12 Seriously Useful Ways to Say ‘Are you serious’ in Spanish

The phrase ‘are you serious?’ has very specific overtones in English and, well, when we’re learning a second language, it’s sometimes difficult to convey the exact same sentiment.

So, this list of 12 (yes, 12!!!) different ways of saying ‘are you serious?’ in Spanish is definitely gonna come in handy.

My advice: try them out, see how the feel and choose your favorites!

Let’s get to it!

1 ¿Es en serio? / ¿En serio? – Are you serious?

The closest phrase we have in Spanish to ‘are you serious?’ is ‘¿es en serio?’. This is the most “standard” translation of ‘seriously?’ or ‘are you serious?’.

If you’re looking for an even easier, shorter version, then just say, ‘¿en serio?’, and you’ll be good to go!

Un par de estudiantes

Mariana – ¡Adelantaron el examen de algebra a este viernes!

Eric – ¿Es en serio? No puede ser…

Mariana – Sí, ¿no leíste el correo?

A couple of students

Mariana – They moved the algebra test to this Friday!

Eric – Are you serious? No way …

Mariana – Yeah, didn’t you read the email?

2 ¿De verdad? – Really?

‘¿De verdad?’ is another extremely common phrase in the Spanish-speaking world and it’s used to question the veracity of your interlocutor’s words.

‘Verdad’ means ‘true’ or ‘truth’ in English but when accompanied by the preposition ‘de’, it becomes an adverbial phrase, akin to ‘really’.

Pepe – Va a entrar una tormenta tropical.

Romina – ¿De verdad? ¿Dónde lo escuchaste?

Pepe – Sí, lo acaban de avisar en las noticias.

Pepe – A tropical storm is coming in.

Romina – Really? Where did you hear that?

Pepe – Yeah, they just announced it on the news.

3 ¿De veras? / ¿De a devis? – Truly?

Another way of saying ‘de verdad’ is ‘de veras’.

‘Veras’ comes to us directly from Latin and although it’s very rarely used to mean ‘true’ or ‘truth’ nowadays, the phrase ‘de veras’ is still widely used.

You may also encounter the expressions ‘de a de veras’ (the ‘de a’ is used for emphasis) and ‘de a devis’ which is a colloquial derivation popular with children.

Nadia – ¿De veras vas a seguir comiendo chocolates?

Lito – Claro que sí. Y a todo esto, ¿a ti en qué te afecta?

Nadia – Are you really going to keep eating chocolates?

Lito – Of course. And to be honest, what’s it to you?

Madre – Vente, vamos al doctor.

Hija – ¿¡De a devis!?

Madre – ¡Pues sí! ¿Qué creías?

Hija – ¡Que íbamos a jugar de a mentis*!

Mother – Come on, let’s go to the doctor.

Daughter – For real!?

Mother – Well, yeah! What did you think?

Daughter – That we were going to play doctor!

*Erika’s note – similarly, the expression ‘de a mentis’ is a cute, shortened version of ‘de mentira’, or ‘make-believe’ in English.

4 ¿Te cae? – Seriously?

The expression ‘te cae’ can be a little difficult to get to grips with for us learners of Spanish.

Literally it translates as ‘it falls to you’, but it’s actually an extremely common way – especially in Mexico – of challenging what your interlocutor is saying or showing disbelief (just like the English ‘really?’ or ‘are you serious?’).

It’s counterpart ‘me cae’ is used to state emphatically that what’s been said is true, so it’s a bit like saying ‘you bet!’ or ‘I swear!’.

Viv – ¡Star Wars es la mejor franquicia del cine!

Ale – ¿Te cae?

Viv – ¡Me cae que sí!

Viv – Star Wars is the best movie franchise!

Ale – Seriously?

Viv – Absolutely!

5 ¿Te consta? – Are you sure?

The verb ‘constar’ means ‘to know for a fact’, so when you tell someone, ‘¿te consta?’, you’re asking if they’re sure about what they’re saying.

Fer – Escuché que van a dar obsequios en el concierto.

