greetings in spanish

How To Say “Hello” And 64 Other Useful Greetings In Spanish

There might be things you can skip when learning a foreign language.

You don’t need to know what different trees are called, for instance.

Or the name of every disease, or every bone.

But there is absolutely no way you can avoid the most basic vocabulary. The things we say when we meet people. When we enter a room. Or when we leave.

When we write a business email or a letter to a friend. 

Yes, you’ve guessed correctly: today we are talking about greetings in Spanish.

Hellos and goodbyes 

Depending on the time of the day, these are the most common greetings:

🇪🇸 ¡Buenos días!
🇬🇧 Good morning!

🇪🇸 ¡Buenas tardes!
🇬🇧 Good afternoon!

🇪🇸 ¡Buenas noches!
🇬🇧 Good evening / night! both as a greeting and as a farewell

There is no notion of “evening” in Spanish, so if you are not sure whether it is still afternoon or night already, you can always simply say:

🇪🇸 ¡Buenas! 

All of these expressions can be used both in a formal and informal context.

Speaking of which, let me tell you a couple of things about formality in Spanish.

In order to sound more formal in Spanish, you always choose the Usted form (and Ustedes for plural).

When to use it? The rule of thumb is quite simple: always use Usted when:

  • the other person is older than you
  • they have a higher seniority status in the company you both work
  • you meet them for the first time
  • you meet them in a formal context (work, school, public services, etc.)

Now, how to greet your friend in Spanish?

🇪🇸 ¡Hola!
🇬🇧 Hi! Hello!

will be just fine.

It’s good to add one of these to sound more natural:

🇪🇸 ¡Un gusto verte!
🇬🇧 Nice to see you!

🇪🇸 ¡Tanto tiempo!
Long time no see.

Let’s move on to goodbyes, shall we?

Here’s a list of the most common ones:

🇪🇸 ¡Chao! (informal)
🇬🇧 ¡Bye!

🇪🇸 ¡Adios! (more formal)
🇬🇧 Good bye! Farewell!

🇪🇸 ¡Nos vemos!
🇬🇧 See you!

🇪🇸 ¡Hasta luego!
🇬🇧 ¡See you later!

🇪🇸 ¡Hasta mañana!
🇬🇧 See you tomorrow!

🇪🇸 ¡Hasta lunes!
🇬🇧 See you on Monday!

And you can always add:

🇪🇸 ¡Cuídate! – informal
🇬🇧 Take care!

🇪🇸 ¡Qué estés / esté bien! (tú, usted)
🇬🇧 Take care!

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

🇪🇸 ¡Qué tengas / tenga una buena tarde!
🇬🇧 Have a good afternoon!

Now, let’s practice the “How are you?” part of the conversation

A typical greeting in English will go like this:

Hi! How are you? 

How to say the same greeting in Spanish? Check out the following ideas:

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estás / está ? (, usted)
🇬🇧 How are you?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te / le va?
🇬🇧 How is it going?

🇪🇸 ¿Qué tal?
🇬🇧 What’s up?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo has / ha estado?
🇬🇧 How have you been?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te / le ha ido?
🇬🇧 How’s everything?

🇪🇸 ¿Qué tal tu / su fin de semana? 
🇬🇧 How was your weekend? 

All of these questions can be used both in formal and informal context. 

And this is how we respond to them:

🇪🇸 ¿Bien y / usted?
🇬🇧 Good and you? 

🇪🇸 Más o menos. He estado un poco enfermo.
🇬🇧 So-so. I’ve been a little sick.

🇪🇸 Excelente, ¿y el tuyo? (speaking about a weekend)
🇬🇧 Great, and yours?

🇪🇸 Se me hizo muy corto. (again, about a weekend)
🇬🇧 It was too short.

Here’s a sample dialogue:

🇪🇸
A:Hola, ¿qué tal?
B: Super bien, y tú?
A: Bien también, gracias!

🇬🇧
A: Hi, what’s up?

B: Good and you?
A: Good as well, thanks!

Being a good host and a good guest

What do you say when a friend comes over to your place? 

What are some good Spanish greetings when you are kindly invited for lunch or dinner at someone’s house?

Another set of useful expressions will help you with that:

🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenido!  – to a man
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenida!   – to a woman
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenidos! – to a co-ed group
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenidas! – to an all-women group 

In English, we use 🇬🇧 Welcome! for all these 4 examples.

