300+ Common Spanish Words and Phrases to Build Your Vocabulary

When it comes to travel, education, business situations and personal communication, common words rule the day.

Nearly any Spanish conversation calls for an understanding of basic vocabulary.

In your day-to-day interactions with friends, neighbors and co-workers, chances are that you’re using basic nouns, verbs, interrogative words and conversational phrases.

Let’s go over this list of over 300 words to start building your Spanish core vocabulary!


Most Common Spanish Words


There are certain Spanish words that you will hear pretty much everyday. Here are some of the most common Spanish words.

Hola hello
Adiós bye
No no
Por favor please
Gracias thank you
Lo siento I'm sorry
Perdón sorry/excuse me
¿Cómo estás? how are you?
De nada you're welcome
Yo quiero... I want...
Me gusta... I like...
No me gusta... I don't like...
El / La the
Yo I, me
Él he, him
Ella she, her
Usted you (formal)
Nosotros we
Vosotros you (plural)
Ellos / Ellas they, them
Ustedes You (plural)
Por / Para for

You can also check out this video with 300 Spanish words that you must know if you’re an absolute beginner:

Common Spanish Greetings and Conversational Phrases


If you want to start a conversation, you need to know how to greet someone properly. Then you’ll need to whip out some phrases that allow for basic communication in any situation. Learn these essentials phrases to speak with friends as well as strangers!

Buenos días good morning
Buenas tardes good afternoon
Buenas noches good night
¿Cómo te llamas? what’s your name?
Me llamo… my name is…
¿Qué tal? how are you?/how's it going?
¿Cómo te va? how's it going?
¿Qué pasa? what's up?
¿Cómo está usted? how are you? (formal)
Bien, gracias fine, thank you
¿Y tú? and you?
Estoy... I am...
Feliz happy
Triste sad
Estoy buscando... I'm looking for...
¿Qué haces? what are you doing?
¿Te gusta...? do you like...?

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Common Spanish Nouns


Nouns identify people, places or things, and they make up a large percentage of Spanish core vocabulary. They’re some of the most basic words and are used in nearly every sentence—so get to know a few of the most common ones!

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La casa the house
La mesa the table
La ventana the window
La silla the chair
La puerta the door
El reloj the clock/watch
El piso the floor
El coche / El carro the car
La calle the street
La tienda the store
La biblioteca the library
El libro the book
La playa the beach
La montaña the mountain
La iglesia the church
El museo the museum
La universidad the university
El aeropuerto the airport
La nariz the nose
Los ojos the eyes
La boca the mouth
La cabeza the head
El brazo the arm
La pierna the leg
La mano the hand
El pie the foot
El árbol tree
La flor flower
La vez time (as in “five times”)
La parte part
El tiempo time
La vida life
El gobierno government
El día day
El país country
Los años years

Common Spanish Verbs


Verbs describe actions and are essential words when speaking any language. Of course, you’ll need to learn all their conjugations, but when memorizing new verbs it’s always best to learn the infinitive

Abrir to open
Ayudar to help
Bailar to dance
Cambiar to change
Caminar to walk
Cantar to sing
Comenzar to begin
Contar to count/tell
Comprar to buy
Correr to run
Creer to think/believe
Dar to give
Deber to have to
Decir to say
Entender to understand
Estar to be
Estudiar to study
Gustar to like
Haber to have
Hablar to speak/talk
Hacer to do/make
Ir to go
Jugar to play
Llamar to call
Pagar to pay
Partir to leave/divide
Pedir to ask for
Poder to be able to
Poner to put
Preguntar to ask
Querer to want
Saber to know
Ser to be
Tener to have
Viajar to travel
Visitar to visit
Vivir to live

Common Spanish Adjectives and Colors

Grande big
Pequeño small
Caliente hot
Frío cold
Mojado wet
Seco dry
Izquierda left
Derecha right
Rojo red
Rosa pink
Naranja orange
Amarillo yellow
Verde green
Azul blue
Marrón brown
Negro black
Blanco white

Common Spanish Numbers

Uno one
Dos two
Tres three
Cuatro four
Cinco five
Seis six
Siete seven
Ocho eight
Nueve nine
Diez ten

Common Spanish Words for People


Of course you’ll probably need to know some words to describe people and animals, since those are things you’ll also probably encounter every day!

