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04 / 07 / 2005

¿CÓMO ERES? IN ENGLISH: meaning and examples

Good morning. Last week we began to respond to Rosana P.'s question about adjectives and descriptions. To begin (on Thursday and Friday), we looked at questions using be like and look like to ask for descriptions. This week we are going to learn about adjective order and adjectives for describing people or things. But before we do that, we are going to look at some common translation errors related the Thursday and Friday's Daily Vitamins. ¿CÓMO ERES? This question is often incorrectly translated literally as How are you? The correct translation uses the question word WHAT and the phrase BE LIKE. Example 1: Alan: I want to get to know you better. Louise. Tell me, what are you really like? Louise: Oh, well, I suppose I'm quite outgoing (extrovertido). I'm very creative and expressive. I'm a little impatient, too. Example 2: A:What's your new flat like? B: It's big and sunny. ¿CÓMO ESTÁS? or ¿QUÉ TAL ESTÁS? When we want to translate these questions, we use the English question How are you? The general question is formed by HOW BE. Example 3: A: I made a cake. Tell me, how is it? B: Mmmm, it's delicious! Can I have another piece? Example 4: A: How are you, Suzy? B: Not bad, thanks. And you? A: Fine, thanks. As you can see, the main translation problem comes from translating ¿Cómo eres? You must be careful to use the question word What and the preposition like. Tomorrow we will begin to look at adjective order. If you have any questions about these translations, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy your week!


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