Common Spanish phrases help you in any social situation

125+ Common Spanish Phrases to Help You Rock Any Social Situation

You’re in a quandary.

You want to practice your Spanish with real people. Yet, every time you think about having a conversation in Spanish, you feel tongue-tied.

How can you practice your speaking skills when you just don’t know what to say?

What questions can open up the conversation and keep it going?

In this post, you’ll find over 125 essential Spanish phrases that you’ll hear and use often in everyday conversations. You’ll use these important Spanish phrases in many kinds of Spanish encounters, like greetings and farewells, introducing yourself, making small talk, asking questions, asking for help and more.

We’ll pack in some all-purpose travel phrases to help you get around—and some celebration lingo so you can get down and party, Spanish-style.

¡Vámonos! (Let’s get going!)

125+ Common Spanish Phrases to Help You Rock Any Social Situation

Repeat these phrases in front of the mirror. Write them on Post-It notes and stick them all around your house, practicing them whenever you see them. Give them a shot out in the real world, when you’re feeling brave.

It doesn’t matter how you learn them. Just know that it’s so worth it—because you’ll be laying down solid foundations for your Spanish and building up lots of confidence along the way.

And, since we’re all friends here, we’ll use the tú (informal) forms in most of our phrases that address a conversation partner.

Common Spanish Phrases for Greetings and Farewells

First impressions say a lot about a person. So, whether you’re already a pro at Spanish or just getting started, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-versed in how you greet others in Spanish.

If you’re speaking with people in Latin culture, you may find that greetings and farewells can be quite a ritual. There’s often hugging and cheek-kissing involved, along with numerous pleasantries. You’ll definitely want to get those hellos and goodbyes perfected before your next encounter!

Greetings

Hello — ¡Hola! 

Good morning / Good day — Buenos días

Good afternoon — Buenas tardes

Good evening / Good night — Buenas noches

Welcome! — ¡Bienvenida! [to a female], ¡Bienvenido! [to a male]

Introductions

Nice to meet you — Encantada de conocerte [formal, said by a woman], Encantado de conocerte [formal, said by a man], Mucho gusto [informal]

A pleasure — Un gusto

What is your name? — ¿Cómo te llamas?

My name is … — Me llamo

Asking someone how they are

How are you? — ¿Cómo estás? [formal], ¿Qué tal? [informal]

How have you been? — ¿Cómo has estado?

How’s it going? — ¿Cómo te va?

What’s up? — ¿Qué pasa?

Responding to someone asking how you are

Good, thanks — Bien, gracias

Very well — Muy bien

All good — Todo bien

I’m tired — Estoy cansado [m.], cansada [f.]

I’m sick — Estoy enfermo [m.], enferma [f.]

I can’t complain — No puedo quejarme

So-so — Más o menos

Good, and you? — Bien, ¿y tú?

Saying goodbye

Goodbye — Adiós

See you later — Hasta luego

Until next time — Hasta la próxima

I’ll be seeing you — Te veo

See you — Nos vemos

Have a good day — Feliz día

Take care! — ¡Cuídate!

Widely Used Spanish Phrases

Below are a few common phrases that are widely used and definitely should be added to your Spanish memory bank:

Sorry! — ¡Lo siento!

Excuse me — Disculpe [to get someone’s attention], Perdón [to excuse yourself]

Thank you — Gracias

You’re welcome — De nada

I don’t understand — No entiendo

Don’t worry about it — No pasa nada

No problem — No hay problema

Don’t worry! — ¡No te preocupes!

Quick! — ¡Rápido!

That’s a shame — Es una lástima

Good luck! — ¡Suerte!

I don’t know — No sé

Common Questions

Where’s the bathroom? — ¿Dónde está el baño?

Do you speak English? — ¿Hablas inglés?

How much does this cost? — ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?

Shall we go for a drink? — ¿Vamos a tomar una copa?

