Comos estas vs como esta tu

LacyG

LacyG

I purchased this course to refresh what I previously learned in high school Spanish.

I thought you asked "how are you" by saying "como estas?" but lesson 1.1 is instructing me to say "como estas tu?" Doesn't that mean "how are you you?" I'm confused. Thanks for any explanations!

(sorry for the missing/incorrect punctuation, I don't know how to get special characters in this post)
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola LacyG!

Thanks for your question!

Indeed, you can ask a friend "How are you?" two ways in Spanish: using ¿Cómo estás? or using ¿Cómo estás tú? Let's look at this a little more closely.

The word cómo means "how," estás means "are," and is "you." So ¿Cómo estás tú? is, word for word, "How are you?" The reason why you'll also see and hear ¿Cómo estás? (literally, "How are?") is because native Spanish speakers often drop pronouns like "you" from their sentences; they only include them when they want to emphasize them or when they want to avoid confusion. 

You can find explanations regarding dropped pronouns in the section "Vanishing Pronouns" in Lesson 1.11 "'You,' 'He' and Other Pronouns" and the section "Drop the Subject" in Lesson 1.12 "'To Be' Part 1: The Verb SER."

I hope that this is helpful! Do let me know if you still have any questions.

Saludos,

Liss
LacyG

LacyG

Gracias, Liss!
AdamB66

AdamB66

I think it's a question of emphasis. Like the difference between someone saying in English, "How ARE you?" versus "How are YOU?". Same words, but a slightly different implication.

Perhaps you'd say "Cómo estás tú" if you've been going on and on about yourself for a while, and now wanted to make it very clear that you were ready to focus on the other person for a while. "Enough about me... how are YOU?"
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola LacyG y AdamB66!

¡De nada, LacyG! :)

And you're exactly right, AdamB66 - that's an excellent example of a situation where a Spanish speaker might include pronouns because they want to emphasize them.

Saludos,

Liss

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