"Buenos días, ¿qué tal está usted?"

Translation:Good morning, how are you?

June 11, 2018



Wow the formalities really complicate things. I think I'm just going to have to avoid anyone old or important

August 2, 2018


And complete strangers. Can't forget them. Formalities are used with strangers as well.

August 2, 2018


You should never talk to strangers.

February 12, 2019



May 8, 2019


As the Spanish would say, jajajajaja

January 20, 2019



¡Ja, ja, ja! or ja,ja,ja,ja,ja,ja,ja... - funny-gracioso

¡Je, je, je! Forced smile.- sonrisa forzada

¡Jue, jue, jue! sardonic smile-sonrisa burlona




February 28, 2019



August 23, 2018


if it's the same as French, I guess that means we can't get a job or talk to anyone while they're at work. Shopping will be a nightmare! :p

May 12, 2019


It's got me wondering, are English speakers just inherently rude and just don't realize? The most we do is sprinkle the occasional 'sir' or 'madam' in there. Ir can it be taken that the baseline is already respectful?

June 16, 2019


If a structure of speech is different than your native language, then it is disrespectful to assume rudeness when one encounters such a difference. "Sir" and "madam" are viewed as formal in English, at least in American English. Mixing formal and informal like that just isn't normal. It makes the listener uncomfortable. I've had colleagues refer to me as Mr. Keith, when I simply call them by their first name, as is the English language convention. I know it was not rudeness by them, but rather cultural. Watch being some judgemental. It has no place in language learning.

June 16, 2019


No. What counts as polite or rude is pretty arbitrary, and varies across languages and cultures. So something that is considered rude in one language, or even in one area that uses that language, could be considered absolutely fine in another.

In English (at least, British English, which is what I'm familiar with), it's mostly considered a bit too formal to say 'sir' or 'madam', outside of specific contexts. Especially if formal language is only used for one person in the conversation and not the other(s). It can create a feeling of social distance and inequality, whereas if everyone uses relatively informal language with each other, it can feel more balanced and comfortable.

To me, formal language feels disrespectful in situations where one person is expected to use it for others but not to receive it themself, because of that unequal status it grants to people. But I realise that feeling is just coming from what I'm used to and isn't necessarily true for other people / languages.


August 23, 2019



September 19, 2018


I completely agree

January 5, 2019



March 14, 2019


This comment

September 20, 2018


Qué tal is actually How are you doing and not simply Cómo estás, which is how are you. The estás is used because how a person is/is doing is a temporary feeling. How they are now might be different later. Yes, qué tal and cómo estás mean pretty much the same thing. It is just the translation that is different.

July 13, 2018


But do "Qué tal" and "Qué tal estás" mean the same? This always confuses me.

May 16, 2019


Don't worry about it. It's a Duolingo thing. I live in Mexico and nobody would say Que tal estas

June 16, 2019


Wait does this mean that I cant say "Que tal usted?" Or there need to be an estas for it to be Que tal estas usted?"

July 9, 2019


Thanks. I was confused about that. I remember in school we learned hola! que tal? without estas. You made it make sense. Thanks.

February 11, 2019


This explanation is VERY HELPFUL. Thanks

September 3, 2019


It seems like an excessive use of words

June 11, 2018


Im a little confused, i though 'usted' was formal and 'que tal' informal

June 20, 2018


So did i

May 5, 2019


Why isn't it just "¿Que tal?"?

June 22, 2018


The "usted" is there because if you're talking to someone formally (such as addressing your teacher), you have to add it at the end. I don't know why está is there.

June 28, 2018


But isn't "Que tal" informal? Like how are you/what's up? For formal, it should be "Como esta usted?"

July 18, 2018


I agree with you. I would never use "qué tal" with a person with whom I would use "usted." Here is a Lingot.

December 16, 2018


Here is 10 lingots George_Gibson_77 I like your attitude

January 7, 2019


Wow, 10 Lingots, thank you.

January 23, 2019


Here's one for you.

January 23, 2019


I agree and now im confused

May 5, 2019


The translation of "Qué tal?" and "Cómo estás?" is a bit different, but means the same things, as Ms Puddles explained well. Indeed, "qué tal?" is a more informal, like "what's up?" - or in some American states "howdy" :-) Informal use isn't restricted to informal relations (friends etc.) but also informal situation/context. If you go into a pub, the barkeeper will likely say it too. There is no direct translation for "tal". Apparently "tal" comes from the Latin word "talis" meaning "such as", describing the state or condition of something.

September 20, 2018


BertS19... Thanks; as a few people said, I did think qué tal was a sort of idiom for more informal greetings used among friends, so the use of usted surprised me.