Do you want to catch a movie? — ¿Quieres ver una película?

Do you come here often? — ¿Vienes a menudo?

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For even more examples of real-world conversations, immerse yourself in Spanish with FluentU.

FluentU has an enormous, ever-growing library of native-speaker videos. With such a wide range of topics, you can learn everyday phrases for all kinds of situations—and you can focus on subjects that you most enjoy.

Every video in the FluentU library is meticulously captioned, so you can see the Spanish you hear. No more guessing when you’re trying to learn new Spanish phrases!

You’ll find interactive videos for all kinds of phrases: Greetings and salutations, introducing yourself, making small talk and more.

Intrigued? Here’s what FluentU has to offer:

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.

Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

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Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the iOS or Android FluentU app.

Common Spanish Phrases for Getting to Know People

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Once you’ve grasped your hellos and goodbyes in Spanish, there a few more phrases that will enable you to take your conversations a bit further with others. And so, here are a few useful, versatile phrases to ensure you keep your conversations flowing.

Nationality

Where are you from? — ¿De dónde eres? [Spain and other Spanish speaking countries]; ¿De dónde sos? [Argentina, Uruguay and countries where vos is used instead of ]

I am from… — Soy de…

the United Kingdom — el Reino Unido

Soy del Reino Unido. (I am from the United Kingdom.)

Ireland — Irlanda

England — Inglaterra

Scotland — Escocia

Wales — Gales

France — Francia

Germany — Alemania

Italy — Italia

Portugal — Portugal

Poland — Polonia

Russia — Rusia

Morocco — Marruecos

Algeria — Argelia

Tunisia — Túnez

United Arab Emirates — los Emiratos Árabes Unidos

Soy de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos. (I am from the United Arab Emirates.)

 China — China [la China in Latin America]

Soy de la China. (I am from China.)

Japan — Japón

India — la India

Soy de la India. (I am from India.)

Vietnam — Vietnam

North Korea — Corea del Norte

South Korea — Corea del Sur

Australia — Australia

New Zealand — Nueva Zelanda [European Spanish], Nueva Zelandia [in Latin America]

The United States — los Estados Unidos

Canada — Canadá

I am [nationality] … — Soy

Irish — irlandés(a)

English — inglés(a)

Scottish — escocés [m.], escocesa [f.]

Welsh — galés [m.], galesa [f.]

French — francés [m.], francesa [f.]

German — alemán [m.], alemana [f.]

Italian — italiano [m.], italiana [f.]

Portuguese — portugués [m.], portuguesa [f.]

Polish — polaco [m.], polaca [f.]

Russian — ruso [m.], rusa [f.]

Moroccan — marroquí [m./f.]

Algerian — argelino [m.], argelina [f.]

Tunisian — tunecino [m.], tunecina [f.]

Chinese — chino [m.], china [f.]

Japanese — japonés [m.], japonesa [f.]

India —  indio [m.], india [f.]

Vietnam — vietnamita [m./f.]

North Korea — norcoreano [m.], norcoreana [f.]

South Korea — surcoreano [m.], surcoreana [f.]

Australian — australiano [m.], australiana [f.]

New Zealand — neocelandés [m.], neocelandesa [f.] or neozelandés [m.], neozelandesa [f.]

American — estadounidense [m./f.]

Canadian — canadiense [m./f.]

Profession

What do you do (for work)? — ¿Qué haces? or ¿A qué te dedicas?

I’m a… — Soy

lawyer — abogado [m.], abogada [f.]

teacher — profesor [m.], profesora [f.]

student — estudiante [m./f.]

architect — arquitecto [m.], arquitecta [f.]

cashier —  cajero [m.], cajera [f.]

singer — cantante [m./f.]

waiter / waitress — camarero [m.], camarera [f.]

postal carrier — cartero [m.], cartera [f.]

surgeon — cirujano [m.], cirujana [f.]

counselor — consejero [m.], consejera [f.]

dentist — dentista  [m./f.]

manager — gerente [m./f.]

computer programmer — programador [m.], programadora [f.]

psychiatrist — psiquiatra [m./f.]

