In today’s post Spanish words: como, we will study the main meanings and usages of this essential small word. If you still have doubts about the correct usage of it, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, will help you master it in no time 😊

Como is one of these Spanish words with more than one meaning and usage. In fact, The RAE online dictionary provides 18 definitions of this word.

Grammatically, The Spanish word como works as:

– An adverb
– A conjunction
– A preposition

So, let’s learn together when and how use como in Spanish.

COMO – Adverb

1. As/like/the way.  Relative adverb expressing manner, the way an action is carried out.

  • Coloqué las sillas como me dijiste = I set up the chairs as you told me to
  • Ana danza como una bailarina profesional = Ana dances like a professional dancer
  • He probado un nueva receta de cheescake pero prefiero como la haces tú = I have tried a new cheescake recipe but I prefer the way you make it
  • No pasa nada si no está perfecto. Hazlo como puedas = It’s OK if it’s not perfect. Do it the way you can

2. Like.  Expressing similarity

  • Marcos se portó como un imbécil en la fiesta de Luisa = Marcos behaved like an idiot at Louisa’s party
  • Mi hermana es como yo; es muy tímida = Mi sister is like me; she is very shy
  • Quiero comprar una bicicleta como la de Alma = I want to buy a bike like Alma’s

Como si + Imperfect / Past perfect subjunctive

The SI clause with subjunctive aims at describing a situation or an action, by comparing it with a hypothetical or unreal situation or action.

  • Andrés la miró como si hubiera visto un fantasma = Andrew looked at her as if he had seen a ghost
  • Por favor, cuida de la gata como si fuera tuya = Please take care of the cat as if she were yours

3. In colloquial Spanish, como is also used to mitigate the characteristic of something/someone.

  • Este bar tiene un estilo como bohemio = This bar has like a bohemian style
  • Hoy pareces como cansada = Today you look like tired

COMO – Conjunction

4. Como is also a causal conjunction that introduces a subordinate clause. It means “since, because, as”.

  • Como llegué tarde, no me dejaron asistir al concierto = As I arrived late, I was not allowed to attend the concert
  • Como no consigo centrarme, prefiero salir a dar una vuelta = Since I can’t focus, I prefer to go out for a walk

5. Como can also work as a conditional conjunction, expressing the condition under which something might or will happen.

When introducing a conditional (subordinate) clause, the verb after como must be conjugated in present subjunctive.

  • Como vuelvas a hablarme de esta forma, te cuelgo el teléfono = If you ever talk to me like that again, I’ll hang up the phone
  • Como sigas comiendo chucherías, te dolerán los dientes = If you keep eating candies, your teeth will hurt.

COMO – Preposition

6. Meaning “as”, “in the role of”.

  • Pilar puede asistir a la clase pero solo como oyente = Pilar can attend the class only as an unregistered student
  • Amparo es excelente como profesora = Amparo is excellent as a teacher
  • Podéis usar esta mesa como un banco = You can use this table as a bench

As usual, we hope this short article on Spanish words: como will help you use it correctly 😊

You might be also interested in learning about the usage of the Spanish words: como, porque, es que.

Finally, we remind you that our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, is happy to provide you with Spanish lessons in a friendly and cosy environment, here in Valencia.

Take a look at the list of our courses here.

¡Feliz día!