Spanish is a rich and fascinating language to learn.
It's spoken by around 500 million people across the globe and is an official language in 21 countries, including Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina...
The many different dialects and pronunciation rules can sometimes make the language seem daunting, but just learning a few basic Spanish phrases can help you get over the starter phase and feel more comfortable with Spanish.
That is why we have taken the time to put together this beginner's guide to some of the most common Spanish phrases, accompanied with English translations.
Before we dig in, let us break down a few of the best methods for memorizing beginner Spanish phrases.
The Best Methods to Memorize Beginner Spanish Phrases
Flashcards, either digital or physical, have been proven very effective for memorizing new phrases. Write the translation on one side of the card, then the Spanish phrase on the other.
Look at the card, say the phrase in your head and then try saying it aloud. Stare at the Spanish phrase until you remember it and repeat the process. Alternatively, use a digital app like Anki to systematize your learning time and follow a more scientific approach.
Practice New Phrases with a Language Partner
Practicing exchange with language partners is a great way to make learning Spanish feel like less of a chore and more like an enjoyable experience. These people will already have a good knowledge of the language, so they will be able to correct you easily when you make mistakes.
Try to include the phrases you aim to learn in your daily conversations, even if they're just simple phrases like "¿Como Estas?".
All you have to do is find that person through social media or an app such as HelloTalk and start conversing with them regularly to practice new phrases.
If you can't find a human language partner, try using Jumpspeak. It is an AI tool that essentially replaces a language partner, but one that is always available and never gets tired.
Jumpspeak listens to you speak Spanish, corrects your mistakes and helps you learn new phrases.
It essentially turns you into a language partner, and you save all the embarrassment of dealing with person-to-person interactions.
Beginner Spanish Phrases: 40+ Phrases to Get You Started
Greetings and Self-introductions
When you are learning any language, it is especially important to learn the greetings and pleasantries at the beginning.
These phrases are used in many scenarios, which include meeting people, starting a conversation, and switching to another topic.
Hola - Hello
Cómo está usted? - How are you
Como Estas? - How are you?
Me llamo… - My name is …
Yo soy… - I am…
Tengo 30 años - I am 30 years old
Soy de…/Vivo en… - I am from…/I live in…
Un placer conocerte - A pleasure to meet
Encantado/a de conocerte - Nice to meet you
Adiós/Chau - Bye
Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions
We all want others to respect us, and the best way to get respect is to show it.
You, showing some courtesy and respect to the person you are speaking with will make them feel valued. You want to show courtesy and respect in order to get the same treatment or attention you wish for.
Here are some important phrases for showing politeness:
Muchos gracias - Thank you very much
"No hay de qué - It's nothing. No problem."
De nada - You're welcome. Don't mention it
"Claro que sí - Of course."
Como no - Of course not. Certainly not.
"Haz lo que quieras - Do as you please."
Muchos Gracias/Mil Gracias - Thanks very much.
Muchas gracias por todo - Thank you so much for everything.
Buenos días - Good day/morning/evening.
Buenas tardes - Good afternoon.
Hasta la vista/Adiós - See you later/Goodbye
"Gracias por todo.." - Thank you for everything.
Asking for Help
Asking for help is a skill that is important to learn as a beginner Spanish speaker. If you are new, or having trouble with your Spanish lessons, it is essential that you know how to ask your teacher for help, or you might never make any progress.
Learning how to ask questions in Spanish can help develop confidence in your language lessons.
Asking for help in Spanish is the same as asking a question, and therefore has a specific set of vocabulary that should be used. When asking a person for help, you can use the one-size-fits-all phrase "¿Me puedes ayudar?" which literally means "Can you help me?"
¿Me puede decir...? - Can you tell me?
¿Me da un/a...? - Can I have one?
Dónde está... - Where is...
Puede ayudarme? - Can you help me?
Ayúdeme, por favor. - Help me, please.
Disculpe - Excuse me (when you are trying to get someone's attention)
¿Me puede decir dónde está...? - Can you tell me where it is?
Tengo que encontrar... - I have to find...
No consigo encontrar/hacer... - I can't find/do...
Por favor ayúdeme. - Please help me.
Quiero un/a... - I want a...
Me gustaría tener un/a... - I would like to have a...
Quiero comprar un/a... - I want to buy a...
Necesito un/a... - I need a...
Necesito ayuda para comprar un/a... - I need help buying a...
Dining & Shopping Phrases
Some of the most useful and common phrases for beginners to learn are related to dining and shopping.
Knowing how to ask for help and guidance in a shop is always useful, and it's also great to be able to show your appreciation for the meal you're being served.
Here are some useful phrases to know when in a restaurant or supermercado (supermarket).
¿Qué desea tomar?- What would you like to drink?
La mesa está puesta. - The table is set.
La cena está lista, solo faltas tú.- Dinner is ready, you're the only one left.
La sopa está fría. - The soup is cold.
El postre está caliente. - The dessert is hot.
El primero es para usted.- This one is for you, sir/madam.
Hay una fiesta mañana en el centro comercial. - There is a party tomorrow at the mall.
El banco está cerca de aquí.- The bank is near here.
Quiero un café solo, sin azúcar.- I want a black coffee, no sugar.
Voy al supermercado para comprar pan, huevos y queso. - I'm going to the supermarket to buy bread, eggs and cheese.
¿Tiene menos/menores? - Do you have any discounted/less (than usual price)?
Hay ropa de temporada barata en la tienda de ropa. - There is cheap clothing for season in the clothing store.
No quiero el café solo, quiero café con leche. - I don't want black coffee, I want coffee with milk.
El postre es para mí.- The dessert is mine.
¿Cuánto cuesta? - How much does it cost?
You can't learn fluent Spanish just by mastering the basics, but you need to have a good foundation.
Start here and build your vocabulary up so you no longer feel overwhelmed.
Want to start practicing new sentences right away?
Check out Jumpspeak, your AI language coach available 24/7 to get you started.