare, unlike essere, always refers to something temporary. I see you're also learning Spanish, so you should already be used to ser and estar by now (although there are some differences between these two languages, Spanish speakers tend to use the verb estar much more frequently). Anyway, here's an example:

  • Come stai? = How are you (right now)?
  • Come sei buono! / Quanto sei buono! / Sei così buono! = You're such a good person!


Thank you. So "stare" has like 3 different meanings as a verb?


Basically, yes, but it's also used in many different expressions, it's quite a versatile verb :)


Thank you everyone for all your information.


I would love to have a review sheet to fall back on because i don't trust my memory!

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