80 Spanish Words and Phrases (for Beginners)

80 Spanish Words and Phrases (for Beginners)

Do you speak Spanish

Or in Spanish, ¿Hablas Español?

If you don’t, why do you want to learn it? 

Is it because of your career, or your significant other, or you perhaps want to travel to Spanish speaking countries?

No matter the reason, it is always good to learn a language and Spanish, which is among the five most spoken languages worldwide, is an excellent choice.

To start learning, you have to know some of the essential words and phrases. 

Over time, you can master the language thanks to many useful ways and methods. 

One of the most useful ones is surely learning on online tutoring platforms such as Lingoda. You can find a native tutor from the comfort of your home and anytime you want.


As we said, some essential words and phrases should be enough to get you started. 

Don’t worry if you speak too slowly, or with a foreign accent. 

Since Spanish are very friendly and always delighted to hear that someone speaks their language, they won’t mind at all, just as they won’t mind repeating a sentence ten times if needed.

Immerse yourself in their culture by reading our guide: The Only Spanish Culture Guide that You'll Ever Need

Spanish words and phrases that every Spanish learner should know


To be easier to find and learn, in this article, we’ve divided phrases into the main sections. In each chapter, you may find familiar and useful phrases.


  1. Greetings
  2. Introduction
  3. Express Politeness
  4. Small Talk
  5. Special Occasions
  6. Dealing with Problems
  7. Question Words
  8. Important Answers
  9. Common Spanish Questions
  10. Farewell


These phrases are suitable for starting a conversation with the natives. They can also be a starting point for further learning.

After reading and learning these Spanish words and phrases for beginners, you can also try some different methods, perhaps learning Spanish in a fun, amusing way.

Read more here: How to learn Spanish with games



Knowing to greet someone is the primary thing you should learn. 

We use greetings every day, so you will use them in Spanish conversations, too.

Spanish people can be very formal when talking about greetings, so this way you are showing them respect.

Greetings in Spanish are simple and easy to learn. Let’s take a look.

  • ¡Hola!- Hello!

‘Hello!, or ‘Hi’ in English, this word is mainly used as an informal greeting among friends and younger people. Although it is widely used, we suggest using it after you get to know someone a bit. For formal salutations, see the phrases below.


  • Buenos días- Good morning
  • Buenas tardes - Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches- Good evening/ Good night
  • ¡Muy bienos!- this is a short version of all three greetings from the above, so that you can use it any time. 
  • ¡Bienvenido!- Welcome!


When you want to introduce yourself, you can use the following phrases:


  • Me llamo...- My name is...
  • Mi nombre is...- My name is...

There is no such difference between these two phrases. The second one literally means ‘my name is’ in English, and the first one could be translated literally as ‘ they call me…’


  • (Yo) Soy…- I’m…

You can choose a simple phrase by using the ‘Soy’ phrase. ‘ Holla, soy…, or in English, ‘Hello, I’m…’ and tells your name, you’ve saluted a person and introduced yourself at the same time.


  • ¿Como te llamas?- What’s your name?

When you are talking to someone, especially for the first time, it is polite to ask for his name.


  • Mucho gusto- Nice to meet you (literally, this phrase means ‘pleasure.’)

After greeting a person, telling your name, asking for his, you should say “Nice to meet you’ as per above.


  • (Yo) tengo … anos- I’m … years old

Asking for age is not necessary. However, very often, a conversation can go in that direction, so it should be useful to memorize this phrase. It literally means ‘I have… years’ in English.


  • (Yo) soy de…- I come from …

One of the most common phrases, especially for tourists. By learning this phrase, when a native speaker asks you to say something about yourself, you can say more than ‘Soy…’


Express Politeness 

Not just in learning Spanish, but in every other language, being polite is primary, and clearly indicates a further prosperous conversation. 

  • ¡Gracias!- Thank you!
  • ¡Muchas gracias!- Thank you very much

Number one phrase to express politeness. Whether you want to thank someone very much, or just to say ‘Thank you,’ always be polite.

  • Por favor- Please


  • ¡De nada!- You’re welcome

It literally means ‘from nothing, but you use it as the phrase ‘it’s nothing’ in English.’  It is used to respond to a thank you. 


  • ¡Perdone!- Excuse me 
  • ¡Perdone! ¡Disculpe!- Excuse me 

Differences between ‘Perdone’ and ‘Disculpe’ are not so hard to understand. 

‘Perdone’ literally means ‘Pardon,’ and it is used in situations when you ask for something. It is widely used in cases when people accidentally come across each other. ‘Disculpe’ is a more formal phrase than the other one.  It expresses shock or exclamations when someone says or does something. 


  • ¡Disculpe!- Sorry!
  • ¡Lo siento!- Sorry! 

This phrase in English has one similar one, ‘Sorry.’ In Spanish, when you are apologizing for making a mistake, you say ‘Lo siento.’ If, however, you want to be polite and ask something, then you should use the phrase ‘Disculpe.’

You can also watch the expressions this way: ‘Lo siento’ is the least formal, ‘Perdón’ a little more formal, and ‘Disculpe’ is the most formal among them.


Small Talk

Some common questions and answers people use in short talks can make your conversation sound polite, as well as entertaining. 

No matter if you aren’t native, these simple questions and appropriate answers can do a lot.



  • ¿Cómo estás?- How are you? 
  • ¿Qué tal?- How are you? 

The first phrase is formal, where you can use it in every situation to start a conversation. The second one is informal, and you can use it with friends and family members. It is parallel to the English phrase ‘What’s up?’


  • Cómo te va?- How’s it going?
  • Cómo te ha ido?- How have you been?
  • Que significa ( say the word)- What does ( the word) mean?
  • ¿Qué haces?- What are you doing?
  • ¿Qué pasa?- What is happening?