Interesting if it came from Latin, but doesn't really translate well, together with "what," does it ... "What as such?" It must be a Roman idiom! XD

Good choice to say qué tal was similar to "Howdy." You may hear that mostly out West or in rural areas. I believe it was a short form of "Howdy-do?" which came from "Howd'youdo" all run together - HA! All of that evolved from "How do you do?" a perfectly polite formal greeting which would mean, "How're you doing?" :-)

January 11, 2019


Thank you very much BertS193098

January 7, 2019


Well puy BertS193098

March 31, 2019


Que tal, como estas, que tal estas, que tal esta usted... talk about confusing.

July 9, 2018


What does "tal" mean, anyway?

July 3, 2018


It does seem to be sending a mixed message, like saying "How's it hanging, respected professor?"

June 9, 2019


Why do you need "está"?

June 28, 2018


what is 'tal' ?

July 17, 2018


"Tal" doesn't have any exact meaning, it's just like an auxiliary to ask "How are you" in a formality or elegant form.

November 15, 2018


Do you think it's stupid?

December 9, 2018


Very similar to French and the use of vous, instead of tu, when you are addressing someone who is older or in a respected position. Love the similarities between languages.

August 26, 2018


Is que tal alone- what's happening ?

June 13, 2018


I thought Usted in this sentence means sir?

August 14, 2018


Usted is you(formal). You use this word when addressing a stranger or other people whom you don't know well(whom you could respectively call Sir, Ma'am, or Miss. These titles obviously can be omitted, such as in this lesson). You also use usted when addressing the police(and other related service positions i.e. medical personnel, firefighters, etc.), governement officials(lawyers, judges, ambassadors/dignataries, etc.), members of the military, and in some cultures, the elderly(however, it could be frowned upon if the person you feel is elderly does not feel that they are, and therefore you would be insulting). Señor is sir in Spanish.

August 14, 2018


Like in America, a young woman is often annoyed when called ma'am, or enlisted military will insist you not call them sir, because "they work for a living"

September 22, 2018


I put, "Good morning, how is it going with you"? In English, this is the same as how are you doing, but perhaps slang.

August 23, 2018


And in Spanish that would "¿Qué tal contigo?” Try not to add words that are not there

August 23, 2018


When do I say que tal esta usted vs. como esta usted? Por favor ayuda me aqui!

February 27, 2019


First, your choice of greeting is more of a personal choice than anything else.

In a formal situation in which I am trying to show respect, I would use ¿Cómo esta (usted)? I use it about 5 or 10 % of the time. With a friend, when I am trying to express "What's up? I would use "que tal." I use it about 5% of the time. Most of the rest of the time, I use ¿Cómo estas? Sometimes I will use something else such as "Espero que estés bien" or ¿Qué pasa?" I would never use the combination ¿Qué tal está usted? It is a mix of informal (qué tal) and formal (cómo está). I first heard qué tal about 40 years ago. I was in a store in San Francisco where Spanish was spoken and a woman came in and said to the owner ¿Qué tal? So, it is not a new expression. Maybe native Spanish speakers use it more frequently than I do. But still, it is used in friendly, informal situations.

As a follow-up, I asked my friend in Toluca Mexico about this subject. She is a lawyer and former judge. Her reply was: Yo casi no utilizo la expresión "que tal." Para muchas personas es normal y agradable decir "que tal", pero es una expresión distante. Preguntar "cómo estás" muestra interés y agrado por la persona a la que le preguntas." Then I asked my periodontist, who is from Venezuela, about the subject. He said that he never uses "que tal" but his wife uses "qué tal" or "qué haces" frequently.

My conclusion is that if you are in a Spanish speaking country for a week or two as a tourist or for studying Spanish, you would probably never have the opportunity to use "qué tal." If you are there for a month or two, you will probably encounter occasions in which you want to use an informal greeting. What you say can depend on the country in which you are located. For instance, in Guatemala, "qué onda" is popular. You will know what you want to say and when to say it.

February 27, 2019


Is Buenos dias only "good morning"? I thought it could just be "hello" too. Maybe I'm leaning too much towards French.

May 12, 2019


Okay but isn't "que tal" casual and "usted" formal???

July 17, 2019


I entered "Good morning, how are you feeling?" and it was marked wrong and said I should have used the word "doing" in place of "feeling." I'm not sure if my answer should have been accepted or whether "doing" is a more accurate translation. If someone could let me know that would be much appreciated :)

August 4, 2018


It is wrong bc how are you feeling in Spanish is cómo te sientes ( or cómo se siente - formal) , qué tal is more how are u ( doing) or what’s up , how are things etc

August 14, 2018


Lol buenos diez, good ten. SMH never realized how close those 2 are

April 18, 2019


I disagree is with the use of this expression. ¿Qué tal? is an informal expression. "Usted" is the formal form of "you." This expression mixes formal and informal. If I am meeting someone new or someone older, I will say ¿Como está usted?" That is a correct and polite expression. I will use ¿Qué tal? and ¿como estás? as informal expressions. I live in Mexico. I have no idea where Duolingo thinks anyone would say ¿qué tal está usted? It is just not correct Spanish.

