16 Warm and Friendly Ways To Say “Hello” in Mexican

16 Warm and Friendly Ways To Say “Hello” in Mexican

Hola! Planning a trip to Mexico? Did you know that there are more Spanish speakers in Mexico than there are in Spain?

It’s true! There are about 586 million Spanish speakers in the world and around 43 million live in Spain while 120 million live in Mexico!

Now, the Spanish language consists of several dialects, which are regional variations of the language. That means that they all speak the same language, follow the same rules of grammar and pronunciation, but certain differences arose depending on where in the world the speakers came from.

So, what is spoken in Mexico – or by populations with a large Mexican community or people of Mexican descent – is a dialect known as Mexican Spanish. Aside from Mexico, if you run into a “native” Spanish speaker in U.S. or Canada, it’s likely the Spanish they know is Mexican Spanish.

Mexican Spanish speakers can communicate quite well with those who know another Spanish dialect. The differences mostly come down to certain expressions, words, or phrases that are not used in the other dialect. 

If you already know a Peninsular Spanish dialect (dialects from Spain or other European areas), you will be able to make yourself understood. But if you really want to sound like a native and communicate better with Mexican Spanish speakers, you should specifically learn Mexican Spanish.

And what better place to start than learning the ways to say “hello” in Mexican? Check out these phrases of greeting in Mexican Spanish below.

1. Hola

Meaning: Hello

This is the most basic way to say “hello” in Mexican. This is actually the basic word for “hello” in most Spanish dialects, so it’s really one of the words you need to know when learning Spanish. 

2. Buenos dias

Meaning: Good morning

This will probably be the first Mexican Spanish word that you will hear every day, so it’s only appropriate that it’s the first way to say “hello” in Mexican that we learn.

It is a polite and universal greeting that you can use with anyone BUT it is a greeting that is time-specific. You use it in the morning till around noon. After that, you should switch to one of the next few ways to say “hello” in Mexican that are on this list.

3. Buenas tardes

Meaning: Good afternoon

Most Mexican’s consider morning to end at around noon, at which point it becomes afternoon and this becomes the proper way to greet someone.

4. Buenas noches

Meaning: Good evening

Once the sun sets, it’s time to switch to yet another way to say “hello” in Mexican. This is what you should use upon coming up to your new Mexican friends at the bar after work.

5. ¡Hola! Qué gusto conocerlo/conocerla

Meaning: Hello! What a pleasure to meet you 

This is a nice, friendly phrase that you can use to say “hello” in Mexican Spanish. Take note that, if you are speaking to a man, you say “conocerlo”, but if you are addressing a woman, you should switch to “conocerla”. 

6. Hola, Señor/ Señora. ¿Cómo te va?

Meaning: Hello sir/ma’am. How are you doing?

This is a slightly more formal and respectful way of greeting someone. If you know the name of the person you are speaking to, you can add it after the honorific. 

You can also use “¿Cómo estás?” in the end, instead of “¿Cómo te va?”.

7. Oye ¿Cómo te va?

Meaning: Hey, how are you doing?

This is a slightly more informal version of the greeting in number 6. If you know the name of the person you are addressing, you can put it after “oye”. You can also say “¿Cómo estás?” instead of “¿Cómo te va?”.

This greeting is appropriate in casual situations or among good friends or people who you consider your peers.

8. ¿Qué onda?

Meaning: What’s up?

This is a casual bit of Mexican slang that you will hear among young people. In response, you might want to say “aquí nomás” which translates to “just chilling” or “nada, todo tranquilo” which is the equivalent of “all’s good”. 

9. ¿Qué tranza?

Meaning: What’s up?

Another way to say “what’s up” if you want a casual way to say “hello” in Mexican.

10. ¡Qué pedo!

Meaning: What’s up?

