Spanish Language Survival Kit - Most common Spanish Phrases to Learn

    Posted: February 25 2021

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    Most common Spanish Phrases to learn

    Picture this: You’re in Spain, enjoying the beautiful summer sun. COVID is a long-distant memory. It’s early evening and you’ve made friends with a few of the locals and try to impress them with a conversation in your beginner-level Spanish. You sit down at the beach bar, ready to impress them with your newly-learned phrases. Only, you get tongue tied and don’t know where to start. You feel yourself going red (and it’s not because of the sun!)

    Conversing in Spanish can be tricky when you’re just starting out. To help you out, we’ve put together a Spanish Language survival kit with the most useful words and phrases that you’ll need!

     

    TOP TIPS for when you’re just starting out with learning conversational Spanish:

     

    Don’t worry about grammar

    We know, it's weird to hear from someone that claims to know their stuff about languages! In fact, studies have shown that diving into grammar (and as such, the theories and reasoning behind why words and sentences are formed in the way that they are) too early can actually slow down your progress. 

    It might seem counterintuitive, but when you’re just starting out, the most important thing is to get out of your comfort zone. If that means throwing yourself head-first into language learning, then go for it! Fine-tuning the grammar can come later - connections with people are more beneficial.  

    Think of it this way: You didn’t learn to swim by reading a manual. In reality, that would be really difficult. Because even if you understand the principles of kicking your legs, moving your arms and taking deep breaths, when you jump into the water, you won’t know what’s hit you (and you’ll probably end up with a mouth full of pool water). 

     

    Laugh at your mistakes

    If your gaffe gives someone the giggles, then seeing the funny side together might just help you make a new friend. Also, laughing releases dopamine, which some studies say can improve your ability to remember stuff (which probably explains why you can quote The Simpsons by heart. Or Friends. Or Monty Python).

    The memory of the time you accidentally asked an Italian colleague to “passare il pene” (pass the penis) instead of “passare il pane” (pass the bread) is definitely going to stick around more easily than an uneventful dinner (and you definitely won’t make that mistake twice!).

     

    Conversing in Spanish

    Below, we’ve listed some of the most common phrases in general conversation, along with words that we think should be added to your very own survival kit! Why not start a new document or note in your phone with a select handful of these, and try and start learning? You’ll master them before you know it. Plus, for loads more useful Spanish phrases after you’ve mastered these, head to our Spanish Video Phrasebook!

     

    How to say: Greetings and Names

    Greetings are useful to know in Spanish, whether you’re saying good morning, good evening, a formal ‘hello’ or a more casual ‘hey’. There are a few different ways to say hello and greet people. Knowing someone’s name is also handy, especially if you’re a Spanish beginner, you can get someone’s attention easily if you need a little help with the language. 

    Hi / Hola

    hola-1

     

    Hello / Hola

    hola1

     

    Good morning / Buenos dias

    buenos_dias-1

     

    Nice to meet you / Encantada/o de conocerte

    encantada

     

    What's/is your name / Cómo te llamas

    como_te_llamas

     

    My name is / Me llamo

    me_llamo

     

     

    Name / Nombre

     

    Nickname / Apodo

     

    Last name / Segundo nombre

     

    Middle name / Apellido

     

    His name is / Se llama

     

    Her name is / Se llama

     

     

     

     

     
     

    How to say: Conversation starters/Open ended questions and phrases

    Once you’re feeling a little more comfortable with the language, these phrases can help start and steer a conversation. You can also find out a lot about someone by asking simple questions!

    Checking in to see how someone is doing is another useful set of Spanish phrases that you can learn. 

     

    How are you? / Cómo estás

    Cómo_estás

     

    What's up / Qué pasa

    Qué_pasa

     

    Where are you from? / De donde eres

    De_donde_eres

     

    Where do you live? / Dónde vives

    Dónde_vives

     

     

     

    Where are you? / Dónde estás 

     

     

    Where are you going? / A dónde vas

     

    How are you doing today? / Cómo estás hoy

     

    How is your day? / Cómo va tu día

     

     

    How to: End a conversation

    Just as greeting someone politely is super important, knowing how to say goodbye (and knowing what variations to use at different times) in Spanish is also useful knowledge. 

    Goodnight / Buenas noches

    Buenas_noches

    See you later / Hasta luego

    Hasta_luego

     

     

    Goodbye / Adiós

    Adiós

     

    Bye / Adiós

    Adiós1

     

     

     

    Good afternoon / Buenas tardes

     

     

     

    Have a good day / Que tengas un buen día

     

    Have a great day / Que tengas un día estupendo

     

    See you soon / Hasta pronto



    How to say: Thank you 

    Politeness is key when you’re learning a new language! If you’re struggling or need help finishing a sentence, it’s likely that a native speaker will help you if you’re polite. Saying thank you in Spanish is a useful skill that can serve you well in many situations.

     

    Thank you / Gracias

    gracias

    Thank you very/so much / Muchas gracias

    Muchas_gracias

     

     

    Thank you my friend / Gracias amigo

     

     

    No thank you / No gracias

     


    Spanish variations:

    Spanish has a lot of different variants, the most popular is Mexican Spanish with a whopping 121 million speakers! We’ve selected a few of the words and phrases from above and translated them into their Mexican Spanish variations, so they’ll be super handy to also know when chatting with your Mexican friends!

    NOTE: These are really casual and informal, so don’t use these in a workplace setting! 

     

    Hello / ¿Qué onda?/ Aló

    How are you / ¿Cómo te va?

     

    My name is / Me llamo

    (This is the same as Spanish and fine to use in any scenario)

     

    Where are you from? / De donde eres

    (This is the same as Spanish and fine to use in any scenario)

     

    Cool / Chido

     

    Goodbye / Ahí nos vemos/Bai

     


    Other useful phrases:

    To help your conversation flow nicely, we’ve included a few ‘miscellaneous’ phrases we think you should add to your Spanish Language survival kit! 

     

    Okay, Alright / Vale
    Vale

     

    How’s it going?/How are you? / ¿Qué tal?
    ¿Qué_tal?

     

     

    Nice to meet you / Encantada/encantado

    encantada-1

     

     

    I love it / Me encanta

    Me_encanta

     

    I’m sorry / Lo siento

    lo_siento-2

     

     

     

     

    I don’t like it / No me gusta

     

    Pardon? / ¿Cómo dice?

     

    So there we have it! A clear and comprehensive start to your ultimate Spanish Survival Kit of phrases. Head to our social media and let us know if there’s any phrases we’ve missed, or your favourite word or sentence from this list. If you found this page useful, check out our other resources for learning Spanish!