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All the Ways to Say How Are You In Italian + Respond



Ciao friends! Do you want to sound like a native when checking in on someone in Italian? Mastering “come stai” is your ticket to conversing casually and blending in with the locals.

In this language guide, we’ll discover the authentic ways Italians ask “how are you,” from formal to informal and everything in between. You’ll learn Italian regional variations that add flair, cool slang expressions to try, and how to respond positively or negatively like native Italian speakers.

Whether you’re traveling to Italy or brushing up for Italian class, picking up this common phrase will make chatting and connecting a breeze. So get ready to add some Italian flair to your small talk! In no time, you’ll be saying “come stai” with Italian passion.

Come Stai Meaning & Correct Usage

Translated to English, “come stai” means how are you. Unlike the English version, it’s only made up of two words: come – which is the adverb in this sentence, and stai – which is the second person of the present tense of the verb stare. What we just did, that is breaking up the phrase, is called analisi grammaticale (grammatical analysis).

The next thing you’ll want to know well when starting to use this common expression/greeting is how to say it formally.

Formal Come Stai in Italian Language

When asking how are you to an elderly person, in a business setting, or to someone you are not close with, you must use the polite form in Italian.

You can do that by simply using the third person. Let’s see how to do that with Come Stai.

Come sta?

It’s like asking how a third person is doing. You could say the same when asking how is Mattia?, for example. That would translate to “come sta Mattia”, and you would use it when asking if someone not present is doing well.

However, if the person who is in front of you, is also named Mattia, and you want to address him in the polite form (we call it dare del lei in Italian), you’ll say this:

Sig.re Mattia, come sta?

If the person was a woman, the expression wouldn’t change. You’ll just need to change the honorific and name. See below:

Sig.ra Matilda, come sta?; or

Come sta sig.ra Matilda?

Of course, if you want to be extra formal, you can also use the surname instead of the first name. In that case, you’ll just need to replace one with the other. Finally, you could also say: Come si sente? 

Come Sta in Third Person

We already mentioned that the use of the third person is very similar to the use of the polite form. However, let’s look at other examples.

The following are all examples of using Come stai in the third person when asking about someone who’s not present.

Come sta la mamma? (how is mum)

Come sta papa? (how is dad)

Come sta la nonna? (how is grandma)

Come sta il cane? (how is the dog)

Come sta il vicino? (how is the neighbor)

group of italians meeting and greeeting each other

Come Stai Plural Form

Let’s say you met two friends together, or a couple, or a group of colleagues you know, and you want to catch up with all of them as a group, this is how you would ask them how they are in Italian.

Come state?

That’s the simple form, but you can also add a noun that highlights the type of relationship you have with them, or one that makes you sound extra friendly. See the examples below.

Come state amici? (how are you, friends)

Come state colleghi? (how are you, colleagues)

Come state belle/i? (how are you beautiful/handsome)

Come state cugini? (how are you cousins)

That’s the way you would ask come stai in the plural when you are asking directly.

If on the other hand, you want to ask someone about how a group of people not present is doing, you’ll also need to use the plural but in the third form. This is how you’ll do it:

Come stanno .. ? (how are.., referring to two or more people)

Come stanno Maria e Francesco? (how are Maria and Francesco)

Come stanno i nonni? (how are the grandparents)

Come stanno i gatti? (how are the cats)

Come stanno a casa? (how are they at home)

Come stanno i bambini? (how are the kids)

Come Stai in First Person Singular and Plural

While it’s not very likely you’ll ask yourself how you are, either alone or in a group, let’s look at how to do that. And I’ll also share examples of instances where using the first person would make sense.

Come sto? (how am I)

Come stiamo? (how are we)

Come sto messo questa settimana? (how am I this week/how is my week planned)

Come stiamo messi? Ci andiamo? (how are we? Are we going? -> meaning: what are we going to do? Are we going?, said in a very casual way)

Come stiamo rimasti? (what did we agree)

italians casually greeting each other

Different Uses of Come Stai in Social Settings

Good morning how are you in Italian

When you meet someone in the morning, be it on the street or at work, you’ll likely greet them with a good morning and ask them how they are, to be polite and considerate.

Well, you can do the same in Italian, as follows:

Buongiorno, come stai? (good morning, how are you?)

Buongiorno, come sta? (polite form: good morning, how are you?)

Buongiorno, come state? (plural form: good morning, how are you?)

In the next section, you’ll also learn to say the same in many different ways, so make sure to read that part.

