Spanish Conversation Starters

Common Spanish Conversation Starters

Here, you will find some of the most common Spanish conversation starters people use in everyday situations in Spain. This post will help you to break the ice (romper el hielo) in Spanish. Especially, you will learn questions and sentences that are mainly used at a conversational level. That is, how Spaniards actually speak.

In addition, these phrases are useful for Spanish conversation practice. When the opportunity arises, use them with another Spanish speaker, such a stranger, friend or a Spanish tutor. Any moment is a good moment to practice what you have learned.

Common Spanish Conversation Starters

GENERAL TALK

MEETING SOMEONE FOR THE FIRST TIME

Sometimes, starting a conversation with someone you just met can be challenging. The good news is that Spaniards are known for being extroverts, which will make this situation easier. However, like everything else, there are always exceptions.

After the initial Spanish greetings, be ready to receive two kisses (one on each cheek) or shake hands if you are man and meet another man. Once you pass this initial part, you can use some of the following phrases.

SpanishEnglish
¿A qué hora has llegado?
What time did you arrive?
¿Con quién has venido?
Who did you come with?
¿Conoces a alguien?
Do you know anybody?
¿Cuánto tiempo llevas aquí?
How long have you been here?
¿Cómo te llamas?
¿Cuál es tu nombre?
What's your name?
¿De dónde eres?
Where are you from?
¿Eres de por aquí?
Are you from around here?
¿Qué hora es?
¿Tienes hora?
What time is it?
¿Qué te trae por aquí?
What brings you here?
¿Vienes a menudo/mucho por aquí?
Do you come here often?
GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER

When you are trying to know more about the other person, the conversation takes a different course. You will start asking more personal questions, such as the following ones.

SpanishEnglish
¿A qué te dedicas?
What do you do for a living?
Estudias o trabajas?
Do you study or work?
¿Cuántos años tienes?
¿Qué edad tienes?
¿Cuál es tu edad?
How old are you?
¿Cuáles son tus hobbies?
What are your hobbies?
¿Cuánto tiempo hace que vives aquí?
How long have you been living here?
¿Dónde trabajas?
Where do you work?
¿Dónde sueles ir de vacaciones?
Where do you usually go on vacation?
¿En qué trabajas?
What is your profession?
¿Haces deporte
¿Practicas deporte?
Do you exercise?
¿Te gusta viajar?
Do you like to travel?
¿Tienes hijos?
Do you have children?
¿Tienes hermanos o hermanas?
Do you have siblings?
¿Qué estudias?
What do you study?
¿Qué haces durante tu tiempo libre?
What do you do in your free time?
¿Qué te gusta hacer?
What do you like to do?
¿Qué tipo de películas te gusta?
What kind of movies do you like?
¿Cuál es tu libro favorito?
What is your favorite book?

SPECIFIC CONVERSATIONS

MEETING A NEIGHBOR IN THE ELEVATOR

This is a very common situation. Who hasn’t ever had a conversation with a neighbor in the elevator? As you can imagine, the type of conversation with a neighbor will depend on how close you both are.

Here, you will find phrases that you can use for when you have a ‘standard’ relationship with your neighbor.

SpanishEnglish
Ayer vi a tu novio
I saw your boyfriend yesterday
A qué piso vas?
What floor are you going?
¿Cómo andan tus hijos?
How are your children?
¿Cuándo llegaste?
When did you arrive?
¿Qué tal tus padres?
How are your parents?
¿Qué tal están tus hijos?
How are your children?
Pues, hace buen tiempo hoy
Well, the weather is nice today
Vaya tiempo que tenemos hoy, eh
What weather we have today
Hacía tiempo que no te veía
It had been a while without seeing you
Has visto lo que ha pasado?
Did you see what happened?
¿Qué planes tienes para las fiestas?
What are you plans for the holidays?
¿Vienes de trabajar?
Are you coming from work?
TRAVELING

When traveling, people seems to be more open to start a conversations and meet other people. For example, who hasn’t ever started a conversation with someone when waiting for a flight? Or a train?

You can use the phrases below for example, at an airport or a train station. In the case of being at an airport, you may find this vocabulary useful.

SpanishEnglish
Adónde vas?
Where are you going?
¿Cómo aprendiste inglés?
How did you learn English?
¿Cuántos idiomas sabes?
How many languages do you know?
¿De dónde eres?
Where are you from?
¿Qué lugares has visitado?
What places have you visited?
¿Qué lugares visitarás?
What places will you visit?
¿Sueles viajar?
Do you travel often?
¿Viajas en avión a menudo?
Do you usually travel by plane?
¿Para qué vas a Barcelona?
For what reason are you going to Barcelona?

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you find this post helpful. Don’t be shy and be the first to break the ice. In my experience, people tend to be nice when someone is trying to speak in their native language. Thus, don’t be afraid and start conversations to practice your Spanish speaking skills. And of course, put these Spanish conversation starters into practice.  😉

What other conversations starters do you use?

Please let me know in the comment section.


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