Basic Spanish Conversation Phrases
Spanish, Español or Castilian, is a Romance language that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin(brought to the Iberian Peninsula of Europe by the Romans during the Second Punic War, beginning in 210 BC) in Iberia, after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century and forms a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages of the Indo-European language family. The first documents to show traces, of what is today regarded as the precursor of modern Spanish, are from the 9th century. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern era, the most important influences on the Spanish lexicon came from neighbouring Romance languages—Mozarabic (Andalusi Romance), Navarro-Aragonese, Leonese, Catalan, Portuguese, Galician, Occitan, and later, French and Italian. Spanish also borrowed a considerable number of words from Arabic, as well as a minor influence from the Germanic Gothic language through the migration of tribes and a period of Visigoth rule in Iberia. In addition, many more words were borrowed from Latin through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church. The loanwords were taken from both Classical Latin and Renaissance Latin, the form of Latin in use at that time.
According to the theories of Ramón Menéndez Pidal, local sociolects of Vulgar Latin evolved into Spanish, in the north of Iberia, in an area centred in the city of Burgos, and this dialect was later brought to the city of Toledo, where the written standard of Spanish was first developed, in the 13th century. In this formative stage, Spanish developed a strongly differing variant from its close cousin, Leonese, and, according to some authors, was distinguished by a heavy Basque influence (see Iberian Romance languages). This distinctive dialect spread to southern Spain with the advance of the Reconquista, and meanwhile gathered a sizable lexical influence from the Arabic of Al-Andalus, much of it indirectly, through the Romance Mozarabic dialects (some 4,000 Arabic-derived words, make up around 8% of the language today). The written standard for this new language was developed in the cities of Toledo, in the 13th to 16th centuries, and Madrid, from the 1570s.
In the beginning, in 1492, Spanish was introduced most notably to the Americas, as well as territories in Africa and the Philippines that were under Spanish Empire. Today, Spanish is a global language with nearly 500 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is the world’s second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese, the world’s fourth-most spoken language overall after English, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindi, the ‘most taught’ foreign languages besides English and French, throughout the world, and the third most used language on internet websites after English and Russian.
Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is also used as an official language by the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States, the African Union and many other international organizations. Yet despite its large number of speakers, Spanish does not feature prominently in scientific writing and technology, though it is better represented in the humanities and social sciences.
Spanish has undergone a lot to be what it is today. Let me now introduce you to a few conversation phrases in Spanish to see how melodious it is.
Basic Conversations and Exchanges
Hola – Hello
¡Buenas tardes! – Good afternoon
¡Buenas noches! – Good evening! and Good Night!
¡Buenos días! – Good morning!
¡Bienvenido! – Welcome!
¡Que gusto de verlo! – What a pleasure to see you!
Sí – Yes
Claro – Of course
Siempre – Always
A veces – Sometimes
Tal vez – Maybe
No – No
Nunca – Never
Necesito ayuda – I need help
Adiós – Goodbye
Chao – Goodbye
Hasta luego – See you later
Hasta pronto – See you soon
Hasta la vista – See you next time
Hasta mañana – See you tomorrow
Nos vemos – See ya
Que tengas un buen día – Have a good day
Que te vaya bien – Have a good day
Cuídate – Take care (informal)
Cuídese – Take care (formal)
Buena suerte – Good luck
Buen viaje – Have a good trip
Buen provecho – Enjoy your meal
Diviértete – Have fun
Salud – Cheers / Bless you (when someone sneezes)
Muy bien – Well done
Felicitaciones – Congratulations
Feliz Cumpleaños – Happy Birthday
Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas
Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy New Year
Gracias – Thank you
Muchas gracias – Thank you very much
De nada – You’re welcome
Perdón – I am sorry
Lo siento – I’m sorry
Disculpe – Sorry Mil
disculpas – A thousand sorry’s
Por favor – Please Con
permiso – Excuse me
Perdone / Perdona – Excuse me
Siento interrumpir – I am sorry to interrupt
General exchanges with appropriate replies and expressions
¿Qué tal? – How are you?
¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
¿Cómo está usted? – How are you? (usted is more formal than tú)
¿Cómo te va? – How are you?
¿Cómo te ha ido? – How have you been?
¿Qué pasa? – What ‘s up?
¿Qué cuentas? – What ‘s up?
Estoy bien, ¿y tú? – I am fine, and you?
Bien, ¿y usted? – Good, and you? (usted is more formal than tú)
Estoy estupendo – I am great.
Estoy muy bien – I am very well.
Estoy así así – I am okay.
Estoy más o menos. – I am so-so.
Estoy regular – I am regular.
Estoy mal – I feel unwell.
Estoy fatal – I am terrible.
Estoy un poco cansado – I am a little tired.
Estoy exhausto – I am exhausted.
Estoy enfermo – I am sick.
Señor (Sr.) – Mr.
Señora (Sra.) – Mrs.
Señorita (Srta.) – Miss
¿Cuál es tu nombre? – What is your name? (informal)
¿Cuál es su nombre? – What is your name? (formal) ¿Cómo te llamas? – What is your name? (informal) ¿Cómo se llama? – What is your name? (formal) Me llamo… – My name is… Mi nombre es… – My name is…
Place of origin
¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from? (informal)
¿De dónde es? – Where are you from? (formal)
¿De dónde son? – Where are you from? (plural)
¿Dónde vives? – Where do you live?
Yo soy de… – I am from…
Somos de… – We are from…
Important questions and expressions
¿Qué hora tienes? – What time is it?
¿Qué edad tienes? – How old are you?
¿Cuántos años tienes? – How old are you?
¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? – When is your birthday?
¿Cuánto cuesta eso? – How much is that?
¿Quién eres? – Who are you?
¿Qué es esto? – What is this?
¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy? – What is the date today?
¿Entiende? – Do you understand?
¿Comprende? – Do you understand?
¿Por qué te gusta? – Why do you like it?
¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?
Necesito ayuda – I need help
No (lo) sé – I don’t know!
Estoy perdido – I’m lost
¿Puedes hablar más despacio? – Can you speak more slowly?
Questions in Spanish
¿Qué…? – What…?
¿Cómo…? – How…?
¿Cuándo…? – When…?
¿Cuánto…? – How much…?
¿Dónde…? – Where…?
¿Quién…? – Who…?
¿Por qué…? – Why…?
¿Cuál? – Which…?
In this article, we have addressed everyday common phrases to help you learn Spanish better. With these phrases in your repertoire, you’ll soon find yourself having basic conversations easily leading you to fluently talk with a Spanish speaker! So now that you’ve learned the basics, are you ready to take the next step on your Spanish journey?
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