Are you ok in Italian

Other than a greeting, come sta is also a way to express concern for someone you know and care about, but also someone you just met, maybe someone who seems sick. Let’s look at how to do that.

Come stai, Francesco? (how are you Francesco?)

Although it’s the same way you would ask if you were just being polite, it’s the moment and tone you ask it with that will make a difference, as well as the way you listen to the answer.

Come sta, signora? (how are you madam, in the polite form)

Let’s say you came across a lady not feeling well in the restroom, or the street, this is how you would ask her how is she, before then asking if she needs help.

Come sta, signora? Le serve aiuto? (how are you madam, do you need help?)

Another direct way to ask someone casually if they are ok, is to simply ask: “stai bene?”

This translates to: are you ok?

two italian ladies greeting each other on the street

Other Ways to Say Come Stai & How To Answer

In Informal Settings

Use these expressions with people you know well or are your age, or whenever addressing someone informally.

  1. Come stai? (how are you)
  2. Come va? (how is it going)
  3. Tutto bene? (everything fine)
  4. Come vanno le cose? (how are things)
  5. Tutto apposto? (all ok)
  6. Come va la vita? (how is life)
  7. Come stai oggi? (how are you, today)

Informal Answers to Come Stai (to the above questions).

  1. Bene, grazie. ( good, thank you)
  2. Io bene, e tu. (I am fine, and you)
  3. Va tutto bene, grazie. (all is fine, thanks)
  4. Ma, direi bene, grazie. (ehm, I’d say well, thanks)
  5. Si, tutto apposto, grazie. (yes, all is fine, thank you)
  6. La vita va alla grande. (life is going great)
  7. Sto benissimo, grazie. (I am very good, thanks)

Keep in mind that it’s fine if you mix any of the above answers and questions, as they are quite general and therefore versatile.

In Formal Settings

When the situation calls for formality, either because of age or with people you don’t know, follow these examples.

  1. Come sta signor Albano? (how are you, Mr. Albano)
  2. Come sta signora Marina? (how are you, Ms. Marina)
  3. E lei, come sta? (and you, how are you)
  4. Come sta sua madre? (how is your mother doing)
  5. Come sta suo padre? (how is your father doing)
  6. Come sta suo figlio/sua figlia? (how is your son/daughter doing)
  7. Come sta sua moglie/suo marito? (how is your wife/your husband)
  8. Come sta la sua famiglia? (how is your family doing)

Formal Answers to Come Stai (for the above questions)

– To answer questions 1 to 3 above:

Bene, la ringrazio. (Good, thank you)

– To answer questions 1 to 2 above:

Io tutto bene, e lei. (I am fine, and you)

– To answer questions 4 to 7 above:

Bene, la ringrazio. E il vostro?/E la vostra? (good, thank you. And yours)

Negative Answers to answer any of the questions above:

Non molto bene, al momento. (not very good, right now)

Purtroppo, non benissimo. (sadly, not very well)

When You Know Someone Wasn’t Well

Here’s how you would check on someone who wasn’t doing well in Italian.

Ciao. Stai meglio? (hi, are you better)

E’ passato? (is it all gone)

Allora, un po’ meglio? (so, feeling better)

Come ti senti? (how are you feeling)

Va meglio? (is it better)

Positive Answer to the questions above: Si, grazie, un po’ meglio.

Negative Answer: No, purtroppo no.

italian youngsters greeting each other

Cool Ways to Ask Come Stai in Italian

These phrases would only be used when addressing someone that you know quite well, or a person of young age.

Come butta? (what’s up)

Cosa frigge? (literally: what’s frying)

Come te la passi? (how is it going)

Come si dice? (literally: how do you say it)

Che mi racconti? (what can you tell me)

Che succede? (what’s happening)

Novitá? (any news)

As you can see above, I gave you the literal translation of a few of the cool expressions, for you to understand how cool they are. Well, of course, the real meaning is how are you, so feel free to use either of those in a casual setting.

Come Stai Responses: Positive, Negative, and Neutral

Ways To Reply I Am Fine In Italian

Next time you need to respond to this question, you can choose one of the many responses below.

Bene, grazie. (good, thank you)

Benissimo. (really good)

Molto bene. (very well)

Tutto bene, grazie. (all good, thanks)

Da Dio. (like God)

Benone. (very good)

Alla grande. (great)

Mai stato/a meglio. (I’ve never been better)

Da favola. (like a fairy)

Tutto a posto. (all good)

Negative Come Stai Responses

Next time you meet a person and want to be real when he/she asks you how are you in Italian, here are great ways to express your negative thoughts and feelings.