🇪🇸 !Mi casa es tu / su casa! (, usted)
🇬🇧 Make yourself at home!

🇪🇸 ¿Te / Le ofrezco algo para tomar? 
🇬🇧 Would you like something to drink?

🇪🇸 ¡Toma / tome asiento!
🇬🇧 Take a seat!

🇪🇸 ¿Pasemos a la mesa?
🇬🇧 Let’s sit at the table?

Now a few expressions as a guest:

🇪🇸 ¡Qué linda tu / su casa!
🇬🇧 What a nice house!

🇪🇸 Está / estuvo todo muy rico!
🇬🇧 Everything is / was delicious!

🇪🇸 ¿Dónde está el baño?
🇬🇧 Which way is the bathroom?

Meeting new people 

We meet people all the time, don’t we? At work, at school, at a party.

Knowing what to say in those situations always comes in handy.

🇪🇸 ¡Un gusto en conocerte / conocerlo / conocerla! (, usted – masculine and feminine)
🇬🇧 Nice to meet you

🇪🇸 ¡Encantado en conocerte conocerlo / conocerla
🇬🇧 Pleased to meet you.

🇪🇸 ¡Igualmente!
🇬🇧 Me too!

🇪🇸 ¡El placer es mío!
🇬🇧 My pleasure.

🇪🇸 ¡He escuchado mucho de / usted!
🇬🇧 I’ve heard so much about you!

🇪🇸 ¡Por fin nos encontramos!
🇬🇧 We finally meet!

Introductions 

Ok, and what is it we say when it’s our turn to introduce someone to other people? 

Check out a bunch of suggestions:

🇪🇸 ¡Te / Le presento a mi marido, mi hermana, mi jefe, mi novio, etc.!
🇬🇧 Let me introduce my husband, my sister, my boss, my boyfriend, etc.

🇪🇸 ¡Por favor conoce / conozca a… (, usted)
🇬🇧 Please meet…

🇪🇸 Permítame / Permíteme presentarte / presentarle a…
🇬🇧 Allow me to introduce…

🇪🇸 ¡Carlos, él es Lucas. Lucas – Carlos.
🇬🇧 Carlos, this is Lucas. Lucas – Carlos. 

Spanish occasional greetings (birthday, graduation, wedding) 

Your workmate is getting married and you don’t know how to greet him in Spanish? 

Or perhaps it’s your Argentinean friend’s birthday and you want to surprise her with wishes in her own language?

I guarantee that the phrases below will do the trick:

🇪🇸 ¡Felicitaciones!
🇬🇧 Congratulations!

🇪🇸 ¡Enhorabuena! – not very common in Latin America
🇬🇧 Congratulations!

🇪🇸 ¡Muchas felicidades!
🇬🇧 My best wishes!

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
🇬🇧 Happy birthday!

If you want to congratulate someone, you’ll find these handy:

🇪🇸 ¡Te felicito por:
🇬🇧 My congrats on:

  • 🇪🇸 tu nuevo trabajo!
    🇬🇧 your new job!
  • 🇪🇸 ¡tu matrimonio!
    🇬🇧 your wedding!
  • 🇪🇸 ¡tu bebé!
    🇬🇧 the birth of your baby
  • 🇪🇸 tus logros!
    🇬🇧 your achievements!
  • 🇪🇸 tu graduación!
    🇬🇧 your graduation!

🇪🇸 ¡Bien hecho!
🇬🇧 Well done

🇪🇸 ¡Buen trabajo!
🇬🇧 Good job!

🇪🇸 ¡Bien merecido!
🇬🇧 Well deserved!

🇪🇸 ¡Grande!
🇬🇧 You rock!

This last expression has many local variations, for example:

  • 🇨🇱 ¡Eres un seco! – Chile
  • 🇦🇷 ¡Sos groso! – Argentina
  • 🇪🇸 !Tú molas! – España

Seasonal greetings 

Christmas is coming and you want to send your friends in Mexico a greeting card?

Or perhaps your relatives in Perú celebrate Easter?

What are some common seasonal greetings in Spanish, you wonder?

Here’s a short list:

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Navidad!
🇬🇧 Merry Christmas!

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

🇪🇸 ¡Feliz Día de Independencia!
🇬🇧 Happy Independence Day!

