Greetings in Spanish are pretty much alike many other languages, including English. Usually people will always say they’re fine if you are not well acquainted, even if they’re not ok. It is almost a cliché to start a conversation with anyone.
When using greetings in Spanish it is important to pay attention to forms (formal/ informal) and gender for some expressions (masculine/ feminine). Formal phrases are used with strangers, in places or situations that are naturally formal (at government bodies, speaking with clients, etc) and with older people. If you’re not sure when to use a formal or informal expression, just use the formal one. Sometimes people will tell you that you don’t have to be formal. For this purpose, in Spanish language there is the verb “tutear“, that has no translation in English. “Tutear” means to use the informal way when speaking with the other person, with the pronouns in the second person: “tú” (singular) and “vosotros” (plural). They might say “Puedes tutearme”, meaning “You can treat me informally”. If you feel that it is appropriate, you also can ask the other person “¿Le puedo tutear?”. Rarely they’ll say no, and probably you’ll hear “Por supuesto” (“of course”), or “¡claro!” (sure!).
Spain is a country that receives millions of tourists a year, so we’ve also included a few phrases just in case they ask you where you’re from (very usual), but it will be covered in deep in another lesson.
|English||Spanish – Informal||Spanish – Formal|
|Welcome||Bienvenido / a /|
|Good morning||Buenos días|
|Good afternoon/ Good evening||Buenas tardes|
|Good evening/ good night||Buenas noches|
|How are you?||¿Cómo estás?||¿Cómo está usted?|
|What’s up?||¿Qué tal?|
|What’s up?||¿Qué pasa … ?|
|Fine (thanks), and you?||Bien (gracias), ¿y tú?||Bien (gracias), ¿y usted?|
|Very well||Muy bien|
|I’m glad for you||Me alegro|
|As usual||Como siempre|
|As usual||Voy tirando|
|So, so||Regular / así, así /|
|So, so||Más o menos|
|Not very well||No muy bien|
|I’m sorry. May I help you?||Lo siento. ¿Te puedo ayudar en algo?||Lo siento. ¿Le puedo ayudar en algo?|
|Don’t worry||No te preocupes||No se preocupe|
|What’s your name?||¿Cómo te llamas?||¿Cómo se llama (usted)?|
|My name is (Maria) And you?||Me llamo (María) ¿y tú?||Me llamo (María ¿y usted?|
|I’m (Maria)||Soy (María) ¿y tú?||Soy (María) ¿y usted?|
|Nice to meet you||Encantado/ a de conocerte||Encantado/ a de conocerle|
|Nice to greet you||Encantado/ a de saludarte||Encantado/ a de saludarle|
|Pleased (to meet you)||Es un placer (conocerte)||Es un placer (conocerle)|
|It was a pleasure (to meet you)||Ha sido un placer (conocerte)||Ha sido un placer (conocerle)|
|Likewise||Lo mismo digo|
|Where are you from?||¿De dónde eres?||¿De dónde es usted?|
|I’m from… (country)||Soy de (Inglaterra)|
|I’m.. (nationality)||Soy (inglesa)|
|Well, I have to go||Bueno, me tengo que ir|
|I have to leave||Tengo que marcharme|
|ok||De acuerdo / Vale /|
|See you!||Nos vemos|
|See you soon||Hasta pronto|
A dialogue with typical greetings:
“Hasta pronto” means literally “see you soon”. You say it when you expect to see the other person in a short period of time, usually defined (for example, if you’ll meet again later in the day).
“Hasta la vista” means “so long”, and it’s used when you don’t know when you will meet the other person again.
The difference between “hasta luego” and “adiós” is less clear. Both refer to a short lack of time until the next meeting, but some people think that “hasta luego” is more polite. However, in Spain is very common to alternate both when leaving: if you say “hasta luego” the other will say “adiós” and vice-versa. It’s just a habit.
As you’ll see in future lessons, being polite in Spanish it’s many times not a matter of the words you say, but HOW you say them. A kind a sweet “adiós” will always sound more polite than a rude “hasta luego”.
0 of 4 questions completed
Exercise: Greetings in Spanish
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading...
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You have to finish following quiz, to start this quiz:
0 of 4 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 points, (0)
Mark one or more answers:
_______, ¿que tal?
Answer in Spanish:
Reply in Spanish:
Encantado de conocerte!
Match each expression in English with its Spanish equivalent.
I have to leave
Where are you from?
What’s your name?
I’m glad for you
Nice to meet you