Spanish is beautiful language that is spoken by more than 559 million people worldwide. Not only that, Spanish is also the official language in 20 countries and one unofficial territory as well as it is widely spoken in various other countries such as the United States, for example, making it the world’s fourth most spoken language. Whether you’re looking to learn Spanish as a second language, or just want to know a few basic phrases while travelling in Spain or Latin America, this article includes a list of the most basic words and phrases in Spanish. Vámonos!
101 Basic Spanish Words You Should Learn Before Starting Out
While English is a language that is widely spoken across the world, not everyone can speak it. So, it's just better to be prepared. If you're planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, it would be a great idea for you to learn some basic Spanish words and phrases to help you as you travel around. Below is a list of useful Spanish words and phrases to help you get started, and who knows? Perhaps this list will inspire you to learn more than just the basics in Spanish!
How to say 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' (and other greetings) in Spanish
No matter what your language learning goals in Spanish are, it’s always polite and considerate to greet Spanish-speaking locals in their first language. Not only does greeting a native Spanish speaker in Spanish show how friendly and approachable you are, but it also shows locals that you’re making an effort to communicate with them in their own language. Remember, not everyone will know how to speak English, so why not try saying ‘hello’ in Spanish first? Here are some ways to greet the locals:
1. Hola: Hello
2. Buenas: Hi (less formal)
3. Buenos días: Good morning
4. Buenas tardes: Good afternoon
5. Buenas noches: Good night
6. Chao/Adios: Goodbye
7. Hasta luego / pronto: See you later / soon
8. Hasta mañana: See you tomorrow
9. Nos vemos: See ya
10. Que tengas un buen día: Have a great day
Saying “please” and “thank you” (and other polite words)
No matter what language you speak, it’s always a good idea to use your manners. In addition to using basic greetings, you can very easily incorporate the following words into your Spanish vocabulary:
11. Por favor: Please
12. Gracias / muchas gracias: Thank you / Thank you very much
13. De nada: You’re welcome
14. Con permiso: Excuse me
15. Disculpe / perdón: Sorry
How to Introduce Yourself to Others
Latinos and Spaniards are typically known for being super warm and friendly people. If you’re feeling more daring and want to go beyond using basic greetings, you can always strike up a conversation with a local Spanish-speaker. Here are some great words and phrases to help you introduce yourself, ask questions, and start up a conversation with someone.
16. Me llamo / mi nombre es: My name is…
17. Cúal es tu nombre / Cómo te llamas: What is your name? (informal)
18. Cúal es su nombre / Cómo se llamas: What is your name? (formal)
19. Mucho gusto: Nice to meet you
20. Igualmente: Likewise (in response to mucho gusto)
21. Quien: Who?
22. Qué: What?
23. Dónde: Where?
24. Cuando: When?
25. Por qué: Why?
26. Cómo: How?
27. Cuánto cuesta: How much?
28. A qué hora? At what time?
Phrases for starting basic conversations
29. Cómo estás/ Qué tal: How are you?
30. Como te va: How’s it going?
31. Como te vas: How are you doing?
32. Qué pasa: What’s up?
33. Estoy bien / mal: I’m good / bad
34. De dónde eres: Where are you from?
35. Soy de: I’m from…
a) Los Estados Unidos: The United States
b) China: China
c) Japón: Japan
d) Alemania: Germany
e) Francia: France
f) Inglaterra: England
g) Polonia: Poland
How to Count Numbers in Spanish
While you won’t need to know every number in Spanish, it may be beneficial to know basic numbers in Spanish to help you travel around.
36. Una/o: One
37. Dos: Two
38. Tres: Three
39. Quatro: Four
40. Cinco: Five
41. Seis: Six
42. Siete: Seven
43. Ocho: Eight
44. Nueve: Nine
45. Diez: Ten
46. Viente: Twenty
47. Treinta: Thirty
48. Cuarenta: Forty
49. Cincuenta: Fifty
50. Sesenta: Sixty
51. Setenta: Seventy
52. Ochenta: Eighty
53. Noventa: Ninety
54. Cien: One hundred
Shopping Phrases In Spanish
Exercise your Spanish in the stores and local market with these phrases and questions:
55. La tienda: The store
56. Dónde está la tienda? Where is the store?
57. Me gusta(n): I like…
a) Esta camisa: This shirt
b) Estos pantalones: These pants
c) Este suéter: That sweater
d) Este abrigo: That coat
e) Esta billetera: That wallet
f) Este bolso: That purse
g) Estos zapatos: These shoes
58. Puedo probarmelo: Can I try it on?
59. Tienes esto en otro tamaño: Do you have this in another size?
Spanish Phrases for Dining Out
Latin food is arguably some of the best food in the world as it captures and expresses the cultures of many different Latin countries through colourful dishes and bold flavours. When travelling around in Spain or Latin America, be adventurous by trying some of the local dishes! Below are some useful phrases for ordering your meal.
60. Restaurante: Restaurant
61. Desayuno: Breakfast
62. Almuerzo / comida: Lunch
63. Cena: Dinner
64. Me gustaria pedir / comer: I would like to order / eat
65. Le pido por: I ask you for
66. Por favor me da: Please give me
67. Cerveza: Beer
68. Vino tinto: Red wine
69. Vino blanco: White wine
70. Agua: Water
71. Jugo / Zumo: Juice
72. Té: Tea
73. Café: Coffee
74. Sopa: Soup
75. Carne: Meat
76. Pescado: Fish
77. Pan: Bread
78. Queso: Cheese
79. Helado: Ice cream
80. Chocolate: Chocolate
81. Dónde está este restaurante? Where is this restaurant?
82. Puedes traerme la cuenta, por favor: Can you bring me the bill, please? (informal)
83. Me trae la cuenta, por favor: Can you bring me the bill, please? (formal)
Accomodations, Transportation, and Asking for Directions in Spanish
It's easy to forget how often we ask for directions when arriving in a new place. Whether you're looking to get a taxi from the airport or staying in a relaxing resort and want to venture outside its borders for a few hours, it's always useful to have some basic vocabulary and phrases in your back pocket to help you get to where you want to go.
84. Tren: Train
85. Avión: Airplane
86. Billete / boleto: Ticket
87. Un boleto, por favor. One ticket, please.
88. Adónde va este autobús? Where does this bus go?
89. El Hotel: The Hotel
90. El Hostel: The Hostel
91. La playa: The beach
92. El supermercado: The supermarket
93. El centro commercial: The shopping mall
94. Sigue recto: Continue straight
95. Gira a la derecha: Turn right
96. Gira a la izquierda: Turn left
97. A qué distancia está: How far is…
a) El supermercado: The supermarket
b) El centro commercial: The shopping mall
c) La playa: The beach
How to Ask for Help in Spanish
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself lost or in an emergency as you travel around. But in the case that you do find yourself lost, needing help, or in an emergency, you can use the following phrases to help express yourself in Spanish:
98. Puedes ayudarme, por favor: Can you help me, please?
99. Estoy perdido/a. Necesito ayuda: I’m lost. I need help.
100. Me siento enfermo/a. Dónde está el hospital? I feel sick. Where is the hospital?
101. Necesito llamar a la policia/ una ambulancia: I need to call the police/an ambulence.
How to Start Learning Spanish
While this comprehensive list is meant to help expose you to some basic vocabulary and phrases in Spanish, we ultimately hope that it will inspire and encourage you to continue learning Spanish. As mentioned before, Spanish is a beautiful language that is rich with culture and meaning, and it is fairly easy for English speakers to learn. And if you do find Spanish appealing, just know that you can always continue your language-learning journey with one of our Spanish-speaking Speechling tutors.