Making Friends: How to Introduce Someone in Spanish
In both your personal life and your career, first impressions are key. Think about the first time you met your best friend, your significant other, or your boss. Sometimes, those first moments tell us all we need to know.
For this reason, it’s important to know how to introduce someone in Spanish. It can get you a great job or the love of your life. Besides, there is a good chance that the first thing you’ll ever have to say in Spanish in a real-life situation is an introduction of yourself
So, today we are going to learn how to introduce someone in Spanish—and that includes yourself. We’ll also learn some basic words, phrases, questions, and responses for formal and informal settings.
How to Introduce Someone in Spanish
An excellent introduction leads to a great first impression. Learning how to introduce someone in Spanish (or yourself) is an important step in your learning process and, for sure, a subject that you won’t be able to avoid
When you introduce yourself, you give important information about yourself. You tell other people who you are, what you do, and why you are in that specific spot at that specific moment. In Spanish, you can do this in several different ways. Let’s explore the most common ones:
¡Hola! Me llamo Carlos.
Hello! My name is Carlos.
This first presentación (introduction) example is perhaps the most commonly used. However, for a new learner of the language, it presents a few challenges. First, it uses a reflexive verb that performs the action on the subject. The reflexive verb, in this case, is llamarse which could be translated as “to call oneself.” If I had to literally translate that introduction it would say:
Hello! I call myself Carlos.
This might be true, but it’s not practical in English. However, this brings us to our next type of presentación:
¡Hola! Mi nombre es Carlos.
Hello! My name is Carlos.
This one is literally translated, mi nombre means “my name.” So, why didn’t it come first? Because it’s not as common. It’s used mostly in more formal situations.
¡Hola! Soy Carlos.
Hello! I’m Carlos.
This is the most direct kind of introduction, both in Spanish and in English. You go straight to who you are. It works with your name but also with your profession or nationality, and you can mix it with the other two.
¡Hola! Me llamo Carlos y soy músico.
Hello! My name is Carlos and I’m a musician.
Introducing Someone Else
How to introduce someone in Spanish is a little bit more complex than introducing yourself. It’s always easier to talk about yourself than about someone else. Plus, it requires a higher level of Spanish as conjugations can get tricky between the third person you are introducing and the people to whom you are introducing them.
Basic Words and Phrases for Informal Settings
An interesting way to learn how to introduce someone in Spanish is to practice in real-life situations. Check out the following informal settings.
Introducing your friend to another friend
Hola Miguel, te presento a María.
Hello Miguel, let me introduce you to María.
Hola Miguel, esta es María. (Este es Juan).
Hello Miguel, this is María. (This is Juan).
Hola Miguel, ella es María. (Él es Juan).
Hello Miguel, she’s María. (He’s Juan).
In these three cases, the situation is informal, between friends. In the first case, the structure of the phrase doesn’t change according to the gender of the person to be introduced, while in cases 2 and 3 slight changes need to be taken into account.
Classmates Who Meet on the First Day of Class
Hola, soy Raúl. ¿Cómo te llamas?
Hello, I’m Raúl. What’s your name?
Hola, me llamo Raúl. ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Hello, my name is Raúl. What’s your name?
By now, your knowledge of basic introductory phrases is adding up, so you can start mixing them up. You can use any of the phrases we learned before to introduce yourself and add a question to establish a conversation with your new classmate. Remember, that although in Spanish there are two questions, both translate to “what’s your name?”
Basic Words and Phrases for Formal Settings
Now, let’s see how to introduce someone in Spanish in more formal settings, such as a business meeting or the nervewracking situation when you meet your partner’s parents for the first time.
Buenos días, permítanme presentarles a Daniela González.
Good morning, let me introduce you to Daniela González.
Buenas tardes, les presento a Daniela González.
Good afternoon, I’d like to introduce you to Daniela González.
In both cases, the formality starts with the greeting. Instead of an informal hola, buenos días or buenas tardes is required (it could also be buenas noches or “good night”). Then, you can see how the actual introduction is different from what happens between friends. These phrases are more formal.
Remember when I mentioned how introducing someone in Spanish is a bit more complex than introducing yourself? Here is a good example of that. Both cases are conjugated in the plural form as if you were introducing Daniela to a group of co-workers. If the situation requires the introduction to be made to just one person, the conjugation would change as follows:
…permíteme presentarte a Daniela González.
… te presento a Daniela González.
In English, it doesn’t matter if it’s singular or plural, the translation stays the same.
Meeting Your Partner’s Parents for the First Time
Papá, mamá, este es Miguel. Miguel, te presento a mis padres.
Mucho gusto; tienen una hija maravillosa.
Dad, mom, this is Miguel. Miguel, these are my parents.
Nice to meet you; you have a wonderful daughter.
This situation is complex for many reasons, but let’s focus just on the grammar side of it. Because the person doing the introducing is familiar with both sides, she can be a little more informal. However, for the boyfriend being introduced, formality is at a higher level. So, this introduction goes from informality to formality in just a few words.
It also jumps between singular and plural, depending on who is speaking to whom. I’ve found that this “jumping” between singular and plural can be challenging for new learners of the language, as they need to think beforehand about the right number as that changes the conjugation. Make sure to keep an eye on that.
Successful Conversations Start With a Good Introduction
That’s why it’s so important to know how to introduce someone in Spanish the right way, and remember, that someone includes yourself.
Greeting and Introduction
In most of the above examples, I added a greeting to make the introduction feel natural. Check out the different greetings that exist in Spanish, and make your own combinations of greeting and introduction. Here, a few examples:
Hola, me llamo Juan.
Hello, my name is Juan.
¿Cómo estás? Soy Diana.
How are you? I’m Diana.
Buenas tardes, mi nombre es José.
Good afternoon, my name is José.
¿Qué tal? Te presento a Karla.
How is it going? Let me introduce you to Karla.
Response to Greeting and Introduction
What do you say when someone approaches you and introduces themselves? Because that’s the next step. Once you introduce yourself (or someone else), they will do the same and you’ll need to react to that. Some of the most common responses to greetings and introductions in Spanish include:
Nice to meet you.
Es un placer (conocerte).
It’s a pleasure (to meet you).
This response is a bit more formal and can include the word in parentheses or not. You could also say just es un placer or “it’s a pleasure,” just like in English.
Basic Questions to Get to Know the Person
Let’s say someone doesn’t give you any information at all. The way to learn more about them is simple: ask questions. The following basic questions will help you get to know better that person. They also work well as conversation starters.
¿Cómo te llamas?
What’s your name?
¿De dónde eres?
Where are you from?
¿A qué te dedicas?
What do you do for a living?
After your formal or informal meeting that included an introduction, you will eventually have to say goodbye. Here you have a few ideas:
Ha sido un placer.
It’s been a pleasure.
Until next time!
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice introducing yourself to a native Spanish speaker today! Sign up for a free class with one of our friendly, certified Spanish teachers from Guatemala.
Now that you know how to introduce someone in Spanish, introduce yourself in the comments section below and start a conversation with students from all over the world!
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