Don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish everytime you need to translate the interrogative word ‘how’. Our basic students at Spanishviaskype usually try to adapt English structures into similar forms in Spanish. This is normal; they often experiment with the language they are learning. However, they should use more accurate expressions when they reach higher levels.

Today, we are going to learn some expressions in order to translate ‘how’. So, don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish and follow these advices:

Don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish for ‘how old’

It’s maybe one of the most popular questions with the word ‘how’ in English: how old are you? Of course, if you translate it into Spanish as ¿cómo de viejo eres?, we can understand you, but who speaks like that? So, try ¿cuántos años tienes? and you will be speaking more natural Spanish.

—¡Qué grande está tu hijo! ¿Cúantos años tiene?

—Pues ya tiene cinco.


How often do you use ‘cómo’?

Don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish to ask about the frequency. It’s quite weird to hear questions like ¿cómo de frecuente? We have more accurate ones: ¿Con qué frecuencia? or, even more colloquial, ¿cada cuánto?

¿Cada cuánto reservas clases de conversación?

—Al menos una vez por semana. Es necesario para no perder mi nivel de español.

Don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish for ‘how tall’

Again, you might have heard questions like ¿cómo de alto? Nevertheless, it’s not the most common choice, by far. In Spain we prefer ¿cuánto mide?; on the other hand, in America they use ¿qué tan alto?, much more. Whatever option you choose, don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish to translate ‘how tall’.

—¿Cuánto mide el jugador más alto de la historia de la NBA?

—Mide 2,31 metros y se llama George Muresan.

How far is the word ‘how’ from these questions?

The distance is another problematic topic when you try to translate the word ‘how’ into Spanish. ¿Cómo de lejos? might sound properly, and it does, but it’s not very natural in daily speaking. It’s better if you try this other translation: ¿a qué distancia? in Spain, and ¿qué tan lejos? in America.

—Disculpe, ¿a qué distancia está el centro de la ciudad?

—A medio kilómetro, aproximadamente.

How much do you use ‘cómo’ in Spanish?

Don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish to ask about the amount of lessons you need to pass the DELE exam C2. Just start booking some lessons with us and… step by step. Try to use the interrogative word cuánto. Remember that this term it can have feminine and plural endings (cuánto-a-os-as). However, what about the difference between countable (how many) and uncountable (how much) in Spanish? Well, we make that difference using the singular forms with uncountable nouns.

—¿Cuánto dinero valen las clases en Spanishviaskype?

—Bueno, eso depende. ¿Cuántas clases quieres comprar?

These are only some examples of the translations of ‘how’ into our language. There are many more examples: how fast?, how deep?, how late?… Do you know more of these different translations? Don’t be shy and leave us some comments below, but please, don’t say ‘cómo’ in Spanish to translate them. If you want to learn more about this topic, try a trial lesson with us and start learning Spanish from the very first moment!