May 31, 2019


"Good morning, what's up with you?" Is this correct as well?

July 22, 2018


prob not given it's supposed to be formal/respectful speech

August 7, 2018


I said the same thing & got DINGED.

October 15, 2018


I always have used, Cómo estás.

September 5, 2018


Buenos días, ¿cómo estás haciendo?

September 9, 2018


I thought qué tal is less formal?

September 12, 2018


It also Translates to "Good afternoon how are you?"

September 14, 2018


StikbotCha, Since Duo used BuenOS dias," "afternoon" would not be a good choice, though, because tardes is feminine, requiring buenAS and dias is masculine. So, Buenos dias* means "good morning" or "good day."

January 11, 2019


Oh my goodness! This just answered a question I never knew had an answer! I noticed way early on the difference between buenos and buenas as phrases, but everything was so new to me that I didn't connect it to masculine vs feminine. I thought it was just an arbitrary spelling difference between the phrases. But of course, it is because tardes and noche are feminine and día is masculine. That makes so much more sense now though! Such an aha! moment, you made my day. Thank you! Take a lingot of gratitude. <3

August 29, 2019


I think it should accept "How do you do"! Its literally the same expression.

January 17, 2019


Why is my answer, Buenos dias, Como esta usted? marked wrong?

January 23, 2019


EdieC, if you omitted the accent mark on está, then it means a different word and is not a verb. Esta means "this," & modifies a feminine noun or pronoun. Ex: Esta niña está feliz. (This girl is happy."

February 7, 2019


Thank you! I do lessons on my iPhone and can't make accented letters. :-( Maybe I am wasting my time?

February 8, 2019


Yes you can. iPhone provides accents. Just press & HOLD down the selected letter and accents will appear. Slide to the one you require without lifting pressure and release.

April 12, 2019


You can easily install a keyboard that makes accents as easy as holding down the letter for a second.

March 11, 2019


Where will I find an explanation for the the proper use of ser and estar?

January 23, 2019


There are so many Web sites (and videos) that cover this you should probably look at a few of them to decide which one you like best. Just google Spanish ser versus estar. There are even books on the subject:


January 24, 2019


Thank you. I now know about DOCTOR and LoCo. Much needed.

February 8, 2019


there was one phrase I came across, perhaps on DL, "For how you feel and where you are, always use the verb "ESTAR" (these are things - feelings and location - that might change, so for more permanent situations, SER is to be used.

July 22, 2019


why is it"qué tal está usted" but not just que tal

January 31, 2019


Evidently we are speaking to someone with whom we are not personally associated, so we must use "usted". In order to address them with that formality, we also have to include "está", the proper conjugation of "estar" when addressing someone with whom you would use the formal "you" ("usted").

I would think you would skip "qué tal" altogether if you felt "usted" was needed and go with "cómo está usted".

March 11, 2019


Ok im confused...,..first we had.....como estas usted.....and now we have que tal usted......in duolingo....it says both mean the same and are formal......but then.... como estas is ( how are you) and que tal ( hows it goin ) am i understanding this wrong? Im lost.......im glad for this comment section because duolingo doesnt explain stuff like this..

April 14, 2019


Strange to find this down in the Emotions skill. All the recent tree expansions and changes probably messed it up.

May 12, 2019


Help me understand, the expression is que tal estata usted (I need to add usted because it is formal and esta is informal?

June 28, 2019


I put... Good morning, how are things today. Is that wrong?

July 14, 2019


I am shock, shocked, that languages can be different. I am surprised, though, that "buenos días" cannot translate to "good day," or "hello." I guess they're trying to get us into the nuances.

August 26, 2019


I am up in years, but, whether a male or female, regardless of age, holds a door open for me or anything else, when they are a stranger, I always say, "Thank you, sir" or "Thank you, ma'am" because I believe in politeness and respect when strangers show the same. But if they slam the door at me, I always loudly holler, "YOU'RE WELCOME!" at them.

September 3, 2019


This one really confuses me. The use of "usted" tells me that the greeting is formal, but the the use of "qué tal", I thought, was informal.

September 7, 2019


what is the difference between "qué tal está usted?" and "cómo está usted?"

September 11, 2019


I can't help but feel this is a blatant mix of formal and informal based on the lessons to date. What I've learned so far indicates I would never say, "How are you doing" to someone in a context where I would also be addressing them formally (with usted). Am I missing something?

September 13, 2019


So Duo doesn't accept the Australian g'day.

December 12, 2018


Of course not. It's Australian slang. Each country has its own slang. However if thats your interpretation and it helps you learn go for it. But dont expect Duolingo to accommodate each country's slang.

May 3, 2019


however, my question now is, how does one tell from the sentences given?

October 16, 2018


My answer was correct

March 15, 2019


"Good morning, how are you are you you"

April 23, 2019
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