La persona the person
El hombre the man
La mujer the woman
El niño the boy
La niña the girl
La familia the family
El esposo the husband
La esposa the wife
El padre the father
La madre the mother
El hijo the son
La hija the daughter
El hermano the brother
La hermana the sister 
El abuelo the grandfather
La abuela the grandmother
El tío the uncle
La tía the aunt
El primo the cousin (m)
La prima the cousin (f)

Common Spanish Words for Animals

Perro Dog
Gato Cat
Pez Fish
Pájaro / Ave Bird
Conejo Rabbit
Hámster Hamster
Conejillo de indias / Cobayo Guinea pig
Tortuga Turtle
Hurón Ferret
Cerdo Pig
Caballo  Horse
Burro  Donkey
Vaca Cow
Pollo Chicken
Oveja Sheep
Cabra Goat
Pavo Turkey
Pato Duck
Búfalo Buffalo
Toro Bull
Buey Ox
Delfín Dolphin
Tiburón Shark
Ballena Whale
Estrella de mar Starfish
Calamar Squid
Anguila Eel
Caballo de mar Seahorse
Medusa Jellyfish
Foca Seal
Nutria Otter
Morsa Walrus
León marino Sea lion
Pingüino Penguin
Pulpo Octopus
Langosta Lobster
Cangrejo Crab
Gaviota Seagull
Pelícano Pelican
Camarón Shrimp
Manta raya Manta ray
Almeja Clam
Loro Parrot
Halcón Falcon
Águila Eagle
Cuervo Crow
Pinzón Finch
Pájaro carpintero Woodpecker
Avestruz Ostrich

Common Spanish Words Related to Food


Food is a big part of Spanish culture, so here are the essential words for you to order your favorite meal!

La comida Food
La bebida Drink
El pan Bread
La fruta Fruit
La verdura Vegetable
El huevo Egg
La carne Meat
El pollo Chicken
La carne de vaca Beef
La papa / La patata  Potato
El cerdo Pork
Los mariscos Seafood
El camarón Shrimp
El arroz Rice
Los frijoles Beans
El agua Water
El té Tea
El café Coffee
El jugo Juice
La leche Milk
La gaseosa Soft drink
El alcohol Alcohol
El vino Wine
La cerveza Beer
El desayuno Breakfast
El almuerzo Lunch
La cena Dinner
El restaurante Restaurant

Spanish Question Words


Asking questions is an important part of speaking any language. These are the words you need to ask questions in Spanish:

qué what
quién who
cuál which
cuándo when

how much / how many
cómo how
dónde where

Easy Spanish Words (Spanish-English Cognates!)


Cognates are words that have the same origin or root word. There are hundreds of Spanish and English cognates, but start with learning these as an excellent way to effortlessly increase your vocabulary!

Tren train
Necesario necessary
Ordinario ordinary
Público public
Minuto minute
Acción action
Nación nation
Organización organization
Tradicional traditional
Posible possible
Básico basic

Common Spanish Words for Days of the Week

Hoy es..  Today is...
Mañana es...  Tomorrow is...
Ayer fue...  Yesterday was...
El día  The day
La fecha The date
El próximo  Next
Que viene...  The upcoming...
Siguiente...  The folllowing...
Pasado Last
Anterior  Previous
Antier  / Anteayer  The day before yesterday
Pasado mañana The day after tomorrow
La semana  The week
El fin de semana  The weekend
Entre semana  Midweek
Cada / Todos los...  Every
El primer... del mes  The first __ of the month
De... a...  From __ to __
Desde... hasta...  From __ to __

Common Spanish Words for Traveling

La maleta suitcase
El regalo present
El avión plane
La escala stopover/layover
Viajar to travel
Descansar to rest
Dar un paseo to go for a walk
La playa beach
El hotel hotel

More Resources to Learn Spanish Vocabulary

Common Spanish words open doors by facilitating communication. The more common vocabulary you know, the better off you’ll be. 

This list is a great spot to start building your foundational vocabulary, but there are tons of great resources out there that can get you learning and practicing even more common Spanish words!

Here are some of the best resources to find more common Spanish vocabulary words to add to your word bank and build your core vocabulary!


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This site contains a comprehensive list of 1,000 useful Spanish words that cover a wide variety of topics.

If your intent is to grow your vocabulary and add common words to your skillset, then this is a super great resource.


This vocabulary resource provides several lists divided into topics with some of the most common Spanish words.

Whether you’re honing your skills on greetings, body parts, shopping lingo or a number of other subjects, all of the applicable vocabulary is pre-sorted and labeled.

The website’s interface is very simple, so it’s easy to navigate and find vocabulary about whatever you want.


This resource has 1,000 common Spanish words and is more interactive than just a list of vocabulary.

The words and translations are divided into lists of 20 random words alphabetically sorted.

Master words through quizzes with context
  • Learn words in the context of sentences
  • Swipe left or right to see more examples from other videos
  • Go beyond just a superficial understanding
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At the end of each list, learners are given the opportunity to take a quiz on what they’ve just learned. Each quiz asks learners to choose the correct translation of a word, so it’s a pretty straightforward, speedy process.

Quizzing yourself is a great method for gauging retention of these common words. 


Now that you have over 300 more words in your core Spanish vocabulary, you have a good basis for most conversations. 

So why not take a look at some not-so-common vocab, too?

Keep learning words and building that foundation!

And One More Thing…

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.

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, as you can see here:


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


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


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.


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 learning with the same video.

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