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Common Spanish Greetings

Common Spanish Greetings from Spain - Beyond Hola

Don’t know how to start a conversation in Spanish? Want to learn the common Spanish greetings beyond hola? Just got to Spain and you do not understand the greeting slang?

Here, you will find useful information that will easily answer your questions.

Additionally, there are plenty of examples with audios to help you to practice your listening skills.

Aspects to take into account

Greetings are an important part when starting a conversation. The type of greetings you use are going to set up the kind of conversation you want to have.

Just like goodbyes, there are three major factors you need to take into account when it comes to greet:

  • Formal or informal ways.
  • Slang.
  • Cultural aspects.

FORMAL OR INFORMAL

There are mainly two ways to greet: informal or formal. The type you choose is going to depend on the situation and the person you meet.

When you want to talk in a formal way in Spanish, you use the 3rd person pronoun, either singular (usted) or plural (ustedes). In Spain, unlike Latin America, usted is not as widely used. People only use it for certain instances, like: when meeting a big boss, an elderly person, a king or a queen, or just when you want to sound intellectual.

On the other hand, you can tutear when you address a person in an informal way, by using the 2nd person pronoun (). Also, in Spain we use the 2nd plural person vosotros/as to address two or more people in a familiar way (i.e. you all). Therefore, think about what situation you are in before greeting.

SLANG

Slang is in all the languages of the world and in every situation, including greetings. Make sure you also learn this part, since you will use it a lot, especially when you meet your friends or family.

CULTURAL ASPECTS

Additionally, cultural aspects are very important to take into account when meeting someone.

In Spain, people tend to be very close and friendly when greeting a person. For example, when two woman, or a man and a woman meet, they give each other a kiss on each cheek. However, most of the times, it is more like a symbolic kiss (the lips do not really touch the cheeks). On the other hand, when two men meet, they usually shake hands.

Think about these three aspects before meeting someone and you will be all set. 😀

List of the Common Spanish Greetings Used in Spain

Although the possibilities are endless, I put together the most common Spanish greetings from Spain. Here is the list with their translations in English and a quick explanation.

Abreviations: Spanish (SPAN.), English (ENG.), Preterite (pret.), somebody (sb.), something (sth.), usted (Ud.) and ustedes (Uds.).

INFORMAL WAYS

Here is where you will find the most slang.

SPAN.ENG.
Buen día
Hello
Hi
Good day
Buenas
Hello
Hi
Buenas noches

Good night
Good evening
Buenas tardes
Good afternoon
Good evening
Buenos días
Good morning
"Good days"
¿Cómo andas?
How are you?
How are you doing?
"How are you walking?"
¿Cómo estás?
How are you?
¿Cómo has estado?
How have you been?
¿Cómo (te) ha ido?
How have you been?
¿Cómo ha ido (todo)?
How has everything been?
¿Cómo (te) va?
How is it going?
¿Cómo (te) va todo?
How is everything going?
Ei
Hey
Hola
Hello
¡Cuánto tiempo (sin verte)!
It's been a long time without seeing you!
¡Qué gusto verte!

It is nice to see you!
¿Qué haces?
What are you doing?
¿Qué hay?
What’s up?
"What is there?"
¿Qué hay de nuevo?
What’s new?
What's new with you?
¿Qué (me o te) cuentas?
What's up?
What's new?
"What can you tell me?"
¿Qué pasa?
What's up?
What's happening?
What's going on?
¿Qué tal (estás)?
How are you?

FORMAL WAYS

Most of the following greetings fall into the rule of using the 3rd person pronoun. However, others can be used as informal greetings too (*).

SPAN.ENG.
Bienvenido/a
Welcome
Buenas noches*
Good night
Good evening
Buenas tardes*
Good afternoon
Good evening
Buenos días*
Good morning
"Good day"
¿Cómo está (Ud.)?
How are you?
¿Cómo ha estado (Ud.)?
How have you been?
¿Cómo le ha ido?
How have you been?
¿Cómo le va?
How are you?
How are you doing?
(Con) mucho gusto
My pleasure
Pleased to meet you
Nice to meet you
Encantado/a (de conocerle/lo/la)
(I'm) pleased to meet you
(It's a) pleasure to meet you
Es un placer (verle/lo/la)
It's a pleasure to see you
Hola*
Hello
Qué gusto verle/lo/la
I'm glad to see you
¿Qué tal?*
How are you?
¿Qué tal está (Ud.)?
How are you?
¿Qué tal se encuentra (Ud.)?
How are you?

Final Thougths

The same as goodbyes, there are a lot of ways to greet each other in Spanish. Choose the most convenient one according to your context and situation. However, when in doubt, hola will take you anywhere.

If you want, I can help you practice with this vocabulary by using it while having a conversation during our online Spanish conversation classes.

Now, I would like to hear from you.

  • Have you ever used any of these greetings?
  • Do you know any others?

Leave your answer in the comment section below.


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Hola and hi, I am Inés and I am the author of all the posts in the ConvoSpanish blog. My goal is to offer free content for people to practice their Spanish. Creating and maintaining the blog takes a lot of my free time however, due to my love of sharing Spanish with you, I will keep adding and updating the content in the blog. If you like the content of this post and believe that it helps you, please consider donating. I need coffee to keep me going while creating the posts. Aren´t they worth at least a cup of coffee? 😛 Any amount is appreciated. Donations will be used to support the free blog.

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