Hobbies

What do you like to do in your free time? — ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?

I like … Me gusta

to watch movies — ver películas

to read — leer

to dance — bailar

hiking — excursionismo

fishing — pescar

gardening — jardinería

camping — acampar

sports — deportes

photography — fotografía

knitting / crocheting / weaving — tejer

cooking — cocinar

crossword puzzles — crucigramas

playing cards — jugar cartas

playing video games — jugar videojuegos

swimming — nadar

What’s your favorite movie? — ¿Cuál es tu película favorita? 

What’s your favorite book? — ¿Cuál es tu libro favorito?

What’s your favorite band? — ¿Cuál es tu banda favorita?

My favorite movie / book / band is … — Mi película favorita / libro favorito / banda favorita es

Family

Do you have any brothers or sisters? — ¿Tienes hermanos o hermanas?

Are you married? — ¿Estás casado? [said to a man], ¿Estás casada? [said to a woman]

Do you have any children? — ¿Tienes hijos?

How old are your children? — ¿Qué edad tienen tus hijos?

Do your children still live at home? — ¿Tus hijos aún viven en casa?

Do you have any cousins? — ¿Tienes primos?

Do you have any nieces or nephews? — ¿Tienes sobrinas o sobrinos?

Do you have any pets? — ¿Tienes alguna mascota?

Asking for Help

Everyone needs a helping hand now and then. Here are some useful phrases that’ll allow you to ask for assistance when the time comes.

I need help. — Necesito ayuda.

Can you help me? — ¿Puedes ayudarme?

What does that mean? — ¿Qué significa eso? or ¿Qué quiere decir eso?

Can you repeat that? — ¿Puede repetirlo?

Can you show me where to find _______? — ¿Puedes mostrarme dónde encontrar _______?

Can you explain this to me? — ¿Me puedes explicar esto?

Question Words

If you get stuck, there are also a few simpler questions that can be used as bridges between gaps in conversations. They’ll buy you some time when you’re thinking of how to respond in Spanish! And, of course you can use them to learn more about your conversation partner, the topic being discussed and the world around you—in Spanish, to boot!

The following questions are the most commonly used:

Why? — ¿Por qué?

Why are you saying that? — ¿Por qué dices eso?

 Why? (for what purpose) — ¿Para qué?

What is this tool for? — ¿Para qué es esta herramienta?

 Who?  ¿Quién?

Who is she? — ¿Quién es ella?

 What? — ¿Cómo? or ¿Qué?

What is his name? — ¿Cómo se llama?*

*Note that in most cases, cómo means “how,” but it’s used to mean “what” when asking for someone’s name. That’s because “¿Cómo se llama?” can literally be translated as “how do you call him?”

What are you doing? — ¿Qué haces?

 Which?  ¿Cuál?

Which one is mine? — ¿Cuál es la mía? or ¿Cuál es el mío?

Where? — ¿Dónde?

Where is my book? — ¿Dónde está mi libro?

Where are we? — ¿Dónde estamos?

When? — ¿Cuándo?

When are we leaving? — ¿Cuándo nos vamos?

When is his/her birthday? — ¿Cuándo es su cumpleaños?

How? — ¿Cómo?

How can you say that? — ¿Cómo puedes decir eso?

How are we getting home? — ¿Cómo vamos a llegar a casa?

Seriously? — ¿En serio?

Making Small Talk with Common Spanish Phrases

If you want to just chit-chat in Spanish, here are a few phrases you can use to shoot the breeze.

How about this weather? — ¿Qué tal este clima?

It’s so hot today! — ¡Hace tanto calor hoy!

It’s freezing outside. — Hace mucho frío ahí fuera.

There’s a big storm coming. — Se acerca una gran tormenta.

