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Filipino Lessons » Common Expressions » How are you?

How are you?

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The Filipinos use various expressions in certain situations. Filipinos are communicative and very expressive of what they want to convey. There are Filipino expressions that you may hear quite often from familiar situations you might get yourself into. Try getting yourself accustomed with these Filipino words.

Trivia:
Thoughtfulness of Filipinos can be seen when they ask the person they’re talking to how their other friends and family members are doing. For example: “Kumustá si Joe?” or “Kumustá ang nanay mo?” This can be a conversation starter too.

How Are You

"Kumustá" is a Filipino expression you will frequently hear from your family and friends. It is adapted from the Spanish phrase “como esta”, which means “how are you”? This expression is not necessarily asking how you are, but can be interpreted as a simple “hi” or “hello” in the Filipino cultural context.
Markup
Examples:
How are you?
Kumustá?
Kumustá ka?
“How are you, sir/madam?”
Kumustá po kayó?
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Examples:
How are you?
Kumusta?
Kumusta ka?
“How are you, sir/madam?”
Kumusta po kayo?
Responses to "How Are You?"

You can respond to these expressions by saying “mabuti”, which means “fine” in English. To show appreciation to the greeting, the word "kumustá" may also be followed by the word “salamat”, which means "Thank you." You might also want to return the favor by asking how they are, too, to show concern. Words such as “Ikáw?” (casual) or “Kayó?” (polite) can be used for this.
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Examples:
Fine.
Fine, sir/madam.
Mabuti.
Mabuti po.
Fine, too.
Fine, too, sir/madam
Mabuti rin.
Mabuti rin po.
Fine. Thank you.
Fine, too. Thank you.
Fine, too, sir/madam. Thank you.
Mabuti. Salamat.
Mabuti rin. Salamat.
Mabuti rin po. Salamat.
Fine, too. You?
Fine, too, sir/madam. You?
Mabuti namán. Ikáw?
Mabuti namán po. Kayó?
Markup
Examples:
Fine.
Fine, sir/madam.
Mabuti.
Mabuti po.
Fine, too.
Fine, too, sir/madam
Mabuti rin.
Mabuti rin po.
Fine. Thank you.
Fine, too. Thank you.
Fine, too, sir/madam. Thank you.
Mabuti. Salamat.
Mabuti rin. Salamat.
Mabuti rin po. Salamat.
Fine, too. You?
Fine, too, sir/madam. You?
Mabuti naman. Ikaw?
Mabuti naman po. Kayo?
In a colloquial or informal manner, many Filipinos answer with terminologies such as “ayos” or “okey”. These connote the equivalent definition of the word “fine”. “Good”/“Well”/”Great” or some words that can capture the essence these words.
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Examples:
Good.
Good, sir/madam.
Ayos namán.
Ayos namán po.
Good.
Good, sir/madam.
Okey namán.
Okey namán po.
Good. You?
Good, sir/madam. You?
Okey namán. Ikaw?
Okey namán po. Kayó?
Markup
Examples:
Good.
Good, sir/madam.
Ayos naman.
Ayos naman po.
Good.
Good, sir/madam.
Okey naman.
Okey naman po.
Good. You?
Good, sir/madam. You?
Okey naman. Ikaw?
Okey naman po. Kayo?
Take note that responses such as mabuti, ayos, and okey are synonymous terms, implying that one is in a good situation or fine condition. Still, these terms should be used in appropriate situations. The word "mabuti is more fitting to use when talking to an older person or a person with a high ranking in society or workplace such as your teachers, parents, government officials, and supervisors. You can use the terms "ayos" or "okey" when you are having a casual conversation with a friend or a colleague.

Sample Conversation:

Let’s see a sample conversation for this lesson:
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Examples:
Simple "How are you" Conversation

Juan: How are you?

Jane: Fine. You?

Juan: Fine, too.


Juan: Kumustá ka?

Jane: Mabuti namán. Ikaw?

Juan: Mabuti rin.
Conversation with an Older Person

Juan: How are you, sir?

Aunt: Fine. You?

Juan: Fine, too, sir.


Juan: Kumustá po kayó?

Tita: Mabuti namán. Ikáw?

Juan: Mabuti rin po.
Colloquial Form of Response

Jane: How are you?

Juan: I’m well/good/great! You?

Jane: I’m well/good/great, too.


Jane: Kumustá ka?

Juan: Ayos namán. Ikáw? /Okey namán. Ikáw?

Jane: Ayos namán. /Okéy namán.
Markup
Examples:
Simple "How are you" Conversation

Juan: How are you?

Jane: Fine. You?

Juan: Fine, too.


Juan: Kumusta ka?

Jane: Mabuti naman. Ikaw?

Juan: Mabuti rin.
Conversation with an Older Person

Juan: How are you, sir?

Aunt: Fine. You?

Juan: Fine, too, sir.


Juan: Kumusta po kayo?

Tita: Mabuti naman. Ikaw?

Juan: Mabuti rin po.
Colloquial Form of Response

Jane: How are you?

Juan: I’m well/good/great! You?

Jane: I’m well/good/great, too.


Jane: Kumusta ka?

Juan: Ayos naman. Ikaw? /Okey naman. Ikaw?

Jane: Ayos naman. /Okey naman.
You can freely choose whichever response you want to use for the question “kumustá.” There are no strict rules when using the traditional or colloquial forms of responses. Filipinos do understand what you try to express whether “mabuti”, “ayos”, or “okey” is the word you choose to respond. The traditional type of response might be more suitable for official documents and formal events. The colloquial types of responses is appropriate for light toned conversations (can be used with friends and family).

Lesson Summary:
1.) “Kumustá” is a Filipino word you can use to ask how a person is. This can be interpreted as a simple “hi” or “hello”. It is also an expression to spark a conversation.
2.) “Mabuti,” “Ayos”, “Okey” are responses you may use to answer the question “Kumustá?” Use the most appropriate response for different kinds of situations.


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