Common Spanish Phrases to Master Your First Conversation with a Native Speaker - The Mimic Method (2024)

Common Spanish Phrases to Master Your First Conversation with a Native Speaker - The Mimic Method (1)

By Ivy do Carmo

Are you starting to study Spanish or thinking about doing it? Are you planning a trip to Spain or to other Spanish-speaking country? Do you want to learn Spanish in order to get by at work or to have better job opportunities? Or is it your goal to improve your memory and logical faculties?

The truth is that there are a lot of reasons for people to learn a new language. Regardless of what is yours, there are some basic sentences you must learn to say the first things we normally talk about when we meet someone new.

In this article, you will learn the most common Spanish phrases to master your first conversation with a native speaker. They include how to greet and say goodbye, how to ask how the person is doing, how to show politeness, how to ask where is the person from and other common Spanish phrases that will be your survival kit to communicate with Spanish native speakers.

Good Morning in Spanish and Other Greetings

Let’s begin with the greetings. Knowing how to greet someone is very important no matter the language you’re trying to speak because it shows respect to the other person and it is an easy way to start a friendly conversation.

In Spanish, the same way as it is in English, there are greetings that you can use in any situation and others that depend on the period of the day. Here are the most common greetings in Spanish:

Hola – Hello
Buenas – Hi (informal)
Buenos días – Good morning
Buen día – Good morning (less common, used in Argentina)
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good evening
Bienvenido – Welcome
Que gusto de verlo – What a pleasure to see youBe careful to pronounce correctly the letter G in Spanish in this last sentence.

You can add more enthusiasm to any of these greetings by using the exclamation point. Just remember that, in Spanish, there are upside-down question and exclamation marks. Hence, you have to also write the inverted exclamation point at the beginning of the sentence, like this:

¡Buenos días! – Good morning!
¡Bienvenido! – Welcome!
¡Que gusto de verlo! – What a pleasure to see you!

We have seen how to greet people in Spanish. What about the farewells? How to say goodbye, see you soon or have a good day in Spanish? Here are the most common farewells in Spanish:

Adiós – Goodbye
Chao – Goodbye
Hasta luego – See you later
Hasta pronto – See you soon
Hasta la vista – See you next time
Hasta mañana – See you tomorrow
Nos vemos – See ya
Buenas noches – Good night
Que tengas un buen día – Have a good day
Que te vaya bien – Have a good day
Cuídate – Take care (informal)
Cuídese – Take care (formal)

How Are You in Spanish

After greeting the person, it is very important to ask if the person is doing well. By doing so, you show interest and consideration to the person and you open up your way to continue the conversation. Let’s see how we can ask how the person is doing and also how to respond if someone asks you the same thing.

¿Qué tal? – How are you?
¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
¿Cómo está usted? – How are you? (usted is more formal than tú)
¿Cómo te va? – How are you?
¿Cómo te ha ido? – How have you been?
¿Qué pasa? – What’s up?
¿Qué cuentas? – What’s up?
Estoy bien, ¿y tú? – I am fine, and you?
Bien, ¿y usted? – Good, and you? (usted is more formal than tú)

What determines if you are going to use usted or tú is the degree of formality of the situation. Knowing when to use formal or informal phrases is very important to convey the correct tone to what you are saying. For example, if you are talking to your boss, if you are in a business meeting or if you are writing a business email, you have to be more formal. On the other hand, if you are talking to your family or to your friends, you can be more informal.

Saying that you are well or fine is the most common answer when someone asks how are you doing. However, what if you’re not fine? How can you say you are not feeling well, that you are more or less or that you are sick or tired in Spanish? Let’s see:

Estoy estupendo – I am great.
Estoy muy bien – I am very well.
Estoy así así – I am okay.
Estoy más o menos. – I am so-so.
Estoy regular – I am regular.
Estoy mal – I feel unwell.
Estoy fatal – I am terrible.
Estoy un poco cansado – I am a little tired.
Estoy exhausto – I am exhausted.
Estoy enfermo – I am sick.