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

And when you are feeling particularly inspired when sending a greeting card, you can always write:

🇪🇸 Mis / Nuestros mejores deseos en esta fecha tan especial para tí / para usted y para toda tu / su familia.
🇬🇧 My / Our best wishes on this special occasion for you and all your family. 

🇪🇸 ¡Te deseo una muy feliz Navidad y un próspero Año Nuevo!
🇬🇧 Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

10 Ways to say “good luck” in Spanish

Your friend is about to have his driving test? 

Or a job interview?

Or a math quiz?

How to wish people luck in Spanish? And what to respond when people wish us luck?

🇪🇸 ¡Mucha suerte en tu prueba!
🇬🇧 Good luck on your test!

🇪🇸 ¡Suerte en tu viaje!
🇬🇧 Have a safe trip!

🇪🇸 ¡Qué te vaya muy bien!
🇬🇧 The best of luck!

🇪🇸 ¡Cruzando los dedos!
🇬🇧 Fingers crossed!

🇪🇸 ¡Estoy seguro que te irá de maravilla!
🇬🇧 I’m sure you’ll do great!

🇪🇸 ¡Estoy seguro que aprobarás!
🇬🇧 I’m sure you’ll pass!

🇪🇸 ¡Espero que tengas razón!
🇬🇧 I hope you’re right!

🇪🇸 ¡Ojalá!
🇬🇧 I hope!

🇪🇸 ¡Deséame suerte!
🇬🇧 Wish me luck!

🇪🇸 ¡Cruza los dedos!
🇬🇧 Cross your fingers!

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo te fue?
🇬🇧 How did it go?

🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estuvo?
🇬🇧 How was it?

On the phone 

I’m thinking –  you might get to talk on the phone in Spanish one day. 

Hope you don’t dread it, like I used to. A few simple expressions will surely make you feel more confident:

🇪🇸 ¿Aló?
🇬🇧 Hello?

🇪🇸 ¿Quién habla?
🇬🇧 Who’s calling?

🇪🇸 Soy Juan. Quisiera hablar con Susana, por favor.
🇬🇧 It’s Juan. I’d like to talk to Susana, please.

🇪🇸 No se encuentra.
🇬🇧 She’s not here.

🇪🇸 ¿Algún recado?
🇬🇧 ¿Any message?

🇪🇸 Dígale que llamé, por favor.
🇬🇧 Please tell her / him that I called. 

How to wish someone to “Get better soon” 

Sometimes we need to greet people even when circumstances are not very pleasant.

Your workmate might be sick.

Your friend’s favorite grandma might have just died.

What to say in Spanish in situations like that?

🇪🇸 ¡Qué te mejores luego!
🇬🇧 Get better soon!

🇪🇸 Ojalá no sea nada grave.
🇬🇧 Hope it’s nothing serious.

🇪🇸 Lo siento. /  Lo lamento.
🇬🇧 I’m so sorry.

🇪🇸 Mis (sentidas) condolencias / Mi (sentido) pésame
🇬🇧 My (most sincere) condolences.

🇪🇸 Estoy para lo que necesites.
🇬🇧 I’m here for you.

🇪🇸 Puedes contar conmigo para lo que necesites.
🇬🇧 You can count on me for whatever you need.

Starting and finishing a letter 

Last but not least – Spanish greetings in letters.

Whether you are writing a work-related email or a letter to your penpal, it’s good to know the basics:

🇪🇸 ¡Querido Carlos! / ¡Querida Ana!
🇬🇧 Dear Carlos/ Dear Ana

🇪🇸 ¡Estimado Señor! / ¡Estimada Señora!/  Estimados! / Estimada María!
🇬🇧 Dear Sir / Dear Madam / Dear Sir or Madam / Dear Paulina

🇪🇸 De vuestra consideración
🇬🇧 To whom it may concern

🇪🇸 Quedo a la espera de su respuesta
🇬🇧 I look forward to your reply

🇪🇸 Gracias de antemano
🇬🇧 Thanks in advance

🇪🇸 Cordialmente, 
🇬🇧 Best regards,

🇪🇸 Atentamente / Sinceramente – formal
🇬🇧ours faithfully, Yours sincerely

🇪🇸 Saludos,
🇬🇧 Greetings,

🇪🇸 Con amor
🇬🇧 With Love

That’s all for today, everyone. 

I’ve given you plenty of greetings in Spanish to choose from. Hope you find them useful.

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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.