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75 Basic Spanish Phrases and 30 Sample Dialogues To Participate in Any Conversation

Have you started learning Spanish quite recently, and you need more vocabulary?

Are you planning to spend Christmas with your family in Mexico?

Or perhaps you’ve only been studying with grammar books, and you need to catch up on “real-life” words and expressions?

This post is for all of you who want to challenge themselves into an actual Spanish conversation and need some help to survive.

Today I´ll show you how to greet people in this language, teach you some common expressions, typical conversational questions, give you a few examples of small talk in Spanish, and many other useful things.

And so that you know what I am talking about, please take a look at:

The Must-Know basic Spanish phrases to participate in conversations

  • 🇪🇸 ¡Hola! – 🇬🇧 Hello!
  • 🇪🇸 Me llamo (John) – 🇬🇧 My name is (John).
  • 🇪🇸 Soy de (Boston) – 🇬🇧 I’m from (Boston).
  • 🇪🇸 ¡Un gusto conocerte! – 🇬🇧 Nice to meet you!
  • 🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estás? – 🇬🇧 How are you?
  • 🇪🇸 Muy bien y tú? – 🇬🇧 Very well, and you?
  • 🇪🇸 No hablo muy bien español – 🇬🇧 I don’t speak Spanish very well.
  • 🇪🇸 No entiendo – 🇬🇧 I don’t understand.
  • 🇪🇸 ¿Puedes repetir? – 🇬🇧 Can you repeat?
  • 🇪🇸 ¡Nos vemos! – 🇬🇧 See you!
  • 🇪🇸 ¡Gracias por todo! – 🇬🇧 Thanks for everything!

Of course, this list is only a brief summary of what we are going to see today. 

So sit tight and focus. I promise this post is worth it!

Greetings and Introductions in Spanish

If you don’t know much of Spanish, you should at least be able to greet people and introduce yourself, right? 

Just with this, you’ll be able to join a conversation, focus on your listening comprehension, and once you’re ready to participate, add some other words that you know. 

Never be ashamed of how little Spanish you might know. Talking to other people in this language is by far the best way to practice and advance. 

Never miss a chance to participate in a conversation just because you’re self-conscious of your limited vocabulary or poor pronunciation.

The table below shows some basic formal and informal Spanish greetings.

INFORMALFORMAL
🇪🇸 ¡Hola!
🇬🇧 Hi!
🇪🇸 ¡Buenos días!
🇬🇧 Good morning!
🇪🇸 ¡Buenas tardes!
🇬🇧 Good afternoon!
🇪🇸 ¡Buenas noches!
🇬🇧 Good evening!
🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estás?
🇬🇧 How are you?
🇪🇸 ¿Cómo le va?
🇬🇧 How do you do?
🇪🇸 Bien ¿y tú?
🇬🇧 Good, and you?
🇪🇸 Muy bien ¿y usted?
🇬🇧 Very well, and you?
🇪🇸 Soy Nicolás!
🇬🇧 I’m Nicolás.
🇪🇸 Me llamo Eduardo Rodriguez.
🇬🇧 My name is Eduardo Rodriguez.
🇪🇸 Te presento a mi novia. 
🇬🇧 Please meet my girlfriend
🇪🇸 Quisiera presentarle a mi esposa. 
🇬🇧 I’d like to introduce my wife.
🇪🇸 Ellos son mis padres. 
🇬🇧 These are my parents.
🇪🇸 Por favor conozcan al señor Perez!
🇬🇧 Please, meet Mr. Perez!
🇪🇸 ¡Mucho gusto!
🇬🇧 Nice to meet you!
🇪🇸 ¡Encantado de conocerle!
🇬🇧 I am pleased to meet you!
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenido/a!
🇬🇧 Welcome! – masculine / feminine
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenido/a!
🇬🇧 Welcome! – masculine / feminine
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenidos/as!
🇬🇧 Welcome! – plural masculine / plural feminine
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenidos/as!
🇬🇧 Welcome! – plural masculine / plural feminine

And this is how you could use these basic Spanish phrases in conversations:

🇪🇸
A: ¡Hola, John! ¡Bienvenido a mi casa!
B: ¡Hola! ¡Muchas gracias por la invitación!
🇬🇧
A: Hi John! Welcome to my home!
B: Hello! Thanks a lot for the invitation!

