Are you taking your first steps in learning Spanish? Then you should start with the greetings, responses, and customs of the Spanish people. That's why in this article you will learn the Spanish greetings and farewells that Spanish speakers use every day.

In addition, it is important that you pay attention to the forms, whether informal or formal, and the gender of the expressions. Because in Spanish, phrases tend to vary in gender, depending on who you are talking to, or depending on the situation you are in.

In this article you will learn when it is appropriate to use greetings and farewells in Spanish and in which situations to use each one. If you prefer to read this article in Spanish, click here. Don't miss anything!

The most used greeting: ¡Hola!

Hola” (hello) is a classic greeting that you can use in any situation. For example, when you enter a classroom, meet your friends, or just want to say hello when you walk into a shop. It is the perfect Spanish joker.

Imagine that you have just arrived in Spain, and you meet your classmates before entering. You can introduce yourself and say something like: “¡Hola, a todos! Soy María y estamos en la misma clase” (“Hello, everyone! I'm Maria and we are in the same class").

Buenos días, Buenas tardes and Buenas noches

Another very common form of greeting in Spanish is using the time of day. So, don't forget to say “Buenos días” (good morning), “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon) or “Buenas noches” (good night), depending on the time and moment of the day.

 Here are some examples:

  • ¡Buenos días! ¿Cómo estás hoy? (Good morning, how are you today?)
  • Buenas tardes. ¿Cómo ha ido tu día? (Good afternoon. How was your day?)
  • Buenas noches, que descanses. (Good night, have a good rest.)

The art of asking: ¿Cómo estás?

After the initial greeting, it is natural in Spanish to ask how the other person is. For this, the key expression is “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?). This is a friendly way of showing interest in the other person's well-being.

Here are some ways to answer this question:

  • Hola, Juan ¿Cómo estás? (Hello, Juan. How are you?)
  • Hola, María. Estoy cansado, pero bien. Y tú, ¿qué tal estás? (Hello, María. I'm tired, but I'm fine. And you, how are you?)
  • Estoy genial, aunque deseando que llegue el fin de semana (I'm great, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.)

Adiós and other ways of saying goodbye in Spanish

Now it's time to say goodbye in Spanish. Saying goodbye in Spanish is as simple as saying “adiós” or as easy as using expressions like “hasta luego”, “hasta mañana” or “hasta pronto”.

Here are some examples of how to say goodbye in Spanish:

  • Adiós, nos vemos mañana. (Goodbye, see you tomorrow.)
  • ¡Hasta mañana, chicos! (See you tomorrow, guys!)
  • Me voy, luego nos vemos. (I'm leaving, see you later.)
  • ¡Hasta la próxima! (See you next time!)
  • Hasta luego. (See you later.)

Chau and other local expressions

Depending on the Spanish-speaking country, farewells may vary. For example, in Argentina it is very common to say “chau” instead of “adiós”. In Mexico, you might hear “hasta luego” (see you later) more often.

Don't be afraid to adopt local expressions. They will make you feel more connected to the culture, and you will be able to integrate more easily.

Usted and formal greetings

In some contexts, such as at work, in official bodies or when talking to older people, it is appropriate to use the pronoun “usted”, rather than “tú”. This is also reflected in more Spanish formal greetings. For example: “Buenas tardes, ¿cómo está usted” (Good evening, how are you?).

In general, it is normal in Spanish to greet and say goodbye in an informal tone, except for some situations, such as those described above.

If you are not sure, you can always ask the other person if you can “tutearle” or not. In English, there is no translation of the verb 'tutear', which means to speak in a close or informal way with a person, using second person pronouns, such as “tú” and “vosotros”.

Instead, if you are going to use the pronoun “usted”, use it in formal situations with teachers, principals, or people you don't know. Unless that person asks you to talk to them in an informal way.

This has been a quick, but complete, overview of greetings and responses in Spanish. The key to learning any language is constant practice. So don't be afraid to use everything you've learned. But if you want to perfect all your Spanish skills, the best way is to travel to a Spanish-speaking country such as Spain.

At don Quijote, you will find Spanish courses for all ages and levels in 11 wonderful destinations thanks to our 13 Spanish language schools. Learn Spanish in Spain with don Quijote and improve your Spanish to the maximum.

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