  • Estoy bien. ¡Gracias!-.I m fine, thanks.
  • Muy bien- Very good
  • Así, así- So, so
  • Como siempre- As always

Follow-up question

  • ¿Y tu?- And you?

In a conversation, it is a matter of politeness as well as interest to ask with this follow-up question.


You’ve surely noticed some question and exclamation points in the beginning of Spanish words and phrases and in the end, too. If you thought that is a mistake, it’s not. 

The upside-down question and exclamation marks are unique in Spanish. This way, long before a sentence ends, you know whether you are dealing with questions.


Special occasions 

Perhaps yes, perhaps not you get yourself in some situations to use phrases for a birthday, but there are much more chances to say to someone ‘Bon Appetit,’ ‘Cheers,’ or ‘Have a good trip.’

  • ¡Muy bien!- Well done!
  • ¡Salud!- Cheers!
  • ¡Felicitaciones!- Congratulations!
  • ¡Feliz cumpleanos!- Happy birthday!
  • ¡Diviertete!- Have fun!
  • ¡Buen viaje!- Have a good trip!
  • ¡Buen provecho!- Bon appetit!
  • ¡Cuidate!- Take care!
  • ¡Bienvenidos/ Bienvenidas!- Welcome!

While other phrases are quite clear, let’s just explain this phrase. The ‘Bienvenidos’ phrase you use for men, while ‘Bienvenidas’ you use for women.

Question Words  

Question words in Spanish always come with question marks in the beginning, as well as in the end.

  • Qué- What?
  • Quién…?- Who?
  • ¿Cuándo…?- When?
  • ¿Dónde…?- Where?
  • ¿Por qué…?- Why?
  • ¿Cuál…?- Which?
  • ¿Cómo…?- How?


Quick, important Answers

You can’t imagine answering any question without quick answers such as ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘maybe,’ etc. 

Every conversation is full of them, so make sure you learn them. The good thing about these answers is that they are effortless to remember. 

Many of you only read them a couple of times and are already in your head. 

  • Si- Yes
  • No- No
  • Tal vez- Maybe
  • Siempre- Always
  • A veces- Sometimes
  • Nunca- Never
  • Claro- Of course
  • ¡Sin problema!- No problem!
  • No hablo Espanol- I don’t speak Spanish
  • Mi espanol es malo- My Spanish is bad
  • No entiendo- I don’t understand
  • No lo sé- I don't know
  • ¡No tengo ni idea!- I have no idea!


Common Spanish questions 

Typical questions in the following lines are here to help you ask a person, and not just answer. 

It is sweet from a native speaker when they know that your Spanish is on a beginner’s level, but can be a little bit boring. So, without further ado, take a look at the questions and memorize them. 

You can learn them faster if you know the answers, your answers, to the questions.

  • ¿Dónde vives?- where do you live?
  • ¿De dónde vienes?- Where do you come from?
  • ¿Puede ayudarme?- Can you help me?
  • ¿Podría ayudarme?- Can I help you?
  • ¿Puede repetirlo- Can you repeat?
  • ¿Puedes hablár más despacio?- Can you speak slowly?
  • ¿Entiende?- Do you understand?
  • ¿Qué hora tienes?- What time is it?
  • ¿ Cuandó cuesta eso?- How much does it cost?



Just like in English, there are many ways to say goodbye in Spanish, too. Saying goodbye is possible with some of the phrases:

  • Adiós- Goodbye
  • Chao- Goodbye/ See you later

The ‘Adiós’ is an informal phrase, and it is used frequently. 

Another expression is technically Italian, but as in many languages, it is also used in Spanish. Saying ‘Chao’ you are also informal and closer to the ‘see you later’ phrase in English.


  • Buenas noches- Good night
  • ¡Hasta luego!- See you later
  • ¡Hasta pronto!- See you soon

The first phrase is formal, and you should use it in situations when you maybe will see the person, perhaps not, but at the moment you aren’t sure. 

Saying ‘Hasta pronto’ is mainly used when there are some chances that you will see the person in a couple of days. It is considered a semi-formal phrase.


  • ¡Hasta manana!- See you tomorrow

Both formal and informal, this phrase is used when you are sure that you are going to see the person the following day.


  • ¡Nos vemos!- See you 

This phrase is informal and very often used to indicate talking about the future. When you know you’ll see the person in the future, but don’t know precisely when, then feel free to use it. Literally it means ‘we’ll see each other.’


  • ¡Tenga un buen día!- Have a nice day!


Conclusion about Spanish words and phrases

After reading this article, you have basic phrases in your pocket. 

So, don’t wait too long, but start a conversation with a native speaker. 

Be brave, confident and do it. 

Even though they mainly speak and understand English very well, especially in Latin America and Mexico, Spanish people are very friendly and always delighted to hear that someone is willing to speak and learn their language.

If you're interested in giving Spanish a go, you should try some of these cool options: Check out Babbel for fun, interactive lessons that fit into your day easily. If you want something more in-depth, there's a great Spanish course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics. And if you prefer learning with a personal touch, Lingoda offers classes with native speakers that can really help you practice speaking.


What are some basic Spanish words?

Hola - Hello, Adios - Bye, Gracias - Thanks, Por favor - Please, Lo siento, Sorry, Si - Yes, No - no

What is the best way to learn Spanish for Beginners?

Speak in Spanish as much as possible and use it every day. By studying everyday, you have the biggest chance to become fluent. Immerse yourself in Spanish by reading in Spanish, listen to podcasts with native speakers and watching movies and TV shows from Hispanic countries.

How can I practice Spanish by myself?

Find online resources and immerse in Spanish. You can play games online, read news and articles, play music, follow influencers, watch tutorials, watch movies and TV shows etc.

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