🇪🇸
A: ¡Buenos días! ¿Cómo le va?
B: ¡Muy bien! ¿Y cómo está usted?
🇬🇧
A: Good morning! How do you do?
B: Very well! And how are you?

🇪🇸
A: Pedro, te presento a mi hermana, Carla.
B: Hola Carla, ¡bienvenida a Madrid!
🇬🇧
A: Pedro, please meet my sister, Carla!
B: Hi, Carla! Welcome to Madrid!

🇪🇸
A: Estimados, por favor conozcan a nuestro nuevo socio, Señor Morales.
B: Encantados en conocerlo, Señor. 
🇬🇧
A: Dear all, please meet our new partner, Mr. Moralez!
B: Pleased to meet you, Sir. 

Spanish expressions of politeness

Taking part in a conversation often requires you to use some essential polite words. 

You know what they say: there’s never too many thank-yous, no matter what language you speak!

Either as a quick review or a list of “to-learn” vocabulary, here’s a selection of useful politeness expressions to save you from the “rude gringo” image. “Gringo” is the way Spanish-speakers refer to foreigners whose first language is not Spanish.

🇪🇸 ¡Gracias!
🇬🇧 Thank you! / Thanks!

🇪🇸 ¡Por favor!
🇬🇧 Please!

🇪🇸 ¡Lo siento!
🇬🇧 I’m sorry! – apologetic

🇪🇸 Disculpa / disculpe –  tú / usted
🇬🇧 Excuse me

🇪🇸 ¿Perdón?
🇬🇧 Beg your pardon? 

🇪🇸 ¡No te preocupes!
🇬🇧 Don’t worry!

🇪🇸 ¡No se preocupe!
🇬🇧 Don’t worry! – formal

🇪🇸 ¡Con mucho gusto!
🇬🇧 With pleasure!

🇪🇸 ¡De nada!
🇬🇧 You’re welcome!

🇪🇸 ¡Un placer!
🇬🇧 My pleasure!

And if you wonder what these would look like in a conversation, check out the mini-dialogues below: 

🇪🇸
A: Buenos días, ¿me puede comunicar con el Señor Peña, por favor?
B: ¿Perdón? No le escucho muy bien. ¿Me puede deletrear el apellido, por favor?
🇬🇧
A: Good morning, can you put me through to Mr. Peña, please?
B: I beg your pardon? I can’t hear you very well. Can you spell the last name, please?

🇪🇸
A: Disculpa, me puedes decir la hora, por favor?
B: Por supuesto, son las siete y media.
🇬🇧
A: Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is, please?
B: Of course, it’s half-past seven. 

Knowing how to tell the time in Spanish is another crucial skill to have!

Spanish S.O.S phrases to help you understand any conversation

So, people are talking, asking you questions, and you are slowly getting lost? 

Chill out; with these few basic Spanish phrases, you will be able to adjust the pace of any conversation to your needs and skills. 

Remember, when you learn a second language, there is no shame in asking people to repeat, slow down, or explain what something means. You should be proud of yourself for making an extra effort to have a conversation in a language that is not your mother tongue. 

🇪🇸 No hablo muy bien español.
🇬🇧 I don’t speak Spanish very well.

🇪🇸 ¿Hablas inglés?
🇬🇧 Do you speak English?

🇪🇸 No entiendo.
🇬🇧 I don’t understand.

🇪🇸 Más lento, por favor.
🇬🇧 Slower, please.

🇪🇸 Puedes repetir?
🇬🇧 Can you repeat?

🇪🇸 ¿Qué significa ….?
🇬🇧 What does … mean?

