A1 Level. Spanish Greetings

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

Hola chicos y chicas, in Spanish, there are many ways to ask a person how he or she is doing. Throughout Spain and Latin America you will hear.¿Cómo estás? How are you? With that simple line you can greet almost any Spanish speaker you've met before. Add to that these phrases below, and you'll be well-positioned to make a good first impression wherever you go in Spain or most of Latin America. In this article, we’ll show you different ways to greet someone in Spanish so that the next time you encounter a Spanish-speaker, you’ll be able to show off your manners.

Some greetings are more formal than ¡Hola! when you greet an older person, you may use one of the following expressions:

  • Buenos días , Good day, good morning. In some areas, a shortened form, buen día, is used.

  • Buenas tardes , Good afternoon, good evening. In most areas, buenas tardes should be used in the early evening in preference to buenas noches.

  • Buenas noches, Good night. Unlike the English translation, buenas noches can be used as a greeting as well as a farewell.

  • The common expression to use when saying good-bye to someone is ¡Adiós!

  • If you plan to see the person again soon, you can say ¡Hasta pronto! or ¡Hasta luego! If you plan to see the person the next days, you can say ¡Hasta mañana!

  • An informal expression you often hear, particularly in Spain and in Argentina, is ¡Chao!

  • ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo está? , How are you? The first form (which is informal) normally would be used with someone you know on a first-name basis or when speaking with a child. The second form generally would be used in other situations. Usage can depend quite a bit on where you are; in some areas, the informal form (estás) would be expected where under the same circumstances the formal form would be used in other areas. If you're a foreigner, chances are no one will criticize you for using the wrong form, although you may be politely corrected.

  • Throughout Spain and Latin America you will hear ¿Qué pasa? what's happening? and ¿Qué tal?/¿Qué hay?, What's up?. In Mexico, you will also hear ¿Qué hubo? How is it going? or ¿Qué honda? What's happening?, ¿Cómo van las cosas? How are things?

  • There are many ways to respond to these questions your friend might say: "Estoy bastante bien, gracias", "Regular", "Más o menos", "Muy mal" "¡Horrible!", "Estupendo", "Excelente". Let's see some examples:

  • Me llamo Francisco Xavier López Medina, My name is (name). A literal translation would be "I call myself (name)" or, somewhat less literally, "I am called (name)." You can also literally translate the English: Mi nombre es (nombre). You might think Francisco Xavier López Medina is an unusual long name. Actually, Spaniards and Latin Americans commonly use both their first and middle names. They also generally use two last names: first the fathers (In Paco's López) ant then the mother's maiden name for (Paco, it's Medina).

  • Mucho gusto. Encantado It's a pleasure to meet you. Gusto en verlo It’s nice to see you. Either of these could be said when someone introduces him- or herself to you. If you're female, you should say encantada instead of encantado.

  • Bienvenido, bienvenida, bienvenidos, bienvenidas Welcome. Note the difference in number and gender. Bienvenido would be used with a man, bienvenida with a woman, bienvenidas with a group of all females, and bienvenidos with males or a mixed group.

Very Informal Greetings

The greetings in the following list are very informal. Some, depending on how well you get along with the person that you’re speaking with, could result in some awkward tension if you’ve miscalculated your social standing with them.

¿Qué pasa? What’s up?

¿Qué fue? What’s up?

¿Qué onda? What’s up?

¿Qué hubo? What’s up?

¿Qué es la que hay? What’s going on?

¿Cómo vas? How's it going?

¿En qué andas? What're you up to?

¿Qué más? What’s new?

¿Cómo van las cosas? What’s shaking?

¿Qué hay de nuevo? What’s new?

¿Cómo estamos? How are we doing?

¿Qué pasa, calabaza? What’s up, buttercup?

Cultural note

A common casual greeting involves a kiss on each cheek, starting with the left. This form of greeting is especially common between 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.Once people become acquainted, greetings become a lot warmer and Spaniards often prefer to embrace (abrazo).

This may involve a hug accompanied with 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.

Let's practice

Listening and Quiz Activity No. 1: Presentaciones en español

Two people had a date where they thought they would never see each other again and it turned out that they ended up working in the same place ... Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the vocabulary learned. ¡Buena suerte!

Now if you have watched the video several times and checked the vocabulary, it is time you practice everything you have learned with these Spanish quizzes. Complete the sentences with the correct words. Remember you can repeat them as many times as you want and even print them. When you finish you will be able to introduce yourself in Spanish quite confidently.

Word bank: ¿Estás bien?, profesor, María, secretaria, Julio, bienvenida, profesora

1. El hombre protagonista se llama ______

2. La mujer protagonista se llama, ______.

3. Ella es Josefina, la ______ .

4. Julio Fernández, ______ Maria Torres la nueva ______.

5. - Julio, ______,

-Sí, claro muy bien.

6. - Muchas gracias Fernando por el _______.

- De nada, _________ a la academia "Habla con eñe"

Listening Activity No. 2: ¿Cómo se llaman?

Let's keep practicing about this topic. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the vocabulary learned. Do the activities below after watching the video ¡Buena suerte!

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¡Hasta la vista!

The Español Latino Team

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