What is “muy bien”?

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What is ‘muy bien’?

‘Muy bien’ is a Spanish phrase that literally translates to ‘very well.’  Some people who use this phrase may also mean ‘very good.’  The latter translation’s roots are based on the fact that ‘bien’ may also be loosely translated into ‘bueno’ which means ‘good.’  Depending on what a person’s intention is or how the phrase is used in a sentence, ‘muy bien’ may mean both ‘very well’ and ‘very good.’

With the word ‘bien’ used as an adverb as in ‘very well,’ the phrase ‘muy bien’ may be used when somebody is asked about something.  Like in the example if a person is asked if he is feeling ill or not, this person may respond with ‘Estoy muy bien’ or ‘I am very well’ when translated into English.  This same example could also generate the same ‘muy bien’ response with the person indicating that he/she is also ‘feeling good’ or feeling ‘very good.’

The phrase ‘muy bien’ is a popular phrase among Spanish-speaking citizens in many parts of the world.  This phrase is also often used in conversations and even in movie scripts and songs. With this simple phrase that is spoken in just four syllables, many non-Spanish-speaking people have wondered what it means.  Some people also encounter similar phrases when chatting with other friends over the Internet.  This phrase is loosely used even by English speakers just to become part of the conversation.  As the online world involves people from different countries with different languages, many phrases will be used, and some will be remembered because of their use as a greeting or as a response to a basic question.  For ‘muy bien,’ various, simple questions can be answered with this simple phrase making it a common response even from non-Spanish-speaking persons.

Phrases like ‘muy bien’ are also basic phrases that people try to remember when going to Spanish-speaking countries or when being around people that speak the Spanish language.  Even for this simple phrase, some people will be able to at least convey the idea that they embrace the language and are open to learning more about it.

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