Have you read any good books lately? — ¿Has leído algún buen libro últimamente?

Have you seen that new film? — ¿Has visto esa nueva película?

What’s your favorite restaurant? — ¿Cuál es tu restaurante favorito?

What’s your favorite dessert? — ¿Cuál es tu postre favorito?

Where would you like to travel? — ¿A dónde te gustaría viajar?

What is your dream job? — ¿Cuál es el trabajo de tus sueños?

Learn some more common Spanish sayings by reading up on further phrases to use when you’re caught up in small talk.

Telling the Time

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Being able to ask someone the time—or respond to someone asking you the time—is essential when learning Spanish. Stopping a stranger to ask them the time is a great excuse to start a conversation, too.

What time is it? — ¿Qué hora es?

It is one o’clock — Es la una*

It is eight o’clock — Son las ocho

It is half past five — Son las cinco y media

It is quarter to 11 — Son las once menos cuarto

It is 10 minutes to seven — Son las siete menos diez

*Note that only the number one (“una”) uses the verb es (singular) to tell the time. All the other numbers use son (plural).

Travel Lingo

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When visiting a Spanish-speaking country, having a grasp of some key travel words or phrases will always come in handy.

Below are some often used phrases to help you find your way around. You’ll learn how to navigate a busy city street, a restaurant, the bar counter and public transportation systems.

Directions

I’m lost — Estoy perdido [m.], Estoy perdida [f.]

Where is…  — ¿Dónde está…?

the bus station —  la estación de autobuses

the subway — el metro

the bank — el banco

the supermarket — el supermercado

the museum — el museo

the hotel — el hotel

the restaurant — el restaurante

the airport — el aeropuerto

It is straight ahead — Está más adelante

It is to the left — Está a la izquierda

It is to the right —  Está a la derecha

It is around the corner — Está a la vuelta

At a restaurant

I would like to reserve a table for five people — Quisiera reservar una mesa para cinco personas

A table for two please — Una mesa para dos, por favor

The menu, please — La carta, por favor

I would like… — Quisiera…

Can you bring me a _______, please? — ¿Me trae un(a) _______, por favor?

Can I ask you for a _______? ¿Le pido un(a) _______?

A beer, please — Una cerveza, por favor

A glass of wine, please — Una copa de vino, por favor

I am hungry — Tengo hambre

I am thirsty — Tengo sed

Journeys 

At what time does the bus / train arrive? — ¿A qué hora llega el tren / el autobús?

A single ticket for _______, please — Un billete sencillo / pasaje de ida para _______, por favor

A round trip ticket for _______, please — Un pasaje de ida y vuelta* para _______, por favor

*You can use billete or boleto in place of pasaje in this phrase.

Have a safe journey! — ¡Buen viaje!

Have a great holiday! — ¡Felices vacaciones!

Common Spanish Phrases for Celebrations

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There’s nothing nicer than being able to give good wishes to your Spanish-speaking friends, or maybe to impress your English-speaking ones! Whatever the occasion, here’s a list of phrases to learn for those all-important moments:

Happy Valentine’s Day — ¡Feliz San Valentin!

Happy Easter — ¡Felices Pascuas!

Happy Halloween — ¡Feliz Noche de Brujas!

Happy Thanksgiving — ¡Feliz Día de Gracias!

Merry Christmas — ¡Feliz Navidad!

Happy New Year — ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy Epiphany / Three Kings — ¡Feliz Día de los Reyes Magos!

Happy Birthday — ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Happy Anniversary — ¡Feliz aniversario!

Cheers! — ¡Salud!

Congratulations! — ¡Felicitaciones!

 

Once you’ve gotten yourself totally on top of the essential language listed here, try adding some local phrases to the mix to sound even more natural. From there, it’s only a matter of getting lots of practice!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and use these common Spanish phrases to get rocking in any social situation you can imagine.

¡Mucha suerte! (Lots of luck!)

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.

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