Has anyone ever said Pura Vida to you? If you are Costa Rican, you may already know what the phrase means. If you don’t, this article is for you.
It is important to know the meaning of a person’s statement when you are being addressed. That way, you can respond suitably.
You may never need to use the phrase Pura Vida or respond to it. However, it is good to have the knowledge. You may find yourself in Costa Rica someday.
Meaning of “Pura Vida”
If you have been to Costa Rica, you may hear this Spanish phrase several times in one day. Pura Vida simply means Pure Life or Good Life.
“Pura Vida” can be used in several ways. It may be used to ask a question. It may be used to comfort a person who is in a difficult situation.
It may be used to comfort oneself (Good life I.e. you are focusing on the positive aspects of life and dealing with your challenges as they come). It may also be used to answer a question about a person’s welfare.
You don’t need a person to explain what the phrase has been used to mean. You can always tell what is being implied from the way it is said and from the situation.
How To Use Pura Vida In A Sentence
- Pura Vida as ‘Are you having a good life?’
- Pura Vida as ‘I’m having a great life’.
- Pura Vida as ‘Life is good’
Pura Vida as ‘Are you having a good life?’
While Pura Vida actually means Good Life, it can be used as a question about how good your life is going.
You don’t have to add several words to the sentence. By saying Pura Vida, the person will get your message already.
Like every other non-polar question, the intonation is high. You do not have to pay attention to this.
Non-polar questions naturally have high intonations so you will impulsively be adding the high intonation and you will be correct.
Alternative ways to use Pura Vida as a question is to say: What’s up?; How are you doing?; What’s good?; Buena Vida; Are you doing great?; Are you having a good time? etc.
Pura Vida as ‘I’m having a great life’
You may not hear Pura Vida in the form of a question as often as you would hear it as a statement or as an answer.
While you can go around saying Pura Vida to yourself, it can only come up at the right points in a conversation.
To know when to say Pura Vida in a conversation, you just have to know the meaning of the phrase and the message you want to pass.
When you are asked about how you are doing, you can simply say Pura Vida. This tells the person that you are having a good time or you are enjoying your life.
Alternative ways to use Pura Vida as an answer is to say: I am doing great; Buena Vida; I am having a great time; I am staying positive etc.
Pura Vida as ‘Life is good’
You don’t have to be asked about how good your life is going before acknowledging the positive parts of life. You can say Pura Vida to yourself. You can also say it to someone.
As mentioned earlier, Pura Vida can be used to comfort oneself. It can be used to comfort others too. This implies that you can’t only make this statement when things are going well but also when things seem tough.
Then, it would be serving as a reminder that Life is not always negative and we have to focus on the positive parts and stay happy.
Alternative ways to use Pura Vida as a comforting statement is to say: It will be okay; Buena Vida; Life is good etc.
13 Ways to Respond to “Pura Vida”
- Buena Vida
- What’s happening?
- How about you?
- I wish
- No worries.
- Good bye.
- Pura Vida
- What more can a man ask for?
- You seem excited. What’s going on?
- I’m hopeful.
- Sweet, sweet life.
Another way to say Pura Vida is to say Buena Vida. It is a Spanish phrase with the same meaning.
If Pura Vida can work both as a question and an answer with the same meaning, what stops it from being a response to itself? Nothing.
When a person says Pura Vida, you can respond by saying Buena Vida unless you don’t agree with the idea of focusing on the positive aspects of life or you are experiencing some difficulties.
Gracias is the Spanish word for Thank you. Now that you know what it means, you should be able to tell when this word is a correct response and when it isn’t.
It would make no sense to say Thank you when you are asked about your welfare or when a person is talking about his/her welfare. However, you can say Gracias when a person says Pura Vida to comfort you.
When ask about a person’s welfare, the person may say Pura Vida implying that he/she is having a good life or, at least, staying positive.
If you want a more detailed answer, you can respond with this question. The person may feel forced to say something other than [I’m fine; I’m doing good; alright etc.]
How about you?
This is an answer so you can only say this when you are asked about your welfare. If Pura Vida comes as a mere statement or an answer to a question, this response would be unnecessary.
You are agreeing that you are enjoying your life and you are also asking about the person’s life.
The responses suggested earlier have all been positive. You may also consider a negative one if that is how you feel.
When a person asks Pura Vida and you respond by saying I wish, you are implying that you don’t feel comfortable with how your life is going.
When a person says Pura Vida as a question, this response is another way of saying Yes. You are indirectly agreeing that one should focus on positivity.
Pura Vida can be interpreted in so many ways and one of them is ‘No worries’.
Pura Vida means what it means. It simply means Good life. As mentioned earlier, it can be used as a question and also as an answer. However, it is also used as a simple greeting word.
It is similar to the question What’s up? in many cases. While What’s up? has its original meaning which requires an answer, the question has been used so often as a greeting word that it may get no response.
Some people greet by saying what’s up? without expecting a response. Similarly, a person can say Pura Vida and simply mean Hello.
If a person says Pura Vida while you are separating, it has been used to mean Have A Good Day or Have A Good Life. You can respond by saying Bye or Goodbye.
As mentioned earlier, Buena Vida can be a response to Pura Vida even though the two phrases mean the same thing. Pura Vida can also be a response to Bueno Vida if it is used as a question.
If Pura Vida is also used as a question, Pura Vida can be the response to the question since the phrase also functions as an answer to the question about one’s welfare.
Aside from the basic meanings of Pura Vida mentioned above, the phrase is also often used to greet people. It functions as a greeting on arrival and as a greeting on departure.
Ciao is a similar word which can function as both Welcome and Goodbye. When a person says Pura Vida on meeting you, you can say Ciao.
When a person says Pura Vida while departing from you, you can also say Ciao.
What more can a man ask for?
Of course, what more can a man ask for when he is filled with happiness? This response is just another way of agreeing that you are enjoying your life.
Say this with a sincere smile to show that you actually mean it. Then, you can also ask how the person is doing.
You seem excited. What’s going on?
This is an option but it has to connect to the situation. If the person is acting excited, then this response will make sense.
A person can say Pura Vida excitedly if something astonishing has happened. You can ask this question to hear what is making the person happy.
This is like saying No worries. You are equally agreeing that life is good and you should focus on positivity. This however suggests that things are not very positive but you hope for a positive change.
You can say this when you are asked about your welfare or when you are being comforted.
Sweet, sweet life
You can use this response if you are asked about your life. This suggests that you are actually enjoying your life rather than forcing yourself to remain positive.