Greetings in Spanish
Ready to learn some Spanish? Before you even start to go down the road of figuring out how to have a proper conversation, we will cover some of the basics. To do this lets start with some Spanish greetings. A greeting in itself is used in every culture as a courtesy for one another. Between friends, family, or even strangers, greeting one another is a sign of respect. Especially in Spanish speaking countries, giving a proper hello all the way to goodbye is proper in any setting. Unfortunately it can get a little confusing when you mix in gender and formal/informal sayings, but we will do our best to break it down for you.
Formal Greetings in Spanish
Tu – Translated to mean “you”, this form is often used when talking to people you know such as friends and family.
Usted – Also meaning “you”, this form is used for people you don’t know or when talking to an elder as a sign of respect.
Now that we have that out of the way, here is a list of some of the more common greetings you can use:
Hello in Spanish – “Hola”
Hola is the most basic way of greeting someone in Spanish. However, do you typically say hello to everyone? Most likely not. There are hundreds of ways you can say hello in Spanish and just like English, there are certain situations where it is proper. However, if you are visiting a Spanish speaking country don’t worry if you stick to Hola. Natives appreciate you even attempting to use their language and they will understand what you are saying.
Along with saying hi, it’s also polite to offer either a kiss or handshake. Again this depends on if you are in a formal or informal setting and you can let the other party member start if you aren’t sure.
Good Morning in Spanish – Buenos Días
Another popular greeting is saying Good Morning to one another. This is very common in any country and can easily replace having to say hello in the mornings. If you find yourself going out to get a cup of coffee or heading to an early business meeting, use Buenos Dias with your friends or peers.
Good Afternoon in Spanish – Buenas Tardes
Just like saying Good Morning, as the day moves on you can start to say “Good Afternoon” as a greeting to one another. There isn’t really a set rule on the time of day, but most will start saying this after 2pm and before 9pm.
Thank You in Spanish – Gracias
Greetings aren’t just saying hi to one another. As you tour around, there are many situations where you should also say thank you in Spanish to be polite. From being dropped off by a taxi driver to being greeted at your hotel, use the Spanish word Gracias as a sign of thanks. Again there are many ways you can give thanks to one another, but this phrase is the most popular by far.
OK in Spanish – vale
As you start to pick up on more Spanish vocabulary, you may start to hear responses of vale, meaning ok. You may even find yourself starting to say it once someone helps you. This may not necessarily be a greeting, but it’s good to know when traveling.
You’re Welcome in Spanish – De Nada
Once you say thank you to someone, you will more then likely get a de nada in return. Thanking people and responding with you’re welcome are other common practices throughout the world, including Spanish speaking countries. Be sure to give thanks as well as respond in kind.
Have a Good Day in Spanish – Que tengas un buen día
It’s often polite to end a conversation either thanking the person or mentioning for them to have a good day. This is also customary in most countries so it shouldn’t be unnatural to finish your conversation with someone by using Que tengas un buen día.
Come Here in Spanish – Ven aca
You may find this phrase useful if you are traveling abroad and need help getting around. Instead of yelling at people for help, you can politely asking them to come here and start a conversation. Whether you need directions, want to ask a favor, or even help someone with their tie, asking for someone to come over will work every time.