You’ll learn how to say hello and goodbye at different times of day, and ask people how they are and what they’ve been up to. Just as importantly, you’ll practice some ways to reply when people ask you!
Listen carefully to the audio, and the way the native Spanish speakers pronounce each Spanish word or phrase. Practice these aloud until you feel confident, and then try them out on your friends!
Resources for further reading:
Here are some of the most basic Spanish greetings to get you started. Further on in this lesson we will look at the pronunciation of these and more Spanish greetings.
Greetings like “good morning” or “good afternoon” are incredibly important in Spanish. As Latin American culture is more formal, going through the ritual of greeting another person is an important way of showing respect.
In fact, in some parts of Latin America, you are expected to greet every person individually, even if they’re in a group. That means that if you’re walking along the road in a village and pass a group of five people, you’ll have to say, “Good morning,” five times!
Rocket Record lets you perfect your Spanish pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!
a shortened version of the above three greetings, suitable anytime
After you greet someone, you’ll want to ask how they are or how’s it going. Here are some common questions that follow a greeting:
How are you? (used with friends or family)
¿Cómo está usted?
How are you? (more formal; used with strangers, more senior persons, etc.)
¿Cómo te va?
How's it going?
¿Cómo has ido?
How've you been?
What are you doing?
What could you say if someone asks you one of the questions above?
Un poco cansado (for men)
A little tired.
Un poco cansada (for women)
A little tired.
Estoy enfermo (for men)
Estoy enferma (for women)
Más o menos.
A common follow-up question is, “And you?” - **¿Y tú? **
Now, listen to Esteban and Estela’s conversation.
Buenos días, Estela.
Good morning, Estela.
Buenos días Esteban. ¿Cómo estás?
Good morning Esteban. How are (you)? (sing/inf)
Bien, ¿y tú?
Good, and you?
Did you understand most of what they said?
Here’s another conversation. This one is much more casual. You’re likely to hear this kind of conversation among young people.
Hola, Estela, ¿qué tal? ¿Qué haces?
Hi, Estela, what's up? What are (you) doing? (sing/inf)
Nada, nada. Estoy enferma.
Nothing, nothing. (I)'m sick.
Ah, lo siento.
Oh, (I)'m sorry.
¿Y tú? ¿Como te va? ¿Bien?
And you? How's it going? Good?
Sí, todo bien.
Yes, all good.
Two new phrases in the above conversation are lo siento and sí.
The above words are extremely important. From experience, I know that the most important phrase in any language is how to say you’re sorry!
Others disagree. They say that there are THREE important phrases that you absolutely must know in any language. They are:
I love you.
I need help.
Hmm, I can’t think of a situation in which I’d need to use all three, but I’ll leave it to your imagination!
You can say goodbye with one of the following phrases.
see you soon
hasta la vista
until we see each other again
That’s it for this lesson.
Learn more Spanish salutations here! Here are some recommended lessons:
See you soon! ¡Hasta pronto!
Mauricio Evlampieff: Rocket Spanish
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!