🇪🇸 ¿Me puedes explicar…?
🇬🇧 Can you explain…?

Below you’ll find a few samples of what these phrases would look like in a dialogue. 

🇪🇸
A: Lo siento, pero no entiendo. ¿Puedes repetir, por favor?
B: Por supuesto. Preguntaba…
🇬🇧
A: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. Can you repeat, please?
B: Of course. I was asking…

🇪🇸
A: Me puedes explicar que significa esta palabra?
B: Claro, significa….
🇬🇧
A: Can you explain to me what this word means?
B: Sure, it means…

🇪🇸
A: Más lento, por favor. No hablo muy bien español.
B: Oh, disculpa. Te preguntaba….
🇬🇧
A: Slower, please. I don’t speak Spanish very well. 
B: Oh, sorry. I was asking you…

Typical questions in Spanish conversations and sample answers

Ok, so now you’ve settled into a conversation, you’re getting more and more comfortable, but then people start throwing more and more questions at you!

Don’t panic!

I have it all covered. 

A “gringa” myself, I have heard those same questions over and over again. I know exactly what it is that people want to know when they have a chance to meet a friendly foreigner.

Have a look at these questions and answers and see for yourself:

🇪🇸
A: ¿Cómo te llamas?
B: Me llamo Lucy y tú?
🇬🇧
A: What’s your name?
B: My name is Lucy, and yours?

🇪🇸
A: ¿De dónde eres?
B: Soy de Canadá.
🇬🇧
A: Where are you from?
B: I’m from Canada.

🇪🇸
A: ¿A qué te dedicas?
B: Soy ingeniero. Trabajo en una empresa de telecomunicaciones.
🇬🇧
A: What do you do for a living?
B: I’m an engineer. I work at a telecommunication company. 

🇪🇸
A: ¿Qué te parece este país?
B: ¡Me encanta! 
🇬🇧
A: How do you like this country?
B: I love it!

🇪🇸
A: ¿Qué haces en (Madrid)?
B: Vine de intercambio.
🇬🇧
A: What are you doing in (Madrid)?
B: I came here on an exchange study program.

🇪🇸
A: ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Chile?
B: Un par de meses.
🇬🇧
A: How long have you been in Chile?
B: A couple of months.

If you take a closer look at the last example, you’ll see that the English “have you been” is replaced only with one Spanish verb: llevar

It is a perfect example of how two languages never translate literally. If you want to improve your communication skills, avoid this and other common mistakes in Spanish

Basic Spanish Phrases for Special Occasions

So, you’re telling me you’ve been invited to a birthday party and the birthday boy speaks Spanish?

And you’re also making plans to celebrate New Year’s in the Dominican Republic? 

Wow, that sure sounds like lots of fun!

I suggest you get ready and learn a few occasional greetings ahead of time.

If you need a list, be my guest:

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
🇬🇧 Happy birthday!

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Navidad!
🇬🇧 Merry Christmas!

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Pascua de Resurrección!
🇬🇧 Happy Easter!

🇪🇸 ¡Felices fiestas!
🇬🇧 Happy holidays!

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
🇬🇧 Happy New Year!

🇪🇸 ¡Gracias, igualmente!
🇬🇧 Thanks, you too!

🇪🇸 ¡Felicitaciones por tu nuevo trabajo!
🇬🇧 Congratulations on your new job!

🇪🇸 ¡Felicidades por tu bebé!
🇬🇧 Congrats on your newborn baby!

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
🇬🇧 Happy New Year!

🇪🇸 ¡Felicidades por tu boda!
🇬🇧 Congrats on your wedding!

🇪🇸 ¡Mi pésame!
🇬🇧 Sorry for your loss! – to a mourning person

All these basic Spanish phrases can be used not only in a conversation but also in greeting cards, thank-you notes, and such. 

How to Do Small Talk in Spanish

I see that you are getting more and more confident in this conversation game. 

