Spanish Basic Greetings

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

You never get a second chance at a first impression! Part of making a good first impression is understanding when to use formal greetings versus informal greetings.

Read on to find out some answers to the common questions "How do I greet someone in Spanish?" and "What's the difference between formal and informal Spanish greetings?"

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Spanish A1

 

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Spanish Greetings

In English you are probably used to addressing people based on who they are and where you find yourselves. We use not only different words, but also different mannerisms when greeting people. For example, when walking into a business meeting you may say something like, “Hello ma’am, how are you today?” and shake her hand. Versus when walking into a room full of your friends at a super bowl party and you say, “What’s up, everyone?” and hug everyone you see.

Just like in English, we adjust our greetings based on who we are talking to and where we are when speaking in Spanish too!

Here are a few common formal and informal situational phrases that are used in Spanish. **Note: In more formal situations a handshake is appropriate, but you will find a kiss on one or both cheeks to be commonplace for informal situations!

Phrases for ANY situation, both formal or informal:

¡Hola!

Hello!

¡Buenos días!

Good morning!

¡Buenas tardes!

Good afternoon!

¡Buenas noches!

Good evening! or Good night!

¿Cómo están ustedes?

How are you all?

¡Nos vemos!

See you!

¡Hasta luego!

See you later!

¡Hasta pronto!

See you soon!

 

Phrases SPECIFIC to formal or informal situations:

Formal Situations

Informal Situations

¿Cómo está usted? – How are you?

¿Cómo estás?– How are you?

Encantado(a). – Nice to meet you.

¿Qué tal? – How are things?

Mucho gusto. – Nice to meet you.

¿Qué onda? – What’s up?

Que tenga un buen día. – Have a good day.

Que tengas un buen día. – Have a good day.

Que tenga un buen fin de semana. – Have a good weekend.

Que tengas un buen fin de semana. – Have a good day.

 

Dig Deeper...

Did you notice the differences between some formal and informal phrases? Some of them are only one letter or word different.

If you're looking to understand Spanish verb conjugations better, consider visiting our pages on the verb estar and the verb tener

If you're looking to understand Spanish subject pronouns better and why there are so many ways to say "you" in Spanish, we have some free Spanish helps for that too.

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Basic Greetings in Spanish: Greeting Others and Introducing Yourself

Let’s practice.

In the following scenarios, provide the appropriate greeting that would be used. Pay close attention to the underlined clues given to help you choose! You should only use each word from the word bank once. Click READ MORE below for the answer key!

 ¡Hola!       ¡Buenas noches!       Mucho gusto.       ¿Qué tal?

¡Nos vemos!        ¿Cómo están ustedes?

Que tenga un buen día.        ¡Buenos días!

 

  1. It is 8:00 am and you are walking into a coffee shop. What could you say to the barista?
  2. You’re leaving a meeting and saying goodbye to your boss. What could you say to them?
  3.  You are walking into a restaurant at 8:00pm and greeting your friends at the dinner table.
  4. You just met your coworker’s husband for the first time. What would you say to him?
  5. You have just entered the conference room and are greeting your coworkers. What would you say to them?
  6. You are casually passing a friendly neighbor in the grocery store. What could you say to them?
  7. Your neighbor replied to your greeting then followed it with _______? What could they have said back to you?
  8. You are leaving a baseball game with friends. What would you say to them?

Answer key: 1. ¡Buenos días!, 2. Que tenga un buen día., 3. ¡Buenas noches!, 4. Mucho gusto., 5. ¿Cómo están ustedes?, 6. ¡Hola!, 7. ¿Qué tal?, 8. ¡Nos vemos!

Saludos en español
Greetings

Practice with other students in your class

• Buenos días.
• Buenas tardes.
• Buenas noches.
(después de las 7PM)
• Hola!

 

Despedidas en español

 

 

Frases útiles

No entiendo – entiendo

No comprendo - comprendo

Repita por favor
Una vez más por favor

Hable despacio por favor

Un momento por favor

Gracias………….de nada

¡Chévere!

 

How do I ask someone's name in Spanish?

Llamarse...

In Spanish there are a few ways to learn and give your name. A very common way is to use the reflexive verb llamarse which means "to call one's self." You can ask the person "What do you call yourself?" in a formal way or informal way.

Formal question: "¿Cómo se llama (usted)?"

Informal question: "¿Cómo te llamas ()?"

       *the subject pronouns "usted" and "tú" are optional to use but help clarify formality or informality

The answer to either of these questions can be phrased in one of these ways. 

Universal answer: "Me llamo _(Cristina)."

Universal answer: "Mi nombre es _(Cristina)."

Universal answer: "Soy _(Cristina)."

       *a common error is to combine these phrases by saying "Me llamo es _(Cristina)."  Don't say this!

Más frases: (more phrases)

¿Y usted? = And you? (formal)

¿Y tú? = And you? (informa)

Mucho gusto. = Pleased to meet you.

Igualmente. = Same.

Comprendo. / Entiendo. = I understand.

No comprendo. / No entiendo. = I don't understand.

Repita, por favor. = Repeat, please.                               

Más despacio, por favor. = Slower, please.

Nos vemos. = See you around.

Adiós. = Goodbye.

 

Sample Formal conversation:

(Elena) : Hola. ¿Cómo se llama?      (Hello. What's your name?)
 
(Mario) :  Me llamo Mario. ¿Y usted?      (I'm Mario. And you?)
 
(Elena) :  Me llamo Elena. Mucho gusto.       (My name is Elena. Pleased to meet you.)
 
(Mario) : Igualmente.       (Same.)
 

Sample Informal conversation

(Timoteo) : - Buenos días. ¿Cómo te llamas?     (Good morning. What's your name?) 

(Irene) :  Me llamo Irene. ¿Y tú?      (I'm Irene. And you?)
 
(Timoteo) :  Me llamo Timoteo. Mucho gusto.       (My name is Timoteo. Pleased to meet you.)
 
(Mario) : Igualmente.       (Same.)

 

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