Spanish - Greetings (2024)


Primary Author

Nina Evason,
  • The typical casual greeting involves kissing each cheek, starting with the left. This form of greeting is especially common among women. Men may be more likely to kiss women hello and goodbye than to shake their hand.
  • A firm handshake with eye contact and a smile is the appropriate greeting in professional contexts.
  • Greetings become much warmer once people are acquainted and familiar with one another. Spaniards often prefer to embrace (abrazo) those they know well. This may involve a hug accompanied by a pat on the shoulder or elbow between men.
  • Some Spanish men may place their left hand on the right forearm of another person when shaking hands to indicate warmth.
  • In formal settings, you may refer to someone using their professional or personal titles – for example, ‘Señor’ (Mr) for men and ‘Señora’ (Ms) for women. However, it is rare for someone’s friends to address them using their title and surname. Spaniards move onto a first-name basis very quickly, even in professional settings.
  • The standard verbal greeting is “Buenos días” (Good day), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (Good evening/night), depending on the time of day. People may also say, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you).
  • A more casual greeting is “Hola” (Hello).

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Spanish - Greetings (2024)
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