Non benissimo. (not very well)

Un pò male. (a little bad)

Male, male. (bad, bad)

Insomma. (so and so)

Non troppo bene. (not very well)

Sono stato meglio. (I’ve been better)

Ho visto giorni migliori. (I’ve seen better days)

Da schifo. (disgusting)

Da cani. (like dogs)

Una tragedia. (a tragedy)

Un incubo. (a nightmare)

How To answer Come Stai In A Neutral Tone

If you’re not sure how to answer this simple question, use one of these neutral replies.

Così così. (so and so)

Me la cavo. (I get by)

Non mi lamento. (I can’t complain)

Si va avanti. (it goes on)

Si tira avanti. (life carries on)

Insomma. (so and so)

north to south italy

North To South: How Italians Say Come Stai In Different Regions

As promised in the introduction, we’ll now look at how Italians say how are you in different parts of the country. These expressions are fun to know, although you are likely to only use the Italian versions. In some cases, I am also giving you the answer, bene, to come stai in that dialect.

How are you in Ladin (Ladin is not a region but an old language still spoken in Trentino) > Co vara pa? (how are you) Bun (good)

Come stai in Friuli > Mandi, cemût statu? (how are you)

How are you in Bologna > Cùmm stèt? (how are you) A stàgh bàn (good).

Come stai in Milan > Comé la vala`? (how are you) Ben (good).

How are you in Rome > Come tarza? (how are you) Sto ‘na fiaba (good).

Come stai in Naples > Cumm staj? (how are you) Bèni (good).

How are you in Abruzzo > Gnà stié? (how are you)

Come stai in Apulian > Ueee, tutt’appost? (how are you) Auandan Auandan (good, good) 

How are you in Sicilian > Comu si? (how are you) Sunu bonu (i’m well).

Italian Gestures to Accompany Come Stai

If you are wondering what gestures would Italians be using when asking and answering this question/greeting, here’s what I am imagining. I am imagining an older local person, likely a man, who is very traditional and has lived all his life in that region. 

Upon approaching each other, the two compaesani, aka fellow villagers, would make this sign which involves suddenly lifting your leading hand with the palm facing the sky. That’s almost a silent way of saying: “eihh, how long has it been, we finally meet again”.

Then the person asking come stai would make the famous finger purse hand gesture, with all the fingers in the leading hand pinched up, and move that hand up and down quickly. That’s the perfect one to use while saying how you are, especially if you haven’t seen each other in a while, and you are speaking to someone very casually.

A positive answer to that question would likely get a nodding sign, while a negative one would get a head shake sign or a shaking/turning hand sign to imply so and so.

two locals asking each other how are you in italian

15 Real Come Stai Examples To Ask & Answer Like A Local

If you really want to know how to ask and answer come stai confidently use these examples to practice. 

Each example represents a real life dialogue. All 15 dialogues involve 2 speakers; and each speaker is identified with a different color.

Example 1

Ciao. Come Stai?

Bene, grazie. E tu?

Anche io, tutto bene.

When to use it: in any informal setting

Translation: Line 1 – Hello. How are you?; line 2 – Good, thanks. And you?; line 3 – Same for me, all good.

Example 2

Ehi. Tutto a posto?

Si, si tutto bene. E tu come stai?

When to use it: in very informal settings

Translation: Line 1 – Ehi, all good?; line 2 – Yes, yes all good; and how about you?

Example 3

Come vanno le cose?

A lavoro, diciamo come al solito, e a casa tutto bene. Grazie.

When to use it: in informal settings

Translation: Line 1 – How are things going?; line 2 – At work, everything the same, and at home all good. Thanks.

Example 4

Voi tutto bene?

Si, grazie. Spero anche voi.

When to use it: in any informal setting when referring to more people

Translation: Line 1 – Are you good?; line 2 – Yes, thanks. I hope it’s the same for you.

Example 5

Come va la vita?

Bene, grazie. Il solito: lavoro, scuola e casa. E per te?

When to use it: in any informal setting, when you haven’t seen the person in a while.

Translation: Line 1 – How is life?; line 2 – Good, thanks. It’s the same: work, school, and home. And you?

Example 6

Come te la passi?

Ma, bene, non mi lamento. Tu, invece?

When to use it: in very informal settings

Translation: Line 1 – How are you doing?; line 2 – Well, good, I can’t complain. How about you?

Example 7

Come butta?

Si tira avanti.

When to use it: when you want to sound cool

Translation: Line 1 – How is it going?; line 2 – We go on.

two Italian friends meeting

Example 8

Come va a lavoro?

