5 Handy Ways to Respond to ‘¿Cómo eres?’ in Spanish

If you were to literally translate the questions ‘¿Cómo estás?’ and ‘¿Cómo eres?’, you’d get the exact same thing in English: ‘How are you?’.

But are these decent translations?

Well, actually, no! Literal translations often miss the mark and that’s certainly the case with ‘¿Cómo eres?’.



¿Cómo eres?’ in English

‘¿Cómo eres?’ can either mean ‘What are you like?’ OR ‘What do you look like?’, whereas ‘¿cómo estás?’ means ‘How are you?’ (i.e., asking after somebody´s wellbeing),

You see, the verb estar is used to describe TEMPORARY states (how you’re feeling at the time of speaking, for example) and ser to describe more PERMANENT states/characteristics!*

With that in mind, let’s dive into 5 ways that you can properly respond to ‘¿Cómo eres?’ in Spanish!

*Erika’s top tip – this is a VERY important topic for learners of Spanish, so I do recommend that you check out our more comprehensive article on ‘soy’ vs ‘estoy’ if you’re not yet familiar with their differences.

KEY TAKEAWAYS


‘¿Cómo eres?’ is best answered by providing a description of your physical appearance OR personality traits –

Soy una persona responsable y comprometida. = I’m a responsible and committed person.

Soy alto y tengo el cabello castaño. = I’m tall and I have brown hair.


If you’re actually looking for ways to respond to the question ‘¿cómo estás?’, these are some of the most popular ways to do so:

Estoy bien, gracias, = I’m fine, thank you.

Bien, ¿y tú? = I’m fine, and you?




1 ‘Soy’ + adjectives to describe physical appearance

To respond to the question ‘¿Cómo eres?’ as in ‘What do you look like?’, you should start with the word ‘soy’ or ‘I am’ followed by adjectives that describe you physically.

Una conversación en una app de citas

Pam – La verdad soy más chaparrita que lo aparento en la foto. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres?

Esteban – Mmm, yo soy alto y gordito. Haríamos una pareja interesante…



A conversation in a dating app

Pam – The truth is that I’m much shorter than I look in the picture. And you? What do you look like?

Esteban – Hmmm, I’m tall and chubby. We’d make an interesting couple…


In need of some vocab for physical qualities in Spanish?

Here are some suggestions:

To describe height

  • tall = alto / alta

  • short = bajo / baja (or ‘chaparro’ / ‘chaparra’ in Mexico)

  • of average height = de mediana estatura


To describe physical build

  • thin = delgado / delgada

  • chubby = gordito / gordita

  • fat = gordo / gorda

  • muscular = musculoso / musculosa

  • curvy = curvilíneo / curvilínea

  • fit = torneado / torneada

2 ‘Tengo’ + specific feature / body part

If you’d rather talk about a specific body part, you can use ‘tengo’ (or ‘I have’ in English) followed by a description of the body part in question.

Dos personas charlan vía mensaje directo

Iris – ¿Cómo eres físicamente?

Jimena – Tengo el cabello muy largo y pintado de colores.

Iris – ¡Pensé que era un filtro que usabas en tus videos!



Two people chat via direct messaging

Iris – What do you look like?

Jimena – I have very long, colorful hair.

Iris – I thought that was just a filter you used in your videos!


Here are a few descriptions that you can whack on the end of ‘tengo’

  •  (I have) dark / light hair = (tengo) cabello oscuro / claro

  • curly / straight hair = cabello rizado / lacio

  • long / short hair = cabello largo / corto

  • (I have) green eyes = (Tengo) ojos verdes (‘tengo ojos’ + color)

  • freckles = pecas

  • piercings = perforaciones

  • tattoos = tatuajes

3 ‘Soy’ + adjectives to describe personality traits

To respond to ‘¿Cómo eres?’ as in ‘What are you like?’, just say ‘soy’ (‘I am’) and then add adjectives that describe your personality.

En una primera cita

Leandro – Platícame de ti. ¿Cómo eres realmente?

Lucio – Soy hiperactivo y muy curioso, para serte franco. ¡Siempre quiero aprender y hacer cosas nuevas!



On a first date

Leandro – Tell me about yourself. What are you really like?

Lucio – I’m hyperactive and very inquisitive, to be honest. I always want to learn and do new things!


Don’t be surprised if you also hear ‘¿cómo eres?’ + preposition + noun (the noun provides further context) –

Felipe – ¿Cómo eres en el trabajo?

Alicia – Soy súper reservada; no me gusta involucrarme mucho con mis compañeros.



Felipe – What are you like at work?

Alicia – I’m rather reserved; I don’t like to get too involved with my co-workers.


Iñaki – ¿Y cómo eres con tus papás?

Ely – Soy cariñosa, aunque a veces me desesperan.



Iñaki – And what are you like around your parents?

Ely – I’m caring, though they annoy me sometimes.


Use ‘soy’ followed by adjectives like –

  • shy = tímido / tímida
  • outgoing = sociable

  • neat = pulcro / pulcra

  • messy = desordenado / desordenada

  • talkative = parlanchín / parlanchina

  • friendly = amigable

  • (a) dreamer = soñador / soñadora

4 ‘Me gusta’ + activities and/or things that you enjoy

When faced with a ‘What are you like?’ in English, you may be inclined to talk about things you like to do or your favorite hobbies.

The same goes when responding to ‘¿Cómo eres?’ in Spanish!

Bob – ¿Cómo eres? Me gustaría conocerte más.

Guille – Mmm, me gusta correr y andar en bici. Amo estar en la naturaleza. ¿Y tú?

Bob – Me gustan* las películas de terror y las comedias románticas.



Bob – What are you like? I’d like to get to know you better.

Guille – Hmmm, I like going running and riding my bike. I love being in touch with nature. What about you?

Bob – I like horror movies and rom-coms.

Erika’s note – Some Spanish conjugations can be very tricky! But don’t worry, we’ve written a whole article on the differences between ‘gusta’ and ‘gustan’.


5 ‘Me encanta’ + activities and/or things that you love

If you wanna really show your enthusiasm, just say ‘me encanta’ followed by the things that make your heart skip a beat.

Joss – ¿Cómo eres en la vida real?

María José – ¡Me encanta el arte! Quisiera dedicarme cien por ciento a la pintura.



Joss – What are you like in real life?

María José – I love art! I would love to dedicate myself one hundred percent to painting.


Final thoughts

So, are you ready to surprise your Spanish-speaking friends and let them know all about yourself? I think you are!

Feel free to combine two or more of the responses above to provide an even more descriptive image of what you´re like as a person.

Oh, and if you’d like to further improve your Spanish conversation skills, you’re sure to enjoy learning about all the different ways to say see you later’ in Spanish!

¡Hasta la próxima!

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.

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