How to Say ‘By the Way’ in Spanish and Other Phrases in Common Parlance
“By the way” is a common phrase in English, and knowing how to say “by the way” in Spanish is also useful.
Of course, when you’re learning Spanish as a second language, you want to know how to say this common phrases! Let’s learn how to say “by the way” in Spanish!
How Do You Say “By the Way” in Spanish?
There are three ways to say “by the way” in Spanish:
- A propósito
- Por cierto
- De paso
Each of these is used differently depending on the context. Before we go into each of them, let’s talk a little bit about what “by the way” actually means.
According to the Oxford dictionary, it means “incidentally,” and you use it when you want to add something to what you’re saying.
“By the way” is used as a transitional phrase—either to talk about something that adds to the conversation or to change the subject.
As I mentioned before, this phrase has three translations, so I’ll explain each of them in detail and provide you with plenty of examples so you can understand how they’re used and start using them yourself!
1. A propósito
This phrase has two meanings in Spanish. If you translate it directly into English, it means “on purpose.” For example:
Yo escogí ese color a propósito.
I chose that color on purpose.
However, when we’re talking the translation of “by the way” in Spanish, it is used when you have a new thought you want to introduce to the conversation that’s related to what you were talking about.
Ana se siente mejor. A propósito, ¿Cómo se siente tu hermana?
Ana feels better. By the way, how does your sister feel?
Yo vivo en Guatemala. A propósito, ¿Tú dónde vives?
I live in Guatemala. By the way, where do you live?
Estoy estudiando medicina. A propósito, ¿Qué estudia tu hermano?
I’m studying medicine. By the way, what does your brother study?
Ayer hablé con María. A propósito, me dijo que tuvo un sueño raro.
I talked to Maria yesterday. By the way, she told me she had a weird dream.
Estoy emocionada por el viaje. A propósito, hablé con mi papá de él.
I’m excited for the trip. By the way, I talked to my father about it.
Tengo que terminar mi tarea. A propósito, ¿Me podrías ayudar?
I have to finish my homework. By the way, could you help me?
2. Por cierto
Just like a propósito, por cierto is used to add something to the conversation. However, this phrase is used when you want to introduce a new subject to the conversation.
Look at these examples:
¿Cómo has estado? Por cierto, mi mamá te manda saludos.
How have you been? By the way, my mom says hi.
Mi hermano se llama Kevin. Por cierto, él nos visitará la otra semana.
My brother is named Kevin. By the way, he will visit us next week.
No me gustan los gatos. Por cierto, mi novio es alérgico a los gatos.
I don’t like cats. By the way, my boyfriend is allergic to cats.
Estoy trabajando en una tienda de libros. Por cierto, ¿Te acuerdas del libro que te presté?
I’m working at a bookshop. By the way, do you remember the book I lent you?
Ayer fui a tu casa. Por cierto, tu jardín es hermoso.
I went to your house yesterday. By the way, your garden is beautiful.
3. De paso
De paso is used differently from a propósito and por cierto. This translation of “by the way” in Spanish is used as a form of saying “while you’re at it.” You use it to take advantage of a situation in order to ask a favor of someone.
See these examples:
¿Podrías ir a visitar a la abuela? Y de paso, ¿Podrías recoger estos libros?
Could you go visit grandma? And, by the way, could you pick up these books?
Saca la basura y de paso revisa si tenemos correo.
Take out the trash and see if we have mail while you’re at it.
Ve a la tienda y de paso, ¿Podrías pasar a la farmacia también?
Go to the store, and by the way, could you go to the pharmacy as well?
¿Puedes traerme mis anteojos? Y de paso también tráeme mi libro.
Could you bring me my glasses? And by the way, bring me my book as well.
“By the Way” in Spanish: 4 More Transitional Phrases
A propósito, por cierto, and de paso are not the only transition words or Spanish idioms that exist.
To learn more about transition words in Spanish, check out 50 useful transition words in Spanish for everyday speech and writing.
Here are other Spanish words and phrases that are used similarly to “by the way” in Spanish:
1. Ya que estamos
This phrase is translated into “while we’re at it” or “since.”
Ya que estamos los dos aquí, tengo que hablar contigo.
Since we’re both here, I have to talk to you.
Ya que estamos ¿Por qué no pedimos comida?
While we’re at it, why don’t we order food?
2. Ahora que lo dices
This phrase is translated into “now that you mention it.”
Ahora que lo dices, sí tiene sentido.
Now that you mention it, yes it makes sense.
3. Ahora que lo pienso
This phrase is translated into “now that I think about it.”
Creo que no es una buena idea, ahora que lo pienso.
I don’t think it is a good idea, now that I think about it.
4. Ya que lo menciones
This one means “now that you mention it” or “since you’re mentioning it.”
Ya que lo mencionas, yo pienso lo mismo.
Now that you mention it, I agree.
Want to Practice?
Now that you know how to say “by the way” in Spanish and you’ve learned other transition phrases, it’s time to put it into practice! Sign up for a free class with us and you’ll be able to talk to a Spanish-speaking teacher who can help you practice your Spanish. You’ll get the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with a professional teacher who will answer your questions and help you create meaningful conversations that expose you to true Spanish. You’ll get to practice your new vocabulary and use what you learned today in real conversations. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
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