Responses to "¿Qué pasa?"

When someone asks you ¿Qué pasa?  (What's going on?/What's up?), how should you respond? Check out this list of responses to ¿Qué pasa? and you'll be able to say anything from Nada.  (Nothing.) to ¡Nada! ¡Déjame en paz!  (Nothing! Leave me alone!).

Standard Responses

Here's a list of fairly standard responses that would be acceptable in just about any situation. Keep in mind that ¿Qué pasa? is not a phrase you hear or say in formal situations or to someone you don't know.

SpanishEnglish
Nada.
 
Nothing.
No mucho.
 
Nothing much.
Lo mismo.
 
Same old, same old.

A cutesy way of answering ¿Qué pasa? is Nada, nada, limonada.  (Literally, Nothing, nothing, lemonade.)

It's Not All About You

It sounds much more polite if you ask the other person what's going on with them.

Nada. ¿Qué pasa contigo?
 
Nothing. What's going on with you?/What's up with you?
No mucho. ¿Qué pasa contigo?
 
Nothing much. What's going on with you?/What's up with you?
Lo mismo. ¿Qué pasa contigo?
 
Same old, same old. What's going on with you?/What's up with you?

¿Qué pasa? is Not the Same As ¿Cómo estás?

You shouldn't respond to the question ¿Qué pasa? the way you would to ¿Cómo estás?. It just doesn't make any sense!

The Wrong Way

Check out this awkward conversation between Rodrigo and his friend Thomas.

Rodrigo: ¿Qué pasa?  (What's up?)

Thomas: ¡Bien! ¿Y tú?  (Good! And you?)

Rodrigo: Eh...bueno, ya me voy.  (Um...ok, I'm out.)

The Right Way

This conversation is as cool as a cucumber.

Rodrigo:
¿Qué pasa?
What's up?
Thomas:
Nada. ¿Qué pasa contigo?
Nothing. What's up with you?
Rodrigo:
Nada, amigo. Estoy aquí nomás.
Nothing, dude. I'm just hanging around.

The Other ¿Qué pasa?

Keep in mind that, depending on the situation and/or the way it's asked, ¿Qué pasa? can also mean What's wrong?. When ¿Qué pasa? means What's wrong?, you can respond in a number of different ways. Below you'll find just a few of the possibilities.

SpanishEnglishNotes
Nada.
 
Nothing.
Nada. Estoy bien.
 
Nothing. I'm fine.
Me duele la cabeza.
 
I have a headache./My head hurts.You can replace la cabeza with any other body part.
Me duele el estómago.
 
I have a stomachache/My stomach hurts.You can replace el estómago with any other body part.
No sé. Me siento rara.
 
I don't know. I feel weird.Say this if you're female.
No sé. Me siento raro.
 
I don't know. I feel weird.Say this if you're male.
Estoy enferma.
 
I'm sick.Say this if you're female.
Estoy enfermo.
 
I'm sick.Say this if you're male.
¡Nada! ¡Déjame en paz!
 
Nothing! Leave me alone!Temper, temper.
Did this page answer your question?