How can I say "How are you?" in Italian?



In English, it is usual to ask "How are you?" as a salutation. How can I say a similar thing in Italian?


Posted 2015-01-07T10:57:09.850

Reputation: 463



The typical idioms are

Come stai? (informal, with known people or friends)

Come sta? (formal, with unknown people or important people)

Come va? (always possible)


Posted 2015-01-07T10:57:09.850

Reputation: 3 637

7In my opinion "Come va?" is informal. – Fabio F. – 2015-01-07T14:10:55.733

6Yes, I agree it tends a bit towards the informal side. However I think no one would be surprised of being asked "come va?", even by strangers, or interpret it as an excess of familiarity or intimacy (well, I surely wouldn't). As usual, local/personal differences are possible or even likely. – persson – 2015-01-07T14:15:34.187

3Come va is not informal. You could say: "Salve, piacere di conoscerla. Come va?" – alallo – 2015-01-07T15:12:45.417

4come va sounds pretty informal. I'd never say Buongiorno professore, come va? to one of my professors in a formal conversation. The sentence come va? goes very well with a friendly pat on the back in my opinion. – Bakuriu – 2015-01-07T18:56:43.667

But, do you always expect an answer when asking "come va?" or "come stai?" – Charo – 2015-01-07T20:53:29.673

2Normally, yes (well, I do at least). Of course, there are always people who don't bother answering, as well as people who don't care about the answer. When they meet, everything's fine. – persson – 2015-01-08T00:28:28.787


IMHO the other answer is translating "how are you doing". If you are unsure what register to use etc., you can use "Tutto bene?". It's not as common, but it's never wrong: in Bakuriu's example, "Buongiorno professore, tutto bene?" is as formally correct as such a question can possibly be.


Posted 2015-01-07T10:57:09.850

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Anche "Tutto a posto?" – user84976 – 2016-07-06T13:13:12.287


Be careful, Italian "Come stai/sta?" is indeed asking about health or state of mind. Most likely, I would use it only if I know that something happened to the person in front of me. English usage of "how are you?" is closer to Italian "ciao", isn't it? "Come va?" could be ok, if it is told with a salutation tone, so to speak.


Posted 2015-01-07T10:57:09.850

Reputation: 217

Welcome to Italian.SE, @mario! – Charo – 2015-10-24T08:05:01.540

Charo, thanks for your editing. – mario – 2015-10-25T17:39:30.603


Come stai (informal) or sta (formal). "Come va" is definitely informal, and means, "how's it going," or "how goes it."


Posted 2015-01-07T10:57:09.850

Reputation: 1

1Welcome to Italian.SE; since your answer is already covered in karoshi's, this seems more like a comment. Would you like to expand it? – egreg – 2016-07-05T08:34:39.277