Do you say you want to start asking questions yourself? Good for you!

First, I suggest you review the most common Spanish questions words to make sure you can ask about a variety of topics. 

Once you have the grammar covered, use your natural charm, and ask away!

Here’s a couple of ideas to get you started on the small talk in Spanish. 

🇪🇸
A: ¿Que lindo el día, cierto?
B: ¡Si, por fin paró de llover!
🇬🇧
A: Nice day, right?
B: Yes, it’s stopped raining finally!

🇪🇸
A: ¿Qué te parece la fiesta?
B: ¡Me encanta! Sobre todo la música.
🇬🇧
A: How do you like the party?
B: I love it! Especially the music!

🇪🇸
A: ¿Viste el partido anoche?
B: No, se me olvidó. ¿Quién ganó?
🇬🇧
A: Did you see the game last night?
B: No, I forgot. Who won?

🇪🇸
A: ¿Te traigo algo para tomar?
B: Una cerveza, por favor.
🇬🇧
A: Can I get you something to drink?
B: A beer, please.

🇪🇸
A: ¿Has probado las tapas? ¡Están deliciosas!
B: En serio? Voy a comer una, entonces.
🇬🇧
A: Have you tried the tapas? They are delicious!
B: Really? I’m going to have one, then. 

Goodbyes – Most Important Spanish Expressions 

The party is over, and it’s time to say goodbye to your host?

Your Spanish-speaking friend is going back to his country, and you want to let them know you’ll miss them?

Or perhaps you just need to say “See you on Monday” to your workmates before leaving for the weekend?

No matter who is saying goodbye and to whom, here’s a few must-know phrases in Spanish to get you going. 

🇪🇸 ¡Chao!
🇬🇧 Bye

🇪🇸 ¡Adiós!
🇬🇧 Goodbye!

🇪🇸 ¡Nos vemos!
🇬🇧 See you!

🇪🇸 ¡Hasta luego!
🇬🇧 See you later!

🇪🇸 ¡Nos vemos mañana!
🇬🇧 See you tomorrow!

🇪🇸 ¡Que tengas un buen fin de semana!
🇬🇧 Have a good weekend!

🇪🇸 ¡Buen viaje!
🇬🇧 Have a good trip!

🇪🇸 ¡Fue un gusto conocerte!
🇬🇧 It was a pleasure meeting you!

🇪🇸 ¡Cuidate!
🇬🇧 Take care!

🇪🇸 ¡Gracias por todo!
🇬🇧 Thanks for everything!

🇪🇸 ¡Vuelve pronto!
🇬🇧 Come back soon!

When put in context, these phrases would make for smooth little dialogues like the ones below:

🇪🇸
A: ¡Chao Lucía, nos vemos el lunes!
B: Chao Patricio, ¡qué tengas un buen fin de semana!
🇬🇧
A: Bye Lucía, see you on Monday!
B: Bye Patricio, have a good weekend!

🇪🇸
A: Ha llegado mi taxi. !Me voy, gracias por todo!
B: Fue un placer conocerte, Juan, ¡qué tengas un buen viaje!
🇬🇧
A: My taxi has arrived. I need to go. Thanks for everything!
B: It was a pleasure to meet you Juan, have a good trip!

🇪🇸
A: ¡Adiós!, mis queridos, tengo que volver a mi país.
B: Vuelve pronto, Pablo, te vamos a extrañar.
🇬🇧
A: Goodbye, my beloved ones, I need to go back to my country.
B: Come back soon, Pablo, we are going to miss you!

How to Give Your Opinion in a Conversation in Spanish

Giving opinions in a conversation in Spanish is a huge step from simple greetings. 

It requires you not only to learn the phrases that announce your point of view, whether you agree with your partner or not, but also a whole plethora of additional vocabulary to justify and defend your opinion. 

I’m convinced that with a little practice you can manage that, too. 