Introducing Yourself in Spanish

One of the first things, if not the first one, we learn about a person we have just met is his or her name. You can not say that you really know someone if you do not know the person’s name. Therefore, how can we ask the person’s name and also introduce ourselves in Spanish? Use the sentences below:

¿Cuál es tu nombre? – What is your name? (informal)
¿Cuál es su nombre? – What is your name? (formal)¿Cómo te llamas? – What is your name? (informal)¿Cómo se llama? – What is your name? (formal)Me llamo… – My name is…Mi nombre es… – My name is…

Thank You in Spanish and Other Courtesy Words

Do you know what are courtesy words? They are expressions that show politeness and respect, such as words used to thank other persons or apologize to them. Let’s see how to say the most common courtesy words, like thank you, sorry and you’re welcome in Spanish:

Gracias – Thank you
Muchas gracias – Thank you very muchDe nada – You’re welcomePerdón – I am sorryLo siento – I am sorryDisculpe – SorryMil disculpas – A thousand sorry’sPor favor – PleaseCon permiso – Excuse mePerdone / Perdona – Excuse me Señor (Sr.) – Mr.Señora (Sra.) – Mrs.Señorita (Srta.) – Miss

Where Are You From in Spanish

After you have greeted the native speaker, asked his name, showed interest in him and introduced yourself, you have opened your way to talk about other things with him. It is very common to ask where the person is from and to tell him where are you from. See how you can ask and answer this in Spanish:

¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from? (informal)
¿De dónde es? – Where are you from? (formal)
¿De dónde son? – Where are you from? (plural)
¿Dónde vives? – Where do you live?
Yo soy de… – I am from…
Somos de… – We are from…

Asking Information In Spanish

First of all, we have to learn how to ask things using common Spanish phrases. We have already seen the word ¿Cómo? to ask how the person is doing (¿Cómo estás?) and ¿Dónde? to ask where the person is from (¿De dónde eres?), but there are other words used to ask questions in Spanish. The same way English has the WH question words, Spanish has these specific words to ask questions:

¿Qué…? – What…?
¿Cómo…? – How…?
¿Cuándo…? – When…?
¿Cuánto…? – How much…?
¿Dónde…? – Where…?
¿Quién…? – Who…?
¿Por qué…? – Why…?
¿Cuál? – Which…?

Now let’s see some useful sentences to ask information in Spanish using the question words you have just learned:

¿Qué hora tienes? – What time is it?
¿Qué edad tienes? – How old are you?
¿Cuántos años tienes? – How old are you?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? – When is your birthday?
¿Cuánto cuesta eso? – How much is that?
¿Quién eres? – Who are you?
¿Qué es esto? – What is this?
¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy? – What is the date today?
¿Entiende? – Do you understand?
¿Comprende? – Do you understand?
¿Por qué te gusta? – Why do you like it?
¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?
Necesito ayuda – I need help

Other Useful and Common Phrases in Spanish

There are some other sentences that you will use a lot of times when making small talk with native speakers. Of course we can not include all of them in this article, but let’s learn some of the most useful common Spanish phrases:

– Yes
Claro – Of course
Siempre – Always
A veces – Sometimes
Tal vez – Maybe
No – No
Nunca – Never

Buena suerte – Good luck
Buen viaje – Have a good trip
Buen provecho – Enjoy your meal
Diviértete – Have fun
Salud – Cheers / Bless you (when someone sneezes)
Muy bien – Well done

Felicitaciones – Congratulations
Feliz Cumpleaños – Happy Birthday
Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas
Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy New Year
Siento interrumpir – I am sorry to interrupt
No se preocupe – Don’t worry
Te amo – I love you
Con mucho amor – With much love

In this article, we have seen many common Spanish phrases to master your first conversation with a native speaker. Practice their pronunciation and don’t be scared of making mistakes. You will then be ready to talk with confidence to the first native speaker you encounter!

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Common Spanish Phrases to Master Your First Conversation with a Native Speaker - The Mimic Method (2024)


How do you start a conversation in Spanish for beginners? ›

Let's take a look at some of these new Spanish conversation phrases:
  1. ¡Hola! (Hello)
  2. ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
  3. ¿Cómo te va? (How's it going?)
  4. ¿Qué tal? (What's up?)
  5. ¿Qué pasa? (What's happening?)
  6. ¿Cómo está usted? (How are you?)
  7. Buenas tardes (Good evening, but also Good afternoon)
  8. Buenos días (Good morning)

