You've just arrived in a Spanish-speaking country and are ready to start chatting up the locals. But what do you say?
What do you say when you meet someone new? How do you ask for directions or orders at a restaurant? What about feeling scared or lost or if something goes wrong? We've put together eight phrases to help you start saying hi in Spanish.
7 ways How to say Hi in Spanish
Say Hi in Spanish
When you want to greet someone in Spanish, you can use one of these 7 phrases:
This is the most general way to say "hi" in Spanish. It's also the first word you learn when learning the language.
> "¡Buenos días!" (Good morning)
If it's early in the morning, this is a great greeting! You can also say it anytime during the day.
> "¡Buenas tardes!" (Good afternoon)
This is another good greeting to use anytime—ensure it's afternoon and before sunset. If someone says this to you, just reply with "¡Buenas tardes!" or simply reply with a smile!
> "¡Buenas noches!" (Good night)
This phrase is used when someone says goodbye before going home after dinner or work. Like its counterpart above, it means "good night."
> "¿Como te llamas?" (What's your name?)
This question means, "what's your name?" You can use it if someone introduces themselves to you but doesn't give their name, or if you want an introduction yourself—just don't forget their name!
> "¿Cómo estás?" (How are you?)
This is a nice way to start a conversation with someone. Just wait for them to reply, and then keep talking!
If they say, "Bien" (good), you can ask them how their day has been so far. If they say "Mal" (bad), you can tell them that it's okay and that things will get better soon! You might want to ask them why they feel that way as well.
If they say "Muy bien" (very good), you can tell them that's great! You can also ask if they've had a rough day. If they say "Nada" (nothing), then ask them what their plans are for the rest of the day.
> "¡Qué tal?"
This phrase means, "how it goes?" You can use it when you want to ask someone how they're feeling or doing, and it's handy if the person has just arrived or entered the room.
Q: What's the difference between yo and tú?
A: You can use both yo and tú when talking to friends or family members, but when talking to strangers or people you don't know well, use usted instead of tú.
Q: How do I know what pronoun to use?
A: Use the pronoun that sounds right in your head when you think about the sentence. If it feels wrong, try another one until it sounds right. It may take a little practice before you get used to using these words correctly—but don't give up! It's worth it :)
Q: Can I use an adjective with the verb ser?
A: Yes! In English, we say, "I am happy," but in Spanish, we say, "I'm happy." The same goes for other adjectives.
And there you have it! How to Say "Hi" in Spanish | 7 phrases to use when saying hi in Spanish. Have fun experimenting with them, and remember that you can always use the translations above as a reference!