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Introductions, Greetings, and Farewells in Spanish

by | Spanish

In this post you’ll learn the basic introduction, common greetings and different ways to say goodbye to someone in Spanish. This post can also help you if you’re traveling to a Spanish speaking country and want to impress someone by speaking un poco de español (a little bit of Spanish).

There are several ways to introduce ourselves, greet people at different times of the day, and say goodbye.

Related: How I Improved My Spanish By Not Obsessing Over Grammar

Let’s start with common and useful greetings and basic introduction:

  • Hola – Hello/Hi

Hola is the most basic for of greetings and can be used in formal or informal environment. Whenever you meet someone, start the conversation with Hola.

Tip: H is always silent in Spanish. Pronounce hola as ola, and you’ll sound like a native from the very first word.

  • Buenos días – Good morning

‘Buenos días’ is used in Spanish exactly as ‘good morning’ in English. If you meet someone before noon, you can say: Hola, buenos días (Hello, good morning).

  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon

If you want to say ‘good afternoon’ in Spanish, use the phrase ‘buenas tardes’. You can use this between noon and late evening. Hola, buenas tardes – Hi, good afternoon.

  • Buenas noches – Good evening/night

Yes, the phrase ‘buenas noches’ can mean both good evening and good night in Spanish. Depending upon the time and the context of the conversation, people will know what you mean.

If you use it in the start of a conversation, it can mean good evening, if you say buenas noches later in the conversation or after a conversation ends, it will mean that you’re saying good night and want to leave.

  • Mi nombre es…/Me llamo… – My name is…

‘Me llamo’ literally means ‘I’m called’, and ‘Mi nombre es’ is ‘My name is’. However, both of them literally mean the same thing and you can use them interchangeably.

There’s another way to say your name: Yo soy… (I am…)

My name is Diego. – Mi nombre es Diego. Yo soy Diego. Me llamo Diego.

  • ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name? (Informal)

Literally you’re asking ‘what do you call yourself?’, but that’s how you ask someone’s name in Spanish.

You could also ask ‘¿Cuál es tu nombre?‘, which literally means ‘What’s your name?’, but this is very uncommon and rarely used.

Tip: Also both these phrases are informal. You should not use them in a very professional or business environment.

If you’re in a business meeting or job interview, this is how you should ask someone’s name”:

¿Cómo se llama? – What’s your name? (Formal)

A simple conversation in Spanish:

Diego: ¡Hola! Buenos Dias.

Carlos: Buenos Dias. Me llamo Carlos. ¿Cómo te llamas?

Diego: Mi nombre es Diego.

More basic useful words and phrases:

  • ¿Cómo está? — How are you? (Formal)
  • ¿Cómo estás Pablo? — How are you Pablo? (Informal)
  • ¿Cómo están? — How are you (all)? (Plural)
  • ¿Qué tal Maria? — How’s it going Maria?
  • ¿Qué pasa chicos? — What’s happening guys? What’s up guys?
  • ¿De dónde eres? — Where are you from?
  • Soy de México. – I’m from Mexico.
  • ¿Hablas español / inglés? – Do you speak Spanish/English?
  • ¿Qué onda? – What’s up? How is it going? (Common in Mexico)
  • ¿Como va? — How’s it going?
  • ¿Qué haces? – What are you up to?
  • ¡Hace tiempo que no te veo! – It’s been a while since I’ve seen you!
  • ¿Dónde has estado? – Where have you been?
  • Gracias – Thanks.
  • You’re welcome – De nada (Literally – It’s nothing)

This is how you can reply if someone asks how you are:

  • Más o menos – More or less/Not too bad
  • Estoy muy bien – I’m very good
  • Como siempre – As always
  • Bien, gracias – I’m good, thank you
  • Un poco cansado (male) – A little tired
  • Un poco cansada (female) – A little tired
  • Estoy triste – I’m Sad
  • Estoy feliz –  I’m happy
  • No me siento bien. – I’m not feeling good.

Saying goodbyes in Spanish:

  • Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you.
  • Encantado (Encantada – female) – Pleasure
  • Es un placer – It’s a pleasure.
  • Ciao – See ya
  • Adiós — Goodbye
  • Hasta pronto – See you soon
  • Hasta la vista – Until we see each other again
  • Nos vemos – Another way to say ‘see you’ or we’ll see each other
  • Hasta luego – later
  • Cuidate – Take care

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