Learn the Basic Expressions and Greetings in Spanish Language
So you already have some perfectly good reasons for learning Spanish … Maybe you want to be able to communicate with relatives, or to travel to Mexico, South or Central America, or Spain during your summer break, or prepare yourself for study in a Spanish-speaking country. Maybe a Spanish-speaking exchange student sparked your interest, or you have a friend who recommended it, or you just like the way the language sounds.
While it is certainly possible to travel to a Spanish speaking country without knowing any Spanish, your trip will in no way compare with the incredible adventure that awaits the traveler who speaks Spanish. If you only speak English, you will be forced to confine yourself to popular tourist resorts where nearly everyone speaks some English. But if you want to explore the area and get to know the local people, you need to know Spanish language. Even simple things, such as reading signs and menus, asking directions or telling a cab driver where you want to go requires some knowledge of the Spanish language. Hispanic people are amazingly generous, and if you speak Spanish you will find yourself being welcomed in a way that would never happen if you spoke only English. Simply put, when you travel to a Spanish speaking country, knowing the language will allow you to move from the role of observer to that of an active participant. Whether you’re having a hard time coping with Spanish in school, or you’re dealing with many Spanish speakers in the office or business, or you simply like adding another entry on the “languages spoken” part on your résumé, you have chosen the right report to help you get started learning the Spanish language.
Getting Started with Greetings and Basic Expressions in Spanish language
The first step to learning a new language is being familiar with its greetings and most basic phrases. Listed below are everyday expressions in Spanish words, with pronunciation guides, to help you enunciate them properly. Please be reminded that when written, the Spanish language use both the inverted question mark (¿) and inverted exclamation mark (¡) at the beginning of every interrogative and exclamatory sentence, respectively.
¡Hola! is the most basic Spanish expression in greeting other people. It means ‘hi’ or ‘hello’
¡Buenos dias! ¡Buenas tardes! ¡Buenas noches!
[bwe-nos di-yahs] [bwe-nas tar-des] [bwe-nas noh-ches]
‘Good morning’ ‘Good afternoon’ ‘Good evening/night’
These are the daily or timely greetings in Spanish. Similar to English, they are composed of two words, namely bien which means ‘good’ and the Spanish words for morning, afternoon, and night.
¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo se llama?
[ko-mote lya-mas] [ko-mose lya-mah]
‘What is your name?’ ‘What is your name?’ (Formal)
Literally, these phrases mean ‘How do you call yourself?’ The former is being used during informal or casual conversations, like when asking a lost kid what his name is, when meeting new acquaintances in school or organizations, or when getting to know a person younger or the same age as you are. The latter is being used during formal instances, like when talking to an elder or anybody with high societal and political positions like professors, mayor, or your friend’s mother. The literal translation of “What is your name in Spanish?” is…
¿Qué es tú nombre?
[ke es tu nom-bre]
‘What is your name?’
If someone asks for your name using any of the above questions, you may also respond with various answers:
Yo soy [name] Me llamo [name] Mi nombre es [name]
[yo soy … ] [me lya-mo … ] [mi nom-bre es … ]
‘I am …’ ‘I am called …’ ‘My name is …’
Though there are variations when telling your name in Spanish, all are accepted and are used to introduce yourself to other people. However, be reminded that the first introduction is usually a response to the direct question ¿Quién eres tú? or ‘Who are you?’; the second introduction is the most common response among Spanish; and the third introduction is used when giving emphasis to what your name is (i.e. My name is [name1], not [name2]).
¿Qué tal? ¿Como estas?
‘What’s up?’ ‘How are you?’
Both expressions above are used for asking how another person is today, what he has been doing lately, how he is feeling, and the likes.
Note: When talking formally, use esta instead of estas in the latter expression.
[(muy) byen] [(muy) mal]
‘(Very) Good’ ‘(Very) Bad’
Questions on knowing ‘how you are doing’ can be answered depending on how you are actually feeling during the moment you are asked. Hence, from the options above, you can reply with a good, a very good, a bad, or a very bad.
Por favor is the Spanish way of showing respect when asking a favor. It can be used either at the beginning of your sentence or at the end.
To Remember Easily: Don’t you usually say please when you ask por (for) a favor?
Gracias De nada
[gra-thyas] [de na-dha]
‘Thank you’ ‘You’re welcome’
To Remember Easily: Gracia, without /s/, is ‘grace’ or ‘blessing’ in English. Don’t you say thank you for all the gracia(s) you receive? De nada literally means ‘it’s nothing.’ When it’s nothing, you don’t have to mention it.
¡Adios! or ‘goodbye’ is used when you bid farewell to somebody you know – whether personally or through the telephone. It’s like wishing that God be with the other person as he continues his journey as a diós literally means ‘to God.’
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