But, first things first. These are the main expressions in Spanish you are going to need:

🇪🇸 Pienso que…
🇬🇧 I think that…

🇪🇸 Creo que…
🇬🇧 I believe that…

🇪🇸 Opino que…
🇬🇧 In my opinion…

🇪🇸 Me parece que…
🇬🇧 It seems to me that…

🇪🇸 Estoy de acuerdo.
🇬🇧 I agree.

🇪🇸 No estoy de acuerdo…
🇬🇧 I disagree…

🇪🇸 ¿Que te parece…?
🇬🇧 What do you think about…?

🇪🇸 ¿Qué opinas sobre…?
🇬🇧 What is your opinion about…?

🇪🇸 ¿Estás de acuerdo?
🇬🇧 ¿Do you agree?

I have prepared a few mini-dialogues to get you going:

🇪🇸
A: ¿Qué piensas sobre este proyecto?
B: Me parece bastante complejo.
🇬🇧
A: What do you think about this project?
B: It seems quite complicated. 

🇪🇸
A: ¿Qué opinas de esta película?
B: No me gustó mucho. Creo que fue demasiado larga.
🇬🇧
A: What do you think about this movie?
B: I didn’t like it very much. I think it was too long.

🇪🇸
A: Opino que es mejor viajar en tren que en bus.
B: No estoy de acuerdo. Los trenes acá son viejos e incómodos.
🇬🇧
A: In my opinion, it is better to travel by train than by bus.
B: I disagree. Trains here are old and uncomfortable. 

🇪🇸
A: Pidamos una pizza vegetariana. ¿Te parece bien?
B: Perfecto, me parece una muy buena idea.
🇬🇧
A: Let’s order a vegetarian pizza. Is it OK with you?
B: Great, I think it is a very good idea. 

🇪🇸
A: Propongo que le compremos un maletín nuevo a Pedro para su cumpleaños.
B: Pienso que no lo va a usar. Siempre anda con su mochila.
🇬🇧
A: I suggest we buy Pedro a new briefcase for his birthday.
B: I think he won’t use it. He always carries his backpack. 

Spanish Filler Words that Help You Gain Time in a Conversation

We all have our favorite filling words, don’t we? 

When used with measure, they help improve your speech flow and get you those precious seconds you need to find the right word.

Spanish speakers use a lot of different fillers. There is no reason why you shouldn’t use them too.

🇪🇸 Pues…
🇬🇧 Well…

🇪🇸 Entonces…
🇬🇧 So…

🇪🇸 Y luego…
🇬🇧 And then…

🇪🇸 Ya sabes…
🇬🇧 You know…

🇪🇸 A ver…
🇬🇧 Let’s see…

🇪🇸 O sea…
🇬🇧 I mean…

🇪🇸 Bueno…
🇬🇧 Well…

🇪🇸
A: ¿Está listo para pedir?
B: A ver… Tráigame una porción de la torta de chocolate y un expresso.
🇬🇧
A: Are you ready to order?
B: Let’s see… I’ll have a slice of the chocolate cake and an espresso.

🇪🇸
A: Yo no voy. O sea, me encantaría ir, pero no puedo.
B: Bueno, será para la próxima. 
🇬🇧
A: I’m not going. I mean, I’d love to, but I can’t.
B: Well, I hope you can make it next time.

🇪🇸
A: Juanito, ¿cuál es la capital de Noruega?
B: Pues…¿me puede repetir la pregunta?
🇬🇧
A: Juanito, what’s the capital of Norway?
B: Well,…¿can you repeat the question?

***

I hope you enjoyed the post, guys.

More importantly, I hope you learn some useful basic Spanish phrases, too.
In case you want to add some emotion to your conversations, make sure to read about how to express surprise in Spanish.

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Joanna Lupa

Joanna Lupa

Polish by birth, Chilean by the turns of life. Has spent 20 years in that beautiful South American country working as a language teacher and translator. Has taught Spanish and English to students of all proficiency levels. Passionate about languages, books, and traveling. A mother of 2 trilingual teenagers.