How to speak Spanish like a native speaker? ›

  1. Drop the Pronouns. You might have learned already that subject pronouns are optional in Spanish, especially yo. ...
  2. Focus on Pronunciation. ...
  3. Intonation is Key. ...
  4. Watch out for False Cognates. ...
  5. Use Some New Filler Words. ...
  6. Switch up Your Sentence Order. ...
  7. Practice Contractions. ...
  8. Slang, Slang, and More Slang!
Oct 12, 2020

How do I begin a conversation when meeting a Spanish speaker? ›

4 Easy Spanish Phrases to Know
  1. ¡Hola! (Hello!) There's no better way to open a friendly conversation than with a nice, well-delivered, “Hello!” It is easily one of the most common Spanish words you'll hear.
  2. ¡Buenos días! (Good morning!) ...
  3. ¡ Buenas tardes! ( ...
  4. ¡ Bienvenido! (
Oct 11, 2022

What Spanish words should I learn first? ›

Top 10 most common Spanish words pronounced by fluent Spanish speakers
  • Hola = Hello. Let's naturally start with "Hola”. ...
  • Amor = Love. Love is a universal feeling and we definitely had to talk about it here. ...
  • Felicidad = Happiness. ...
  • Gato = Cat. ...
  • Perro = Dog. ...
  • Sonreír = Smile. ...
  • Español = Spanish. ...
  • Sí = Yes.

What are the 5 Spanish sentence starters? ›

Que (what), como (how), donde (where), por que (why), and quien (who) are the starting point for most Spanish questions.

What is the chunking method in Spanish? ›

This is the basis of Conversation Based Chunking™: you observe native speakers in their conversations, identify the chunks and phrases they use, memorize these… and then use them yourself. It's as simple as that!

How do you speak fluently like a native speaker? ›

How to speak English like a native speaker
  1. Listen more carefully. Speaking more fluently actually starts with improving your listening skills. ...
  2. Use idioms. ...
  3. Get to grips with slang. ...
  4. Improve your pace and clarity. ...
  5. Talk with a native speaker.

How to use o sea? ›

You use o sea when you want or need to introduce an explanation of something that's been previously mentioned. It's also used in a sentence for an extra explanation or for expressing consequence, for example: Mi hermana tiene 14 años, o sea que es más pequeña que yo.

How do beginners start speaking Spanish? ›

What are some useful hints on how to speak Spanish?
  • Pick useful words and phrases to begin with.
  • Listen to native speakers in films, podcasts, and the news.
  • Listen to Spanish music.
  • Visit a Spanish country.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

What is the most common Spanish phrase? ›

Basic Spanish Words
  • Hola (Hello)
  • Adios (Goodbye)
  • Gracias (Thank you)
  • Por favor (Please)
  • Si (Yes)
  • Claro (Of course)
  • No (No)
  • Amor (Love)
Aug 25, 2021

What to say after "nos vemos"? ›

¡Cuídate! / Que (te) vaya bien

This phrase is very common in many places in Latin America and it's great for finishing conversations: A: Adiós, nos vemos. B: Cuídate. / Que (te) vaya bien.

What should the first Spanish lesson be? ›

A beginner Spanish learner focuses on learning the essential use of the language such as: presentation, basic vocabulary and everyday phrases. Therefore, the first lessons for teaching Spanish to beginners will focus on how to ask questions, construct simple sentences and basic concepts.

What is the easiest Spanish dialect to understand? ›

Beginner-friendly Spanish Dialect

People consider Colombian Spanish one of the clearest and most understandable of all the different Spanish dialects.

What is the most known Spanish word? ›

The 100 Most Common Words in Spoken Spanish
RankWord in SpanishMeaning in English
2deof, from
96 more rows
Sep 28, 2018

How do you introduce yourself in a Spanish conversation? ›

The most common way to introduce yourself in Spanish is to say "Me llamo" followed by your name. Alternatives include "Mi nombre es" or "Soy" followed by your name.

How do I start a message in Spanish? ›

Opening an informal letter
  1. Hola, – Hi, / Hi there, / Hey,
  2. Querido Pablo, – Dear Pablo,
  3. Querida Pilar, – Dear Pilar,
  4. Queridos, – Dears,
  5. Amado / Amada – Beloved.
Apr 14, 2020

What are some easy Spanish sentences? ›

Phrases to learn for any conversation
¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?Hello! How are you?
¿Qué tal ha sido tu día?How has your day been?
¿Puedes repetir eso, por favor?Can you repeat that, please?
Muchas gracias por tu ayuda.Thank you very much for your help.

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