25 Essential Spanish Phrases for Beginners
Learning a new language is a long process. When I began learning English as a kid, it took a lot of time to memorize vocabulary and complete practice exercises. Practice and study are the keys to truly masterig another language.
If you are new to learning Spanish or you have just been practicing it for a little bit, I bet you’ve had moments where someone told you something in Spanish and you had no idea what they just said. It happens! There are some Spanish phrases you won’t yet understand. It’s okay to have these blank moments.
To help you build confidence despite these kinds of situations, I’ve put together a list of the 25 essential Spanish phrases for beginners.
Practice them today. Memorize them as soon as you can. And use them often!
Want more Spanish basics?
Check out Spanish for Dummies.
Greetings are important because they are our conversation openers. You probably already know hola, but asking how someone is doing is also an important skill to have. You can greet someone in Spanish in many ways (check out Spanish Greetings for more information), but here are the basic Spanish phrases for greetings:
However, these last three Spanish phrases can be used as greetings and also as a way of saying goodbye. Surprisingly, they mean the same in both situations.
Responses to greetings
Saying hello is important. On the other hand, being able to respond to a greeting is fundamental if you want to avoid those awkward pauses. These responses help to keep the conversation flowing. Here’s the list of short, basic responses that are super easy to learn:
Likewise, farewells in Spanish are good to know so you don’t leave a conversation hanging open. Just like not being able to respond, leaving without saying goodbye would be very awkward. To avoid that, here is the list of Spanish phrases to say goodbye:
Polite Spanish Phrases
People in Spanish-speaking countries are very kind and polite toward tourists and people that can’t speak the language fluently. If you are traveling aboard, for example, the locals will gladly help you with anything you need. Therefore, you need to know some Spanish phrases to respond to their politeness:
In addition, perdón and disculpa can also be used for “excuse me.”
Questions are half of a conversation. For instance, they help when you want to get to know someone, but also if you don’t know something, or if you want to ask for help. This is why earning to say those questions in Spanish is very important.
Questions in Spanish start with one of these phrases: Cómo, Cuándo, Por qué, Quién, Qué, and Dónde. In English, these are: How, When, Why, Who, What, and Where. To clarify, here is a short list of Spanish questions:
Other Useful Spanish Phrases
All of the Spanish phrases above are very useful and important to know if you want to have a fluid conversation in Spanish. There are many other phrases you can learn, but here are the last three I consider useful so you can learn:
I really hope these 25 essential Spanish phrases are useful to you. I can guarantee that if you learn these you will not have that many moments where you don’t know how to respond. These phrases will help you understand what others are saying and how to respond to them. Also, learning these phrases will help you further your studies of the Spanish language. If you are looking for more phrases and important things to know in Spanish, check out our post on how to Learn Spanish in 5 months!
Want more Spanish resources? Check these out!
- The Ultimate Guide to Using ‘And’ in Spanish (and Other Conjunctions)
- Take Action on World Cleanup Day, el Día Mundial de Limpieza
- A Simple Guide to Mastering Definite and Indefinite Articles in Spanish
- 5 Ways to Observe and Celebrate National POW/MIA Recognition Day
- 15 Amazingly Popular Spanish Songs for Kindergarten
- ‘How Can I Help You?’ in Spanish and Customer Service Conversations
- How to Use the Personal A in Spanish: Do’s and Don’ts
- 3 Types of Morning Routines in Spanish: Which Is Yours?
- Pedir Conjugation: Free Spanish Lesson, Exercises, and PDF
- Patriot Day: Spanish Firefighter Vocabulary and Activities for Curious Kids