Ricardo – ¿Te consta?

Fer – Pues no me consta, pero estaría genial, ¿no?

Fer – I heard they’ll be giveaways at the concert.

Ricardo – Do you know for sure?

Fer – Well, no, not for sure, but it would be great, right?

6 ¿Neta? / ¿Es neta? – For real?

‘Neta’ actually means ‘pure’ or ‘clean’, but in Mexico it’s a VERY common way of referring to the ‘truth’.

Uriel – ¡Conseguí los boletos de avión a Cancún a mitad de precio!

Caro – ¿Es neta? ¡A toda madre*, wey!

Uriel – I got the plane tickets to Cancun at half price!

Caro – For real? That’s awesome, dude!

*Erika’s top tip – a toda madre is Mexican slang for ‘great‘ or ‘awesome‘.

7 ¿A poco? – For real?

In Mexico ‘¿a poco?’ is yet another way to say ‘really?’ or ‘for real?’.

Conversely, ‘¿a poco no?’ is used to ask the person you’re speaking to if they agree with whatever it is you’re telling them.

Mina – ¡Este es el mejor pie de limón que he probado en la vida!

Nico – ¿A poco?

Mina – ¡Pruébalo! ¿A poco no?

Mina – This is the best lemon pie I’ve ever tasted!

Nico – Really?

Mine – Try it! Am I right?

8 ¿Estás seguro? / ¿Seguro? – Are you sure?

‘Seguro’ translates as ‘sure’ in English, so ‘¿estás seguro?’ (or the feminine ‘¿estás segura?’) means ‘are you sure?’.

Hugo – ¡Acabo de ver un OVNI!

Pam – ¿Estás seguro de que no era un avión?

Hugo – I just saw a UFO!

Pam – Are you sure it wasn’t a plane?

9 ¡Me estás tomando el pelo! – You’re kidding me!

This literally means ‘you’re grabbing me by the hair!’, but people who use this expression aren’t actually having their hair pulled … it’s just a fun way of saying ‘you’re kidding me!’.

Mónica – ¡Ganaste el concurso de literatura!

Alicia – ¡Me estás tomando el pelo!

Mónica – ¡No! Tu nombre salió publicado esta mañana.

Monica – You won the literature contest!

Alicia – You’re kidding me!

Monica – Nope! Your name was announced this morning.

10 ¡Me estás choteando! – You’re kidding me!

In many Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Cuba, and Costa Rica, ‘chotear’ means ‘to joke’ or ‘to prank’.

The expression ‘¡me estás choteando!’ therefore means ‘you’re kidding me!’.

Fabio – ¡Me estás choteando!

Diego – No, te juro que me voy de mochilero por Sudamérica el próximo año.

Fabio – You’re kidding me!

Diego – No, I swear I’m gonna backpack around South America next year.

11 ¿Es choro? – You’re joking?

‘Choro’ might have several different meanings depending on the country you’re in, but in Mexico it refers to someone who exaggerates or lies, OR to a hyperbole, an elaborate tale, or a downright lie.

Asking ‘¿es choro?’ could be likened to the English ‘you’re joking?’.

¿Chocaste el auto? ¿Es choro, cierto? Dime que es puro choro.

You crashed the car? You’re joking, right? Tell me it’s a joke.

12 ¡No seas choro! – You’re kidding me!

Finally, ‘¡no seas choro!’ is used in a similar way to ‘es choro’.

It means something along the lines of ‘don’t lie’ / ‘you’re kidding me’.

¿Se besaron? ¡No seas choro!

Did you kiss? You’re kidding me!

Final thoughts

And there you have it! A pretty darn thorough list of ways to say ‘are you serious?’ or ‘seriously?’. Hopefully you’ll try a couple of them out next time you practice the language!

Oh, and if you’re serious about your Spanish vocab, then make sure to check out our list of all the different ways to reply to ‘dónde estás (or ‘where are you’)!

¡Hasta pronto!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

And some cheeky vids ...

What ya looking for?