Diciamo niente di speciale.

When to use it: when you want to ask specifically about work

Translation: Line 1 – How is work?; line 2 – Nothing special, really.

Example 9

Tutto bene?

Non c’e’ male. E tu?

When to use it: in any informal setting

Translation: Line 1 – All good?; line 2 – Not too bad. And you?

Example 10

Come ti senti?

Finalmente bene, grazie del pensiero.

When to use it: when catching up with someone who wasn’t well

Translation: Line 1 – How are you feeling? ; line 2 – Finally good, thanks for the interest.

Example 11

Va meglio?

Un pochino meglio; grazie dell’interesse.

When to use it: when catching up with someone who wasn’t well

Translation: Line 1 – Is it better?; line 2 – A little better; thanks for your interest.

Example 12

Cosa frigge?

Ma niente di speciale, il solito.

When to use it: when you want to sound super cool

Translation: Line 1 – What’s cooking (as in what’s happening)?; line 2 – Well, nothing special, the usual.

Example 13

Come sta signor Albano?

Bene, la ringrazio. E lei, come sta?

When to use it: in formal settings when the other person is a man

Translation: Line 1 – How are you Mr. Albano?; line 2 – Good, thanks. And you, how are you? (using the polite form)

Example 14

Buongiorno signora Marina, come sta?

Io tutto bene, e lei?

When to use it: in formal settings when the other person is a woman

Translation: Line 1 – Good morning Mrs. Marina, how are you?; line 2 – I am well, thanks; and you? (in the polite form)

Example 15

A casa come stanno?

Tutti bene, grazie. La mamma ti saluta.

When to use it: in informal settings when you want to ask about the other person’s family.

Translation: Line 1 – How is everyone at home?; line 2 – They are all good, thanks; mum says hello to you.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – everything you need to confidently ask “come stai?” and respond like a true Italian! With this phrase in your back pocket, casual conversations will become smoother and you’ll sound more natural speaking Italian.

Wherever your travels take you, put these tips to use. Let “come stai” spice up your small talk, win over new friends, and add that Italian touch to your interactions. Soon it will roll off your tongue as effortlessly as it does for locals.

You’re now ready to inquire and respond like a native Italian. So next time you cross paths with an amico, give “come stai” a try. I’m sure you’ll see some surprised smiles when you unleash this phrase with perfect flair!

If you are in the mood to learn more, I suggest this article about how to say please in Italian.

Frequently Asked Questions about How Are You in Italian

How do you use tutto bene?

“Tutto bene” means “all good” in Italian. It’s very often used informally to ask “how are you?” or respond that you are fine. For example, you could say “Tutto bene?” to casually ask someone how they are doing. 

What is the formal version of stai?

The formal version of “stai” is “sta.” For example, you would say “Come sta?” to politely ask how someone is in a formal setting.

How do you respond to tutto bene?

To respond to “Tutto bene?”, common replies meaning “I’m fine” include “Bene, grazie” (Good, thanks), “Molto bene” (Very good), or “Benissimo” (Extremely good).

How to answer how are you in Italian?

To answer “how are you” in Italian, common positive responses are “Bene, grazie” (Good, thanks), “Molto bene, grazie” (Very good, thanks), “Bene, e tu?” (Good, and you?). For a negative response, you could say “Non c’è male” (Not too bad) or “Così così” (So-so).

How are in Italian to a woman

To ask “how are you” to a woman in Italian, you would say “Come sta?” using the polite form. Or informally, you can say “Come stai?”

How do you say how are you in Italian?

The phrase for “how are you” in Italian is “come stai.” 

What is the Italian word for how are you?

The Italian sentence for “how are you” is “come stai.”

How do Italians greet each other?

Common Italian greetings include “ciao”, “buongiorno”, cheek kissing, and saying “come stai?” or “come va?”.

What’s the Italian word for how’s it going?  

“Come va?” is an informal Italian phrase for “how’s it going?”

How do you say I’m good in Italian?

“Sto bene” or “bene, grazie” are ways to say “I’m good” in Italian.

What’s the Italian for are you okay?

“Stai bene?” or “Va tutto bene?” are Italian phrases for “Are you okay?”

What are polite greetings in Italian?

Polite Italian greetings include “Buongiorno” (Good morning), “Buonasera” (Good evening), and “Come sta?” (How are you?) in the formal lei form.

What’s the informal way to say how are you in Italian? 

The informal ways to say “how are you” in Italian are “come stai?” and “come va?”.

Alessia Spampinato