The literal translation of How are you? In Portuguese is:
- Como está você?
or, with a slightly different word order:
- Como você está?
However, in informal, day-to-day situations, the verb estar to be is normally shortened to tá
- Como você tá?
You might also hear the short form of você you, when preceding the verb: cê.
- Como cê tá?
And sometimes Brazilians omit você altogether!
- Como está?
- Como tá?
You can also use the verb ir to go.
- Como você vai?
- Como cê vai?
- Como vai você?
And without você:
- Como vai?
There is another variant of all the expressions above using é que after como:
- Como é que você tá?
Lit: How is it that you are? (For those familiar with French this is the equivalent of est-ce que).
But it really makes no difference if you say - Como você tá? or - Como é que você tá?
In all these expressions you can substitute você with o senhor or a senhora, if you want to sound a bit more formal; if you’re talking to an older gentleman or an older lady, of if you want to show respect (in a business situation, for example).
- Como está o senhor?
- Como vai a senhora?
Another way of asking how someone is to just say:
- Tudo bem?
which literally translates as All well?
Instead of the adverb bem well, you might actually hear people saying bom good:
- Oi, tudo bom?
All these expressions are normally used after oi or olá, but apart from these two ways of saying hi or hello, there’s another commonly used expression in Brazil:
- E ai?
which literally translates as And there? but it’s really the equivalent of saying Hi there! It’s normally followed by one of the ways we’ve already seen of how to say How are you?
- E aí? Como vai? Hi there, how are you?
- E aí? Tudo bem? Hi there, all well?
And that’s it! Now you know the most common ways of asking How are you? in Brazil.
You can also check out the videos below from my Online Brazilian Portuguese Course, for pronunciation tips, how to respond when someone asks you How are you? and the conjugations of the verb estar to be and ir to go.