Essential, Common Phrases In Spanish

Written byJada Lòpez

In English, when you want to get to know someone you first have to introduce yourself to that person. While doing so, you are usually nice and formal. In Spanish, it's the same.

You will want to start off using the formal approach and then once the ice is broken, or once you have become friends, you can begin using phrases and verbs in the informal sense. It might be best to wait until the other person with whom you are speaking initiates the conversation and begins addressing you informally. A formal address begins with Usted, while an informal one might begin with Tu.

A 'Breaking the Ice' Conversation

Ex. Here is an example conversation that you might want to practice:

Hola. ¿Como esta usted?

Hello. How are you?

Hola. Bien, gracias. ¿Y Usted?

Hello. I am fine, thanks. And, you?

Muy bien.

Very good.

Ex. If you are asking a group of people about how they are, you would ask:

¿Como estan ustedes?

Ex. If you are talking to a man/woman who deserves a formal title, you would say:

¿Como esta usted, senor/senora?

Ex. If you do not know if the woman is married, if she is single, or if she is younger, you might ask:

¿Como esta usted, senorita?

Other introductory phrases:

The above is something that will come with time. Don"t worry at this point about pronouncing everything perfectly.

It will come once you have heard the phrases and have practiced them with others a few times.

Here are some other phrases that will come in handy when talking to a Spanish speaker:

Spanish Phrase Pronunciation English Meaning
Buenos dias bwehn-ohs dee-as Good morning
Buenas tardes (feminine) bwehn-ahs tahr-dehs Good afternoon
Buenas noches (feminine) bwehn-ahs noh-chehs Good
Me llamo . may ya-moh My name is .
¿Como se llama? (formal) koh-moh say ya-mah What is your name?
¿Como te llamas? (informal) koh-moh say ya-mahs What is your name?
Asi asi. ah-see ah-see I'm so so.
Regular. ray-goo-lar I'm regluar/fine.
¿Como te va? (informal) koh-mo tay vah How are you?
¿Como le va? (formal) ko-moh lay vah How are you?
¿Que tal? (informal) kay tahl What's up?
¿Que pasa? (informal) kay tahl What's up?
Nada. nah-dah Nothing much.

More conversational phrases in Spanish

Talking about where you come from or asking someone else about where they come from is an engaging way to get someone to keep talking to you.

It shows that you are interested in them, even if you are wanting to practice your spoken Spanish.

In most cases, Spanish people, or Hispanics, will love to talk to you about their roots and/or where they come from.

Someone might be from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, or anywhere.

It will not only help you in breaking the ice, but as your Spanish gets better, you can learn a whole lot about a different part of the world.

And, perhaps one day, you can venture there to be immersed in the language and culture.

Let's continue the coversation between Pedro and Tito.

We'll keep it in the formal sense.

¿De donde es usted?

Where are you from?

Soy de Peru. ¿Y usted?

I am from Peru. And, you?

Soy de Ecuador.

I am from Ecuador.
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Author: Jada Lòpez
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