Common Spanish phrases help you in any social situation

125+ Spanish Phrases for Your First Conversation: Start Speaking Now!

Even after all your study, the idea of having a conversation in Spanish can be daunting

But eventually you need to just do it, and it pays to be prepared for this inevitable situation: today we’ll give you over 125 common Spanish phrases to help you slide into your first conversation with ease.

In this post you’ll learn useful everyday phrases for greetings and farewells, introducing yourself, making small talk, asking questions, asking for help and more.

Contents

Essential Spanish Phrases to Learn First

Not sure where to start? These Spanish survival words and phrases will help you out in a pinch. And, since we’re all friends here, we’ll use the tú (informal) forms in most of our phrases that address a conversation partner.

  • Hello — ¡Hola! 
  • How are you? — ¿Cómo estás? [formal], ¿Qué tal? [informal]
  • Do you speak English? — ¿Hablas inglés?
  • What is your name? — ¿Cómo te llamas?
  • My name is … — Me llamo
  • Goodbye — Adiós
  • Yes —
  • No — No
  • Thank you — Gracias
  • You’re welcome — De nada
  • Excuse me — Disculpe [to get someone’s attention], Perdón [to excuse yourself]
  • Sorry! — ¡Lo siento!
  • Where’s the bathroom? — ¿Dónde está el baño?
  • I don’t know — No sé

In the video below you can hear how many of these phrases are pronounced, plus some extra phrases that we’ll be covering a bit later!

Spanish Greetings 

The following phrases are sentence starters, what you’ll use to lead into the conversation: greeting people and asking how they are. 

  • 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]
  • 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
  • How have you been? — ¿Cómo has estado?
  • How’s it going? — ¿Cómo te va?
  • What’s up? — ¿Qué pasa?

Spanish Phrases for Small Talk

Saying How You’re Doing

  • 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

Common Questions for Small Talk

  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Have you read any good books lately? — ¿Has leído algún buen libro últimamente?
  • Have you seen that new film? — ¿Has visto esa nueva película?
  • Where would you like to travel? — ¿A dónde te gustaría viajar?
  • What is your dream job? — ¿Cuál es el trabajo de tus sueños?

Expressions and Filler Words and Phrases

  • Let’s see — A ver
  • Seriously? — ¿En serio?
  • Oh my god — Dios mío 
  • Really? — ¿De verdad? 
  • Don’t worry about it — No pasa nada
  • No problem — No hay problema
  • Of course — Por supuesto 
  • Don’t worry! — ¡No te preocupes!
  • So — Así que… Entonces… 
  • Well — Pues
  • Well then — Bueno
  • That’s a shame — Es una lástima
  • Good luck! — ¡Suerte!

Learning filler words is a sure way to make your Spanish sound more natural! In the video below, you’ll hear some of what we’ve just shown you plus a few extras if you’re left wanting more. 

Getting to Know People in Spanish

spanish phrases

Phrases for Getting to Know People

  • Where are you from? — ¿De dónde eres?; ¿De dónde sos? [Argentina, Uruguay and countries where vos is used instead of ]
    • I am from [country] … — Soy de… 
    • I am [nationality] … — Soy
      If you don’t know how to say your nationality, check this post about talking about different nationalities in Spanish. 
  • What do you do (for work)? — ¿Qué haces? or ¿A qué te dedicas?
    • I’m a… [job title] — Soy
  • What do you like to do in your free time? — ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?
    • I like [verb] … Me gusta

Questions for Getting to Know People

  • 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
  • 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?

Questioning in Spanish

Question Words

The following are the most common Spanish question words, and some examples on how to use them:

  • 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?*
    • 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?

*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?”

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?
  • I’m lost — Estoy perdido [m.], Estoy perdida [f.]
  • I don’t understand — No entiendo
  • 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?
  • Quick! — ¡Rápido!

Asking For and Telling the Time

spanish phrases

  • 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).

There’s a bit more to telling the time than what we’ve shown here, so if you’d like to explore that topic more, check out the video below!

Travel Spanish Phrases

spanish phrases

Below are some often used phrases to help you find your way around.

  • Where is…  — ¿Dónde está…?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!

Spanish Phrases for Celebrations

spanish phrases

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!

Spanish Farewells

  • 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!

Resources for Practicing New Vocabulary

There are quite a few new words and phrases on this list. Once you’ve gone through them, you’ll want to start incorporating these into your study sessions. Here are some resources that can help you get started:

  • Anki: With Anki, you can create flashcards using a variety of media. Anki offers you an app or website to use. You can organize your decks and set study reminders, as well as share your deck or find decks created by other users.
  • FluentU: The FluentU program lets you watch authentic Spanish videos with interactive subtitles. Search for a word to find videos where the word is used in context. You can also create flashcards from the words, and study them with personalized quizzes.
  • Evernote: With this app and site, you can create ”notebooks” and add as many pages to them as you want. You can add any words you want to learn and organize them to fit your study style. Building new sentences or stories around these words can help you grasp their meaning more quickly.

 

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!)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Close