It is important to at least know some phrases of the local language if you are new to a country. Even if you don’t know the language spoken there, you must know how to greet and meet people using some phrases and slang. So, if you plan to visit Spain, you should learn Spanish expressions used for daily life. The Spanish greetings go just beyond the expression “Hola”. In this article, we are going to see a variety of greetings and introductions you can use in the Spanish language. Some common Spanish greetings include “Buenos dias (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night) to greet at a different time of the day.
What are the best ways to learn Spanish greetings?
These super useful greetings can be learned from some authentic media. For example, you can learn from native Spanish videos like movie clips and vlogs on FluentU.
You can even create your own video flashcards with greetings to see other videos that include them. And you can test them using your personalised flashcards. Other resources from where you can learn Spanish greetings are available on some online websites, and audio and vocabulary files available online.
What are the most commonly used Spanish Greetings?
Greetings are a way to introduce and greet someone while you meet them respectfully. So, while you greet someone in Spanish, you need to pay attention to forms(formal or informal) and gender in the expressions you use. So, let’s look at some of the basic Spanish greetings, which are the colloquial and introduction phrases used by Spanish people:
- How to say hello in Spanish
When you enter a shop or a restaurant, etc., you get to meet new people and have to greet them by saying hello to make your first impression, you can use this Spanish phrase.
- Good morning in Spanish
Buenos dias: Good morning
It is used to say Good morning until it is noon. Its literal meaning is “Good day”.
- Good afternoon in Spanish
Buenas tardes: Good afternoon
It is a phrase to say “Good afternoon” to someone. In Spain, it may be used until it is evening.
- Good bye in Spanish
Buenas noches: Good evening
This phrase is used to say “Good night”. This phrase is also used when you would want to say “Good bye”
- Spanish greetings and responses
¿Cómo está? — How are you? (Formal)
When you are running a business, it is important to inquire about a person’s well-being before starting any business talk. This shows that you care about them. So, this Spanish greeting word is used to ask how he/she is feeling. It is reserved for older people as a sign of respect.
¿Cómo estás? — How are you? (Informal)
This is used as an informal phrase to ask someone how he/she is.
¿Qué hay de nuevo? – What’s new? (informal)
It is used to ask what’s happening now with someone. It is an informal means to talk to know about their wellness.
So, to respond to the above questions, these phrases are used:
Estoy estupendamente – I’m doing great
Estoy bien, gracias – I’m good, thank you
Estoy un poco cansado/a – I’m a little tired
Estoy mal – I feel unwell
Estoy enfermo, -a – I’m sick
Spanish Greetings in English
Now, let’s learn how to greet someone in Spanish.
Introductions in Spanish
The following phrases can be used to tell your name to someone or ask for their name when meeting for the first time:
¿Cuál es tu nombre? – What is your name? (informal)
¿Cuál es su nombre? – What is your name? (formal)
¿Cómo te llamas? – What is your name? (informal)
¿Cómo se llama? – What is your name? (formal)
Mi nombre es X. – My name is X.
Me llamo X. – My name is X.
Soy X. – I’m X
Goodbye in Spanish: When you want to end the conversation and say goodbye in Spanish, use these phrases:
Adiós – Goodbye
Hasta luego – See you later
Hasta pronto – See you soon
Hasta la próxima – Until next time
Chao – Bye
Cuídate/Cuídese – Take care of yourself
Que tengas un buen día – Have a good day (informal)
Hasta mañana – See you tomorrow
Nos vemos mañana – See you tomorrow
Where are you from in Spanish
When you visit Spain, local people are likely to ask you the question of “Where are you from?” with these Spanish expressions, you can answer their queries easily:
¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from? (informal)
¿De dónde es? – Where are you from? (formal)
Soy de Alemania. – I am from Germany.
¿Dónde vives? – Where do you live? (informal)
¿Dónde vive? – Where do you live? (formal)
Vivo en Valencia. – I live in Valencia.
All Spanish Greetings
Some more Spanish greetings to greet are as follows:
¿Cómo están? — How are you? (Plural)
This phrase is used for greeting a group of people. It is used to ask for the well-being of a group of people. The “n” letter is used to indicate that you addressed everyone while greeting
¿Qué tal? — How’s it going?
It can be used for someone, even in a non-business setting
¿Qué pasa? — What’s happening? / What’s up?
This expression is generally used when talking to your friends or someone younger. It is also used when someone wants to know if everything is right or if there is something wrong.
¿Qué hubo? — What happened?
It is used while talking with your friends and family. You just need to remember that “h” is silent while pronouncing it.
Bienvenidos — Welcome
While using this phrase, don’t remove the letter “s”’ if you want to address a group of people. Whereas you can drop the final letter s if addressing a single person. This is used to welcome someone into your house. If you are speaking to a female, use the word as “bienvenida”, but for a gentleman, use “bienvenido”.
Mi casa es su casa — My house is your house
This phrase is used to ease someone and make them feel comfortable in your home. Change “su” to “tu” if you have invited someone of your age
¿De dónde eres? — Where are you from?
Use this phrase when you want to ask someone of your age or younger than you, “where are they from?”. However, this phrase changes to “¿De dónde es usted?” for someone other than you or someone of authority.
¿Cómo te llamas? — What’s your name?
This phrase is used to ask someone their name. If you want to ask someone older, you can use this phrase instead “¿Cómo se llama?”
¿Aló? — Hello?
It is a common Spanish phrase used while answering a call. Depending on where you are travelling, you may hear “bueno,” “sí,” and “diga” to answer the phone call.
¿Adónde vas? — Where are you going?
This phrase is used to ask someone where they are going. Change it is “va” if talking informally or change to “vais” if talking to a group of people.
¿Dónde has estado? — Where have you been?
This phrase is used to greet someone when you have not seen them for a long time and to meet after a long time.
¿Dónde has estado? — Where have you been?
This phrase is used to greet someone after you have met them since ages.
Spanish Greetings chart
The above chart shows a list of some Spanish greetings.
Formal and informal ways of Spanish greetings
Formal Spanish greetings are used to greet in a very formal way without using a friendly tone and uses a different expression different from the informal one. Whereas, Informal Spanish greetings are used to greet informally in a friendly and casual way in situations where you only talk to your friends or relatives, someone whom you know personally. In contrast, formal greeting is used when talking to your seniors or employers.
Example of formal Spanish greetings : ¿De dónde es? – Where are you from? Informal way of Spanish greeting: ¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
Tips for learning Spanish greetings
Use the following tips to learn Spanish greetings:
- Watch movies and TV in Spanish
- Learn vocabulary from Spanish Novels
- Start thinking in Spanish about the words and phrases which you can use to greet and learn them
- To learn Spanish faster, use the technique of active study and immersion, where you can learn it by combining methods of studying and watching videos of Spanish shows
What are the basic Spanish introduction greetings used to greet people?
The basic greetings phrases used to greet for introducing include Hola (to say Hello), Buenos dias (to say Good morning), Buenas noches (to say Good evening), ¿Cómo está? (to say How are you?), etc
How do the formal and informal Spanish greeting phrases differ?
The spelling is slightly changed in a formal greeting from the informal one. For example, in informal greetings, we use ¿Cuál es tu nombre? to ask What is your name? and the expression ¿Cuál es su nombre? to ask What is your name?. the difference between these two is that “tu” changes to “su”.
What is the fastest way to learn Spanish?
If you want to learn Spanish fast, follow the active study and immersion technique, where you can learn Spanish by studying from books and watching Spanish movies or videos.