25+ Spanish Interjections and Exclamations for Spirited Conversations
Spanish interjections are little pieces of the language that help you to express a lot of different emotions. They also help to improve your Spanish by making it sound more natural.
Today, we’ll learn what Spanish interjections are, why it’s so important to learn their meanings and usage, and finally, I’ll introduce you to 25 of the most used Spanish interjections and exclamations!
What Are Spanish Interjections?
Just as in English, Spanish interjections are words and short phrases used to express emotions, feelings, surprise, admiration, or annoyance. They usually come with exclamation marks and for that reason they are also known as exclamations, although not every interjection is an exclamation.
A good way to identify interjections is by checking if they “interrupt” or “interject” the conversation. For example, “Hey! What are you doing?” In this case, “Hey!” is an interjection. However, there is no need to worry, as we’ll also see some of the most useful exclamations in Spanish.
Why Should You Learn Them?
This is a great question and one that you should ask yourself every time a new topic comes around. In this case, it’s important to learn Spanish interjections because that’s the way we speak.
Think of the way you express yourself in English, saying “ouch!” or “wow!” feels natural, and you don’t even have to think about those words before pronouncing them. Same thing happens in Spanish. If you really want to master this language, you need to add some Spanish interjections to your vocabulary.
25 Spanish Interjections and Exclamations
The following Spanish interjections and exclamations will help you to speak a more natural Spanish and sound like a true native of the language. I’m including Spanish interjections used in different countries of the Spanish-speaking world, in no particular order.
This is a very Mexican Spanish interjection that became world famous thanks to the Speedy Gonzales cartoon character. It means different things depending on the context. It can mean agreement, like in “there you have it.” It also means “hurry up,” and “alright.” It’s a very useful piece of Mexican slang.
¡Ándale, o vamos a llegar tarde!
Hurry up, or we’ll be late!
In Spain, this interjection is used for everything. You can express agreement and affirmation with it, as in “alright,” “okay,” or “no problem.” Vale is so overused in Spain, that sometimes it becomes a filler word too.
¿Vamos al cine?
Do you want to go to the movies?
The Argentine equivalent to the Mexican ándale and the Spanish vale. Dale also expresses agreement, as in “okay.”
¿Pedimos una pizza?
Do you want to order a pizza?
4. ¡Dios mío!
This is the Spanish equivalent to the English phrase “oh, my God!” As in English, it’s used to express surprise, amazement, horror, or even disgust.
¡Dios mío! ¿Qué pasó aquí?
Oh my God! What happened here?
5. ¡Qué barbaridad!
One more of the Spanish interjections that are used to express surprise, horror or disgust. It also translates as “oh my God!”
¡Qué barbaridad! ¿Quién hizo esto?
Oh my God! Who did this?
Meaning “come on!,” this interjection is widely used in Spain mostly.
¡Venga tío, que vamos tarde!
Come on dude, we’re late!
Similar to venga, it expresses the same idea of “come on!” in English. This version is more used in Latin America.
¡Vamos, tenemos que ganar!
Come on, we have to win!
Perhaps the most used of Spanish interjections, ¡ay! translates as “ouch!” and expresses pain, regret, or even surprise.
¡Ay! Me lastimé el tobillo.
Ouch! I hurt my ankle.
Literally meaning (you) “hear,” ¡oye! Is used to call for the attention of someone and it’s English equivalent would be “hey!”
¡Oye! ¿Sabes a qué hora abre la oficina de correos?
Hey! Do you know at what time the post office opens?
Widely used in Spain, it expresses admiration or to cheer someone. Mostly used in Flamenco dancing performances and in bullfighting spectacles.
¡Olé! ¡Qué gran espectáculo!
Wow! What a great show!
This interjection is an anglicism, as it’s the Spanish spelling of the English word “wow!” It’s used to express surprise, admiration, or even disappointment.
¡Guau! ¿Viste eso?
Wow! Did you see that?
One more of the Spanish interjections coming from Mexico. ¡Órale! can mean a lot of things depending on the context, from agreement (okay) to surprise and admiration.
¿Quieres un helado?
Do you want an ice cream?
One of the most popular Spanish interjections, it’s used across the Spanish-speaking world and it means “well done!” You can use it to express admiration and recognition. Mostly used when clapping and giving standing ovations after live performances.
¡Bravo! ¡Esa fue una magnífica presentación!
Well done! That was a great performance!
An interjection that expresses surprise and concern.
¡Vaya! No me esperaba esto.
Hum! I wasn’t expecting this.
15. ¡Ojo!, ¡Aguas!, ¡Cuidado!
These three Spanish interjections mean the same and express a warning.
¡Aguas! Ese coche está fuera de control.
Look out! That car is out of control.
Used to express pain, but you can also say it to express surprise or admiration.
¡Huy! Me duele la cabeza.
Ouch! I have a headache.
17. ¡Por Dios!
Translates as “God help me” or “for God’s sake.” People use it when they are scared, surprised, or desperate.
¡Por Dios! ¿Qué voy a hacer?
For God’s sake! What am I going to do?
18. ¡Qué fuerte!
Widely used in Spain, it expresses surprise, amazement, or sympathy.
Ayer terminé con mi novia.
¡Qué fuerte tío! Lo siento mucho.
Yesterday I broke up with my girlfriend.
Wow! I’m sorry buddy.
Mostly used in Spain, it’s used to express surprise, admiration, and to cheer or hurry someone up.
¡Hala! ¡Que se nos va el tren!
Come on! We’ll miss our train!
Expresses understanding, agreement, or scepticism.
¿Entendiste lo que dijo el profesor?
Did you understand what the teacher just said?
21. ¡Qué lástima!
This expression means “what a pity!” or “what a shame!”
¡Qué lástima que no alcanzamos a despedirnos!
What a pity that we couldn’t say goodbye!
22. ¡Qué guay!
Mostly used in Spain, it’s used in the same context as “cool!” or “awesome!” in English.
¡Qué guay están tus zapatos nuevos!
Those new shoes are awesome!
23. ¡Ché!, ¡Tío!, ¡Güey!
They all translate as “dude!” or “buddy!” but ¡ché! is used in Argentina, ¡tío! in Spain, and ¡güey! in Mexico.
¡Ché! Apúrate, que vamos tarde.
Dude! Hurry up, we’re late!
This interjection is used to celebrate something or cheer someone up. Literally, it’s a conjugation of the verb “to live,” but it can be used to celebrate almost anything, even non-living things.
¡Viva el rey!
Long live the king!
Another Spanish interjection of Mexican origins. It’s used to express surprise, exasperation, or regret.
¡Híjole! ¡Se me olvidaron las llaves!
Jeez! I forgot the keys!
Practice Your Spanish Interjections
These were some of the most popular Spanish interjections. Introduce them into your daily conversations, and your Spanish will start feeling more natural every time. Sign up for a free class with one of our certified teachers from Guatemala and start using Spanish interjections today!
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