8 Ways to Respond to ‘¿Dónde estás?’ in Spanish

If you’re arranging to meet a native Spanish speaker, the question ‘¿dónde estás?’ (‘where are you’ in English) is very likely to pop up at some point or another.

But how do you respond?

Well, just as in English, there are a variety of ways to let someone know where you are and it’s important for you to know when and how to use them.

With that in mind, I give you 8 different ways to respond to ‘dónde estás’ in Spanish!


KEY TAKEAWAYS


These are the most common ways to respond to ‘¿dónde estás?’

1. ‘Estoy en’ = ‘I’m in/on/at’

Estoy en la cocina. = I’m in the kitchen.

2. ‘Estoy cerca de’ = ‘I’m close to’ / ‘near to’

Estoy cerca de Avenida Reforma. = I’m close to Reforma Avenue.

3. ‘Me encuentro en’ = ‘I’m in/on/at’

Me encuentro en una fiesta. = I’m at a party.


¿Dónde estás?’ in English

‘¿Dónde estás?’ means ‘where are you?’ in English.

Let’s break this phrase down real quick:

‘Dónde’ translates as ‘where’.

Just remember that when asking a question, you need to write ‘dónde’ with an accent on the ‘o’. This DOESN’T apply if you use it in as a synonym of ‘wherever’ or as a conjunction.

Me gusta ir donde quiera que pueda leer en silencio.

I like to go wherever I can read quietly.


‘Estás’ means ‘you are’; the subject pronoun ‘’ is generally omitted when asking the question ‘dónde estás’ (although there are some exceptions).

¿Dónde estás? No te veo.

Where are you? I don’t see you.

Now let’s get into the many ways in which you can respond!




1 Estoy en + ubicación – / I’m in / on / at + location

The simplest (and most popular) way of responding to ‘dónde estás’ in Spanish is with ‘estoy en’ (‘I’m in’, ‘I’m on’ AND ‘I’m at’ in English) + your location.

Now, remember I told you that subject pronouns are often omitted in Spanish?

Well, that’s why we *normally* say ‘estoy en’ and NOTyo estoy en’.

It’s obvious from the conjugation ‘estoy’ that you’re speaking in the first person singular, so in reality it would sound redundant to say the complete phrase (i.e., ‘yo estoy en’).

Respondiendo a un mensaje de texto

Estoy en casa de mis suegros. ¿Necesitabas algo?



Replying to a text message

I’m at my in-laws. Did you need something?


¡No te puedo escuchar! Estoy en una fiesta.

I can’t hear you! I’m at a party.

Erika’s note – although in the above context ‘estoy en’ pretty much covers all the bases, prepositions in Spanish can be pretty tricky! Check out our article on all the different ways to say on’ in Spanish if you’d like to find out more!


2 Estoy cerca de – I’m close to / near to

‘Cerca de’ means ‘near to’ or ‘close to’, so you can use ‘estoy cerca de’ if you wanna say ‘I’m close to’ or ‘near to’.

Alberto – ¿Dónde estás? ¿Ya llegaste?

Erica – Ya estoy muy cerca de la cafetería, pero no encuentro estacionamiento.



Alberto – Where are you? Have you arrived yet?

Erica – I’m very close to the cafeteria, but I can’t find a parking space.


Un padre le llama a su hija

Hija, estoy cerca de una librería, ¿quieres que te compre alguna novela nueva?



A father calls his daughter

Sweetheart, I’m near a bookstore, do you want me to buy you a new novel?


Artemio – No te encuentro, ¿dónde estás?

Matilda – Estoy cerca de un grupo de gente disfrazada de pokemones.



Artemio – I can’t find you, where are you?

Matilda – I’m near a group of people dressed as Pokémon.

3 Estoy junto a – I’m next to

‘Estoy junto a’ + something/someone close to you is another useful phrase when trying to describe your whereabouts!

Estoy junto a un señor vendiendo globos. ¿Ya me viste?

I’m standing next to a man selling balloons. Do you see me?

4 Estoy por – I’m by

If you’re trying to say ‘I’m by’ (i.e., I’m by the ice machine’), you could say ‘estoy por la máquina de hielo’.

Estoy por un parque. ¿Quieres que te espere aquí?

I’m by a park. Do you want me to wait for you here?

5 Me encuentro en – I find myself

‘Encontrar’ means ‘to find’ in English, and ‘me encuentro’ would literally translate as ‘I find myself’, but it’s also another – rather formal – way of saying ‘I’m in’, ‘I’m on’ or ‘I’m at’ when talking about location.

You’re most likely to find it in literature and poetry.

Me encuentro en un paraje desolado, sin indicios de civilización hasta donde la vista alcanza a ver.

I find myself in a desolate place, without signs of civilization as far as the eye can see.

6 En – I’m in / on / at

Don’t be surprised if you hear people skipping ‘estoy’ altogether and just saying ‘en’ followed by their location!

En la sección de comentarios en una red social

Ignacio – ¿Dónde estás, vato*? ¡Se ve incredible!

Alexandro – En Acapulco, wey…disfrutando de la vida.



In the comments section on a social network

Ignacio – Where are you, bud? It looks amazing!

Alexandro – In Acapulco, dude … enjoying life.

*Erika’s note – vato is Mexican slang for ‘bro’ or ‘dude’.


7 Ando en / por / cerca de – I’m in / at / by / near

Another common response to ‘dónde estás’ is ‘ando en’ followed by a location.

‘Andar’ is a synonym of ‘to walk’, ‘to move around’, or ‘to be’ (when referring to a place or situation).

Ando por tu casa, ¿quieres que te pase a ver un ratito?

I’m close to your house; do you want me to swing by for a bit?

Erika’s top tip – the question ‘dónde andas’ is actually a super common variation of ‘dónde estás’.


8 Voy camino a – I’m on my way to

If you don’t know your exact location but you wanna tell someone where you’re going, you can answer with ‘voy en camino a’, which translates to ‘I’m on my way to’ or ‘I’m headed to’.

En una llamada telefónica

Madre – ¿Dónde andas, cariño?

Hijo – Voy camino a un concierto, ma. Te mando mensaje cuando llegue.



During a phone call

Mother – Where are you, honey?

Son – I’m on my way to a concert, Mom. I’ll text you when I get there.


Final thoughts

Hopefully you now have all the bases covered if/when you find yourself on the receiving end of a ‘dónde estás’ in Spanish!

When in doubt, remember to keep it simple and answer with ‘estoy en’. With practice you’ll get the hang of them all and you’ll be able to provide a precise description no matter where you are!

Level up your Spanish conversation skills even further by tucking into our list of all the ways to respond to ‘buenas noches.

¡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.

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