In short –‘¿Cómo ves?’ is an extremely common Mexican expression meaning ‘What do you think?’ or ‘What do you reckon?’. If you’re in Mexico, you’re going to hear this one all the time; it’s A LOT more common than the textbook phrases ‘¿Qué piensas?‘ and ‘¿Qué opinas?‘ (although you will likely hear these as well)!
‘Cómo ves‘ is actually a shortened version of the expression ‘¿Cómo lo ves?‘, which literally translates as ‘how do you see it‘.
In other Spanish speaking countries, such as Spain and Colombia, you’ll likely hear the full phrase (‘¿Cómo lo ves?’) instead of the shortened version.
You may even get some weird looks in Spain if you use ‘¿Cómo ves?‘ as it literally means ‘How do you see?‘!
By the way, if you want to learn more Mexican Spanish, you could do worse than heading on over to our article on the various meanings of ‘qué pasó’ (I honestly reckon it’s one of the most useful little phrases out there!).
Uses / meanings of ‘cómo ves‘ in Spanish
‘¿Cómo ves?‘ can be used in the following ways –
- As a synonym of ‘What do you think / reckon?‘
- Used while gossiping to provoke a reaction
- Used at the beginning of a sentence to form a question (similar to the way in which we use ‘what about + noun‘ in English)
As a synonym of ‘What do you think / reckon?‘
‘Cómo ves‘ can be used in a similar way to the English phrase ‘What do you reckon?‘.
Giovanni – ¡Esta canción es terrible! ¿Cómo ves?
Marcos – Sí, estoy muy de acuerdo.
Giovanni – This song is terrible! What do your reckon?
Marcos – Yes, I completely agree.
Erika’s note – be sure to check out our pretty epic (even if I do say so myself!) article on all the different ways to say ‘what do you think?’ in Spanish if you feel like digging even deeper!
Used while gossiping to provoke a reaction
In Mexico you’ll often hear people saying ‘¿Cómo ves?‘ or ‘¿Cómo ven?‘ after a juicy round of gossip.
¿Ya escucharon que el vecino le puso los cuernos a su esposa con la hija de María?
Did you hear that the neighbor cheated on his wife with Maria´s daughter?
What do you reckon?
Used at the beginning of a sentence to form a question
This use is similar to the English ‘What about …?’ and the more informal ‘Are you up for …?‘, and is an incredibly useful way to ask your friend’s opinions on just about anything.
It can be used with a simple article + noun –
¿Cómo ves esta playera?
What about this t-shirt? / Do you like this t-shirt?
Or with si + verb –
¿Cómo ves si vamos al cine más tarde?
Are you up for going to the cinema later?
‘¿Cómo lo / la ves?‘ meaning
This is the complete and unabridged version of ‘¿cómo ves?‘. It means exactly the same as it’s shorter cousin and is the safer bet if you’re in any Spanish speaking country other than Mexico!
‘¿Cómo lo ves?‘ is used when referring to a masculine noun and ‘¿cómo la ves?‘ when referring to a feminine noun.
If you’re referring to a neuter concept or idea, use ‘cómo lo ves?‘.
Este color de pintura. ¿Cómo lo ves? (referring to ‘el color’)
What do you think about this color of paint?
¡Está muy bonita esa perrita! ¿Cómo la ves, Erika? (referring to ´la perrita´)
That’s a beautiful doggy! What do you reckon, Erika?
Tenemos diez minutos para hablar. ¿Cómo lo ves?
We’ve got 10 minutes to talk. What do you reckon?
‘Ves‘ vs ‘vez‘
Although pronounced the same way in Mexico and much of Latin America, these two little words are actually very different in meaning.
‘Ves‘ is the 2nd person singular conjugation of ‘ver‘ in the present tense (see conjugation table below), whereas ‘vez‘ is a noun meaning ‘time‘ (as in ‘Let’s play one more time‘).
The expression ‘cómo ve‘´ is therefore written with an ‘s‘ and NEVER a ‘z‘ (remember that it literally means ‘how do you see‘)!
I like to describe ‘ver‘ as a regular verb with “irregular tendencies”, meaning that it’s mainly regular but has SOME irregularities (mainly in the past).
As such, ‘cómo ves‘ changes to ‘cómo ve‘ in the formal “usted” form and ‘cómo ven‘ when referring to many people (“ustedes”).
‘Cómo ves‘ pronunciation
The ‘có‘ in ‘cómo‘ is said like ‘koh‘, and the ‘mo‘ like ‘moh‘.
‘Ves‘ is said like the ‘ves‘ in ‘vessel‘.
/ koh moh ves /
Hopefully this article has once and for all cleared up any lingering doubts you had about ‘¿Cómo ves?‘. Just remember that it’s a Mexican expression, and that the full ‘¿Cómo lo ves?‘ is more common on the streets of Madrid!
You’re sure to be using it with that Spanish speaking friend / lover / relative in no time at all!
Oh, and if you’re in the mood for more juicy Mexican Spanish, make sure to check out our article on ‘neta‘.