Still another popular, casual greeting, this also is the equivalent of “what’s up”. Take note that, the literal translation is something that might find nonsensical to non-native speakers as “pedo” is slang for a “fart”, so don’t be surprised if someone greets you in Mexico with something that your brain initially translates as “what fart?”

11. ¿Qué cuentas?

Meaning: What’s new?

Another casual greeting you will hear from young Mexican Spanish speakers.

12. ¿Qué hay de nuevo?

Meaning: What’s new?

Another phrase that you can use in casual situations to say “hello” in Mexican. 

13. ¿Cómo andas?

Meaning: How are you doing?

This is a Spanish phrase that inquires about someone’s health or well-being. It is also a common way to say “hello” in Mexican. It’s more commonly used among young people, and it’s more common as a greeting in the Mexican Spanish dialect than in other Spanish dialects.

14. Quiubo 

Meaning: How is it going?

This is another casual Spanish greeting. This is more popular among speakers of Mexican Spanish or in Latin American countries than it is among native speakers of European Spanish.

You might also hear this if someone is inquiring “what’s going on here”. In this case, it’s usually somewhat an angry phrase. For example, if a mother walks into her children making a mess, they will say “quiubo”.  

Context is key when deciding whether “quiubo” is a greeting or a demand for an explanation. If it sounds friendly and casual, it’s a greeting. If it sounds like the speaker is surprised, angry, or upset, you have some explaining to do and maybe an apology to make. 

15. ¿Qué tal?

Meaning: How is everything going

This short phrase has a two-fold meaning. It’s a way to say “hello” in Mexican and also a polite way to inquire about someone’s well-being. 

16. ¡Qué milagro!

Meaning: Long time no see

This phrase is actually translated to something like “what a miracle”, but it’s used as a greeting as well. It’s usually used when a Mexican speaker runs into a friend or acquaintance who they haven’t seen in a while.  Aside from a greeting then, it’s also an invitation to catch up. 

Notes On Body Language and Customs

Mexicans tend to be warm and friendly people who are very affectionate and “touchy”, especially among family and friends. 

If you are used to more “reserved” cultures, such as the Japanese or the Germans, you might be a little taken aback at how much affectionate, casual touching goes on among a group of Mexican Spanish speakers.

Because of the touchy nature of Mexican Spanish speakers, body language plays a part in ensuring your friendly “hello” is understood as that. Here are a few things you should be aware of and try to do

  • In formal situations, shaking hands is important. When introduced to someone, shake their hand and ask them how they are. When introduced to a group of people, greet and shake the hands of every individual. 
  • Make sure you keep your handshake firm. It’s also a good idea to make and maintain eye contact and add a smile.
  • In informal situations, or when they are among friends and family, Mexican males will hug each other. A handshake may be offered first, but it’s not unusual for them to pull you in closer for a brief hug.
  • Mexican females might also hug in informal situations, but they are just as likely to air kiss your right cheek. They might also press their right cheek to your cheek. 
  • Among good friends or family, both males and females might air kiss or cheek press.
  • It’s important to greet people who arrive. You might find yourself in the middle of a conversation only to find yourself “hanging” when your conversation partner breaks off from you to greet a new arrival. Don’t be taken aback, they will turn back to you. You should probably also adopt this attitude among Mexican speakers, always greet people you know.


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Whatever your preference, the key is to start your learning journey with resources that best match your goals and lifestyle. With the right tools, achieving fluency in Spanish is an attainable and rewarding goal. Happy learning!


How do you greet in Mexican?

To greet someone in Mexican, you can say either Hola or Buenas Dias. Hola is the most basic way to say “hello” in Mexican. This is actually the basic word for “hello” in most Spanish dialects, so it’s really one of the words you need to know when learning Spanish.

How do you say hello in Mexican slang?

¿Qué onda? ¿Qué tranza? ¿Qué cuentas? ¿Qué hay de nuevo?

Does Ola mean hello?

Holla means Hello in Spanish. But it is pronounced as Ola.

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