The phrase muy bien is one of the most common phrases in Spanish. So what exactly does it mean? In a nutshell, muy bien means “very well” and “very good”. It can also be used to acknowledge something, like when you say “alright then” or “Ok”.
So how can you tell which meaning of muy bien is intended? There are several situations in which you could use the phrase muy bien in Spanish, so it’s good to know the correct way to introduce it in conversation.
In this article, we will look at the proper ways to say muy bien in Spanish.
Muy bien meaning “Very well”
The most common meaning of muy bien in Spanish is “very well”. Let’s break it down.
Muy means “very” and is often followed by an adverb or an adjective. The word bien is the literal translation of “well”.
So muy bien means “very well”, “fine”, or even “OK”, when used to express satisfaction about a situation. It’s an extremely common way to respond to the question “How are you?” in Spanish.
María: ¿Cómo estás?
José: Muy bien, gracias
María: How are you?
José: I’m very well, thank you
Muy bien meaning “Very good”
The second way you might use muy bien is to say “very good” or “well done”. An example is if you’re congratulating someone for a job well done.
María: Aprobé el examen de matemáticas.
José: ¡Muy bien! ¡Te felicito!
María: I passed the math test.
José: Very good! Congrats!
If you’ve been studying some Spanish, you may find the word “good” to be a little confusing.
Good in Spanish is bueno (for masculine nouns), buena (for feminine nouns), and buen, (when the adjective is placed before a masculine noun). So you might logically feel that “very good” should be muy bueno. However, in this use of “very good”, the Spanish translation is muy bien.
The reason for the confusion between “good” and “well” (or bueno and bien) is that bien and well are both adverbs, but we colloquially speak in shorter phrases in English. For example, when we say “Very good!”, we’re shortening “[It is/This is] very good.
And when we say “very well” in English in these contexts, we are often contracting “[you speak/you did] very well”.
Read our post about how to say “good” in Spanish to learn more about the distinctions.
Muy bien meaning “Alright then”
Muy bien also works as an interjection. In these cases, it is used as a synonym for “alright then”. You can use this phrase, for example, when you and your friends agree on something.
María: ¿Qué te parece si vamos al cine esta noche?
José: Muy bien. Te veré allí a las ocho
María: How about going to the movies tonight?
José: Alright then, I’ll see you there at 8.
As we have seen, muy bien can be used in several contexts when speaking in Spanish.
You can use it as a translation of “very well” and express satisfaction about something, but you can also use it as a translation for “very good” to congratulate someone.
Finally, muy bien also works as a way to agree with someone. Muy bien, now that you know this, you will surely do muy bien on your next trip to Latin America or Spain.