‘Where Are You From?’ in Spanish and Other Essential Questions
Let’s say you want to get to know someone, and you want to do it in Spanish. You know the kind of conversation you will need to have. But let me ask you one question:
Do you know how to ask “where are you from” in Spanish?
That and other similar questions are the keys to your quest. If you’re looking for conversation starters and essential questions for when you’re getting to know someone, keep reading. You’ll find conversation examples for every question included.
Getting to Know Someone
One of the best signs that you have reached proficiency in Spanish is when you get to know someone by speaking the language. Questions such as “how old are you” or “where are you from” in Spanish show the other person your interest in them and give you important information about them.
However, to even be able to get to the questioning part, you need some useful conversation starters to break the ice and prepare yourself for a promising Spanish chat with a new acquaintance.
From the simple and common hola (hello) to questions about the other person’s hobbies or interests, conversation starters are great tools to approach people, avoid awkward silences, and let other people know that you want to know more about them.
Every language has their own conversation starters and some even work in different languages. When you ask someone “where are you from” in Spanish, you open the door to a world of possibilities. Depending on the person’s answer, your conversation will unfold. That’s the magic of essential questions.
Essential questions are questions you can’t avoid asking when getting to know someone new. Sooner or later, you will have to ask them if you actually want to know this person better.
Imagine you are traveling throughout Latin America, staying at a hostel in one of the biggest cities in the region, and at its bar you see a stunningly beautiful girl or handsome guy. What do you do? How do you get to know her/him? Asking questions is the only way. But you are in Guatemala or Peru, so you can’t speak English and need to ask “where are you from” in Spanish.
¿Dónde? – Where?
“Where Are You From?” in Spanish
This question is basic and, as mentioned before, it opens up a lot of possibilities. It’s also useful when traveling and meeting new people. By asking them about their place of origin, you open the door for them to ask you the same question, and that’s a subject you may feel comfortable speaking about in Spanish.
So, how do you ask “where are you from” in Spanish?
¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
The answer to that question can vary widely, so make sure to know at least a few of them in order to avoid getting lost in a conversation that has just started.
– Hola, ¿de dónde eres?
– Soy de Ecuador, ¿y tú?
– Yo soy de Colombia.
– ¿Y qué te trae por acá?
– Hi, where are you from?
– I’m from Ecuador, how about you?
– I’m from Colombia.
– What brings you here?
Where Do You Live?
Another important question uses the question word dónde or “where.” Asked either to just make small talk and give you an idea of where the other person lives, or because you are actually going to their place, it’s one of those questions that gets asked sooner or later.
¿Dónde vives? – Where do you live?
– El viernes tengo una fiesta en mi casa, ¿quieres venir?
– Claro, ¿dónde vives?
– En el centro.
– Perfecto, ahí estaré.
– On Friday, I’m throwing a party at my house, do you want to come?
– Sure, where do you live?
– Perfect, I’ll be there.
¿Qué? – What?
What Do You Do?
For a living, that is. This question is great as a conversation starter and a good way to get to know that person better. Their answer will tell you a lot about them and lead to more questions, assuring you a longer conversation.
¿A qué te dedicas? – What do you do?
– ¿A qué te dedicas?
– Soy maestro, ¿y tú?
– ¡Qué interesante! Yo soy ingeniero.
– ¡Súper bien!
– What do you do?
– I’m a teacher, how about you?
– That’s interesting! I’m an engineer.
How Old Are You?
You may have noticed that this question doesn’t include the question word “what”, but that’s only in English. In Spanish, you use qué to ask about other people’s age, and that’s the reason I’m including this one in the “what” category.
¿Qué edad tienes? – How old are you?
You could also ask in Spanish ¿cuántos años tienes?, which literally means “how many years do you have?,” but it translates as “how old are you?” as well.
– ¿Qué edad tienes?
– Tengo 25, ¿por qué?
– Es que estoy organizando un viaje a Las Vegas, ¿quieres venir?
– ¡Claro, cuenta conmigo!
– How old are you?
– I’m 25, why?
– Because I’m organizing a trip to Las Vegas, do you want to come?
– Sure, count me in!
¿Cómo? – How?
How Are You?
Perhaps, the essential question that provides less essential information, but also the one that’s more common. That’s because it’s considered a greeting actually, and that tells you everything y
you need to know about this question: it’s the perfect ice-breaker.
¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
– Hola, ¿cómo estás?
– Muy bien, ¿y tú?
– Excelente, gracias. ¿De dónde eres?
– De Argentina.
– Hi, how are you?
– I’m well, how about you?
– Great, thank you. Where are you from?
What’s Your Name?
Same case as with the “How old are you?” question, this one is here because in Spanish starts with cómo. Unavoidable question that you will ask and be asked plenty of times. You can’t get to know someone, without it.
¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
In Spanish, you could ask too ¿cuál es tu nombre?, which is the literal translation of “what’s your name?”, but also correct.
– Hola, ¿cómo te llamas?
– María, ¿y tú?
– Yo soy Carlos, mucho gusto.
– El gusto es mío.
– Hi, what’s your name?
– Maria, and yours?
– I’m Carlos, nice to meet you.
– Nice to meet you.
¿Cuándo? – When?
When Is Your Birthday?
Perhaps you don’t ask this question in the first conversation, but you know that at some point you will have to ask it.
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? – When is your birthday?
– ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
– El 20 de marzo, ¿y el tuyo?
– El 3 de septiembre.
– Ya casi, espero me invites a tu fiesta.
– When is your birthday?
– March 20th, and yours?
– September 3rd.
– Soon. I hope you invite me to your party.
Get to Know Someone
You just learned the most essential Spanish questions to get to know someone—are you ready for more? Improve your conversations in Spanish with our list of 100+ conversations starters. Still not enough? We’re here to help! Sign up now for a free class with one of our certified native Spanish teachers from Guatemala, start polishing your conversation skills, and get to know someone new today!
Want more free Spanish resources for travelers? Check out these posts!
- How To Make Small Talk in Spanish [Easy Conversation] - January 14, 2022
- A Traveler’s Guide to Bogotá, Colombia - January 7, 2022
- Spanish for Seniors: 13 Extraordinary Benefits of Learning Language After Age 60 - January 4, 2022