Useful Spanish phrases

Useful Spanish phrases

Comments2 comments

Expatica offers a list of common phrases that just might allow you to get by in Spain before you start attending language classes.

Daily Spanish phrases

Yes: Si

No: No

Maybe: Tal vez

Always: Siempre

Never: Nunca

Sometimes: A veces

Of course: Claro or si

Of course not: No (you can say 'claro que no', but that's considered impolite)

I don't understand: No entiendo

Excuse me: Perdon

Sorry: Discúlpe or lo siento (more emotional)

Hello: Hola

Goodbye: Adiós

Good morning: Buenos dias ('morning' can last up until lunch time at 2pm or 3pm)

Good evening: Buenas tardes

Good night: Buenas noches

Do you speak English? Habla Ingles? (formal) or Hablas Ingles? (informal)

I don't speak Spanish: No hablo español

Can you please help me? Puede ayudarme, por favor? (formal) or Puedes ayudarme, por favor? (informal)

Can you please repeat that? Puede repetir, por favor? (formal) or Puedes repetir, por favor? (informal)

Can you please speak more slowly? Puede hablar más despacio, por favor? (formal) or Puedes hablar más despacio, por favor? (informal)

Spanish phrases for getting around

Where can I find this? Donde se puede encontrar esto? or Donde esta esto? (more commonly used)

Which way do I go to here? Como puedo ir ahi?

Am I near this? Estoy cerca de esto?

I am looking for...: Estoy buscando...

Can you show me where on this map? Me puede mostrar donde esta en este mapa? (formal) or Me puedes mostrar donde esta en este mapa? (informal)

I am lost: Estoy perdido

Can you please help me? Me puedes ayudar, por favor?

Left/right: Izquierda / derecha

North/south/east/west: Norte / sur / este / oeste

Private property: La propiedad privada

Spanish phrases for sorting out paperwork

Passport: Un pasaporte

Visa: Un visado

Tourist visa: Un visado turistico

Business visa: Un visado de negocios

Work visa: Un visado de trabajo

Immigration office: La oficina de migración

Birth certificate: Acta de nacimiento

Driver's licence: Carnet' de conducir (' means accent on the e)

State identification card: D.N.I (Documento Nacional de Identidad)

Student ID: if you meant Student ID for unversity student then it is called carne' universitario


Spanish phrases for charming the Spaniards

How are you? Cómo está usted? (formal) or Cómo estás (informal)?

Fine, thanks. And you? Bien, gracias. Y usted? (formal) or Bien, gracias. Y tu? (informal)

Pleased to meet you: Encantado (if the person saying encantado is a man) or Encantada (if the person saying encantada is a woman)

A pleasure: Mucho gusto or Es un placer

Where do you live? Dónde vive? (formal) or Donde vives? (informal)

I am from New York: Soy de Nueva York

Do you like Spain? Le gusta España? (formal) or Te gusta España? (informal)

I like it very much: Me gusta mucho, or Me gustan mucho (plural: I like them very much)

Everything is so interesting: Todo es muy interesante

What do you do? En qué trabaja? (formal) or En qué trabajas? (informal)

I'm a businessman: Soy hombre de negocios

I'm retired: Estoy jubilado

It's so good to see you: Mucho gusto verle (formal) or Mucho gusto verte (informal)

Would you like a drink? Le gustaría una bebida? (formal), Te gustaría una bebida? (informal)

With pleasure: Con gusto

Cheers! Salud!

I had a very good time: Que lo pasé muy bien

It was nice to have met you: Gusto en conocerle

Phone book decoder

Accountant: Contable

Airline: Línea aérea

Art gallery: Museo de arte

Baby goods: Artículos para bebes

Bakery: Panadería

Barber: Barbero / peluquería

Bathroom: Cuarto de baño

Beautician: Esteticista

Bicycle: Bicicleta

Bookshop: Librería

Builder: Constructor

Butcher: Carnicería

Car dealer: Venta de coches

Carpenter: Carpintero

Carpet: Alfombra

Car rentals: Alquiler de coches

Central heating: Calefaccion

Children’s clothing: Ropa infantil

Cinema: Cine

Confectioners: Pastelería 

Dentist: Dentista

Department store: Grandes almacenes

Do-it-yourself- shop: Bricolaje

Doctor: Médico

Dog kennnel: Perrera

Driving school: Autoescuela

Chemist: Farmacia

Dry cleaning: Tintorería

Electrical goods: Electrodomésticos

Employment offices: Agencia de trabajo

Eye doctor: Oculista

Fire brigade: Bomberos

Fishmonger: Pescadería

Flower shop: Floristería 

Furniture: Muebles

Garden centre: Centro de jardinería

Greengrocer: Frutería

Groceries: Comestibles

Hairdresser: Peluquería

Hardware: Ferretería

Health club: Gimnasio

Hospital: Hospital

House cleaning: Limpieza de la casa

Insurance: Seguros

Jeweller: Joyería

Key cutting: Cortar llaves

Kitchen: Cocina

Ladies clothing: Ropa feminina

Language school: Escuela de idiomas

Lawyer: Abogado

Legal advice centre: Asesoría juridical

Menswear: Ropa de caballero

Opticians: Optica

Painters: Pintores

Pest control shop: Control de plagas

Police: Policía  

Post office: Correos

Real estate agents: Inmobiliaria

Removals company: Mudanzas

Shoe shop: Zapatería

Supermarket: Supermercado

Swimming pool: Piscina

Tailor: Sastrería

Tax consultant: Asesor de impuestos / notario / gestor

Theatre: Teatro

Tools: Herramientas

Travel agents: Agencia de viajes

Vet: Veterinario

Window cleaner: Limpia cristales


Updated from 2009.


Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! (If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.)

Captcha Note: Characters are case sensitive
The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. Privacy policy .

2 Comments To This Article

  • EditorES posted:

    on 9th April 2009, 12:02:35 - Reply

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for pointing out the errors. I have also included some formal and informal phrases which may be more useful to Expatica readers.

    Editor ES
  • Maria posted:

    on 8th April 2009, 13:18:38 - Reply

    This article has several mistakes in the Spanish translations...