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anna3101

Qué tal / qué hubo / qué pasa / qué onda

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Hello,

Can somebody help me understand the difference between these? Are some more popular in certain country/countries than others? Are all of them informal?

All of my coursebook only had "qué tal" or "Cómo estás", and for many years I was sure that's the only way to say "how are you?" :) And now I've started seeing these other expressions on the Internet and I'm a bit confused. I understand the meaning but why do some people use this or that expression? Does it depend on the country?

Thanks in advance!

Ania

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I think of "que tal" as "what's up" and "Que pasa" more of a "what's happening?" I also think of "que onda" as "what's up" and que hubo as "what happened?" That is from a Southwestern Mexican point of view. 

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I’m a native Spanish speaker so I can help you out with this. The thing is that even though all these expressions mean basically the same they’re not the same thing. Some are more casual or informal than others.

“Qué tal” is a nice way of asking someone Hey, how are you? This is a nice expression that you can use as, “Qué tal, ¿cómo estás?

Now moving to your second example, “Qué Hubo.” I wouldn’t use this one if I were you. It’s not a bad expression, but it’s not nice. How to explain this…like well-educated people don’t use this expression.

“Qué Pasa” is not used to ask How are You, it’s more like a question of what’s happening, what’s going on.

And “Qué Onda” is like saying, “What’s up’.” Young people used it a lot in the past, but now it’s not that common anymore, but I dare to say that almost anyone who speaks Spanish will understand it.

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10 hours ago, Paula said:

 

I’m a native Spanish speaker so I can help you out with this. The thing is that even though all these expressions mean basically the same they’re not the same thing. Some are more casual or informal than others.

“Qué tal” is a nice way of asking someone Hey, how are you? This is a nice expression that you can use as, “Qué tal, ¿cómo estás?

Now moving to your second example, “Qué Hubo.” I wouldn’t use this one if I were you. It’s not a bad expression, but it’s not nice. How to explain this…like well-educated people don’t use this expression.

“Qué Pasa” is not used to ask How are You, it’s more like a question of what’s happening, what’s going on.

And “Qué Onda” is like saying, “What’s up’.” Young people used it a lot in the past, but now it’s not that common anymore, but I dare to say that almost anyone who speaks Spanish will understand it.

What makes "que hubo" "not nice"?  I don't fully understand what you mean by "well-educated people don't use this expression".  Does that mean that it's slang? 

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1 hour ago, czarina84 said:

What makes "que hubo" "not nice"?  I don't fully understand what you mean by "well-educated people don't use this expression".  Does that mean that it's slang? 

Yes, is like slang. It's not a phrase you would say to your mother-in-law for example. It's common among very young people that are not well...educated. It's not nice to say "Qué hubo" but it isn't swearing either.

There are hundreds of ways of asking someone How are you, so no need to use "Qué Hubo." However, if you do decide to use it, just make sure you do it around people who are relaxed and don't mind the use of slang.

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I'm from Mexico and over here expressions like ''Que hubo'' are rarely used by young people, or even middle aged people. The only person I know who sometimes uses this is an 89 year old woman :mellow:   ''Que onda'' is losing the favor or young people, but is still used by some people.  ''Que tal'' is a bit better,  and can be used when you don't know a person so well.  ''Que pasa'' can be used as a simple question to ask what is going on, but also something as a very informal greeting used with people you know well.  

Here in Mexico most of the times when we greet a friend we just say something like: Hola! Buenos dias/tardes/noches!  ¿cómo estás?  And then we kiss on the cheek.  That's it :)   That being said this is applied to Mexico, not sure about the other countries in latin America.   

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