Back to Basics: Easy Spanish Words for Every Occasion

Just because something’s “easy” doesn’t mean it’s forgettable!

Whatever your reason for learning Spanish, you’ll always depend on the simple basics of the language.

When you fully grasp the easy words of Spanish, you can navigate everyday conversations, respond to questions appropriately and express crucial needs without trouble.

Let’s check out the essentials, so you can grab them and go!


Easy Spanish Words for Every Occasion

Breaking these words into categories will make them simpler to memorize. Take your time learning them—remember, easy does it!

Greetings and Introductions

Regardless of your motivation for learning Spanish, you’ll want to be able to greet others and introduce yourself. After all, communication is key, isn’t it?

Spanish is pretty straightforward when it comes to the meet-and-greet. Learn a couple of phrases to set yourself up for friend-making success!

Hola. (Hello.)
Buenos días. (Good morning.)
Buenas tardes. (Good afternoon.)
Buenas noches. (Good evening.)
Me llamo… (My name is…)
Estoy… (I am…)
Feliz (Happy)
Triste (Sad)
¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
Adiós. (Goodbye.)

Utilizing these greetings is a snap. When you approach someone, smile and say ¡Hola! (Hello!) to get the conversational ball rolling!

Polite Expressions

Whether you’re browsing through a Spanish market, traveling to a new city or hosting Spanish-speaking friends at your house, you’ll need to grab some polite, informal expressions.

In a restaurant, shop or anywhere that requires you to express a preference, you’ll want to remember these phrases. They’ll take you far—and with only a few words!

The first three are mandatory in any language. Fortunately, they’re very memorable in Spanish—you probably already have them in your skill set!

Por favor. (Please.)
Gracias. (Thank you.)
¡De nada! (You’re welcome!)

Shopping or dining? Let the staff or vendor know precisely what you do—and don’t!—like.

Yo quiero… (I want…)
Me gusta… (I like…)
No me gusta… (I don’t like…)

These may come in handy as well.

¡Estoy de acuerdo! (I agree!)
Lo siento. (I’m sorry.)

Super Basic Words

Think about how children learn languages. They identify the things around them, don’t they?

Learning the names of items that impact your day-to-day situation is an ideal way to build your core Spanish vocabulary.

A few that might take you back to your childhood learning days…

Perro (Dog)
Gato (Cat)
Casa (House)
Coche (Car)
Árbol (Tree)
Flor (Flower)
Comida (Food)

Combining some of the polite expressions we’ve already discussed, it’s possible to form uncomplicated sentences with these simple words.

Notice that the use of masculine and feminine articles changes based on the noun it precedes.

Also, this is a great time to touch on quantity and gender rules. Every Spanish noun is either singular or plural and masculine or feminine, and the article used to identify the noun corresponds to that.

El (the) and un (a/an) cover masculine, singular nouns. Los (those) and unos (some) cover masculine, plural nouns.

La (the) and una (a/an) apply to feminine, singular nouns. Las (those) and unas (some) apply to feminine, plural nouns.

Let’s see some of these articles and basic words in action!

Yo quiero un perro. (I want a dog.)
Yo quiero una casa. (I want a house.)
Yo quiero comida, por favor. (I want food, please.)
Me gusta el coche. (I like the car.)
No me gusta el árbol. (I don’t like the tree.)

Helpful Adjectives

When using adjectives to describe nouns, remember that word order is important. It seems tricky at first but, trust me, you won’t have any trouble with this rule if you just focus on getting the noun into play before describing it!

Colors Clarify!

Conversations become so much more vivid when we use colors to describe what we’re seeing. Also, being able to point out a certain color when you’re shopping, or even just wandering through a museum or park, is beneficial.

Just a reminder: Spanish color words are placed after the noun they describe.

Rojo (Red)
Rosa (Pink)
Naranja (Orange)
Amarillo (Yellow)
Verde (Green)
Azul (Blue)
Marrón (Brown)
Negro (Black)
Blanco (White)

La casa rosa (The pink house)
Las casas rosadas (The pink houses)

El perro marrón (The brown dog)
Los perros marrones (The brown dogs)

Numbers Count!

Pulling some basic numbers into your vocabulary can pay off. Use them to make phone calls, locate addresses and much more.

Uno (One)
Dos (Two)
Tres (Three)
Cuatro (Four)
Cinco (Five)
Seis (Six)
Siete (Seven)
Ocho (Eight)
Nueve (Nine)
Diez (Ten)

Some Useful Description Words

Description words, called adjectives, add depth to conversations. Just a few can definitely liven up your speaking and listening skills!

In Spanish, adjectives typically follow the nouns they describe—but you remember that rule from our chat about colors, right? Here, too, you’ll need to be mindful of quantity and gender pairing.

Grande (Big)
Pequeña (Small)
Caliente (Hot)
Frío (Cold­­)
Mojado (Wet)
Seco (Dry)
Izquierda (Left)
Derecha (Right)

El perro grande (The big dog)
Dos coches pequeños (Two small cars)

Words That Ask Questions

Believe it or not, some of the easiest Spanish words to learn are those that ask questions. These words are sometimes referred to as “interrogative” words because their function is to gather information.

The best way to learn anything is by asking questions! Use these easy words to grow your skills in speaking, writing, reading and listening in Spanish, but also to learn about Spanish culture.

Ask Spanish-speaking friends lots of questions to learn about food, entertainment, city hot spots and anything else that crosses your mind. You’ll learn so much, gain insight and pick up idioms and local slang from your new friends.

The last example question on this list is one I was asked just yesterday in flawless Spanish by a three-year-old who is set on learning as much as she possibly can! I’m including it here to remind you that all questions are worthwhile!

¿Qué…? (What?)
¿Quién…? (Who?)
¿Cuándo…? (When?)
¿Dónde…? (Where?)
¿Por qué…? (Why?)
¿Qué es? (What is it?)
¿Quién eres tú? (Who are you?)

¿Cuándo llega el coche? (When does the car arrive?)
¿Dónde está el gato blanco? (Where is the white cat?)
¿Porque el cielo es azul? (Why is the sky blue?)


Children quickly learn to communicate with only essential vocabulary. Like kids, you can grab easy words, questions and phrases like these and use them as building blocks for more intricate communication.

You’ll need a greater range of words to be truly skilled in Spanish, but this is a solid starting point!

Use easy Spanish words to experience childlike learning, grow your vocabulary and communicate efficiently. And remember, practice is the absolute key to ensure your basic knowledge will transform into truly functional skills.

If you need some help in getting consistent vocabulary practice, FluentU is a solid option. You’ll be able to learn vocabulary words in the context of authentic videos intended for native Spanish speakers. You can instantly look up the definition of any word you encounter with interactive subtitles. And then you can commit these words to memory with personalized word lists and multimedia flashcards. 

Speaking Spanish opens up so many exciting opportunities, so nail down the basics and take full advantage of the adventures awaiting you.

Whatever your reason for learning this gorgeous language, rest assured that with a few dozen uncomplicated words you’re ready to roll!

Good luck—and have fun!

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

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe