Are you learning Spanish and want to start a conversation with native Spanish speakers? Then these 89 useful Spanish phrases for conversation with the PDF file might come quite handy!
I know how scary it can be to start first real conversations with someone when you are still learning a language. You always think: ” What do I say?” or ” What if I say something wrong?”.
Very often what we learn in the classrooms is difficult to apply to real-life conversations and that’s a problem to many language learners. Conversational Spanish is usually about knowing the right things to say at the right moment. And unfortunately, it’s not always taught in classrooms.
With that in mind, I created this article with the list of the right things to say when you want to have a conversation in Spanish. It contains expressions, phrases, and questions to start any conversation with native speakers.
To make it more convenient, I created the PDF version with the list of most useful Spanish phrases for conversation. You can print it or save it on your smartphone, so it is easily accessible when you happen to have a conversation with Spanish speakers.
Apart from that, if you are traveling to a Spanish speaking country, you can check out this cheat sheet with Spanish travel phrases. It contains phrases to ask directions, to order food, Spanish phrases for shopping, and asking for recommendations.
In this post, I will cover the following situations:
- Greetings & Small talk
- Getting to know someone new
- Finding a topic to keep the conversation going
- Conversation with someone you already know
- Phrases that make you sound natural
- Changing the topic
- Closing the conversation
If you don’t have a conversational partner yet, try the conversation exchange platforms. You will meet plenty of native Spanish speakers that will help you to improve your Spanish. In return, they will want you to help them to improve their English or other languages. The platform I like to use is called Conversation Exchange. It’s free.
Greeting in Spanish
Below you will find some of the most basic greetings you can use to start any conversation.
- Hello => Hola
- Good morning => Buensos dias
- Good afternoon => Buenas tardes
- Good evening => Buenas noches
Sometimes, native speakers simply say “Buenas”, which is a shortened and a very informal version of the above greetings, and it applies to any part of the day.
Small talk Spanish phrases
The small talk is usually an inevitable part of any conversation; therefore, it is crucial to know all the useful phrases for it. Not everyone likes to make small talk, but whether you like it or not – it will keep the conversation going.
Different variations of “how are you” questions:
- How are you ( Formal) => ¿Cómo está usted? ( To be used with strangers, more senior people or older people. )
- How are you? ( Informal) => ¿Cómo estás? ( Can be used with friends and family)
- How are you =>¿Qué tal?
- How is it going => ¿Cómo te va?
- How have you been? => ¿Cómo te ha ido? / ¿Cómo has ido?
- What’s happening => ¿Qué pasa?
- How have you been => Como has estado?
The typical answers to “how are you” questions:
- I am fine, thanks, and you? => Estoy bien ¡Gracias! ¿Y tú?
- Very well ! => Muy bien.
- As always => Como siempre.
- All good! And you ? => Todo bien! ¿Y tú?
- So so ! A little bit tired => Más o menos ! Un poco cansada/cansado (female/male)
Getting to know someone new
When you meet someone new, you typically start by asking the name of the person.
- What is your name? => Cómo se llama?
If you are the one being asked, you should reply:
- My name is…=> Me llamo ….
To tell the other person that you are pleased to meet him you can say:
- Mucho gusto => Nice to meet you
- ¡Encantado de conocerte! (more formal version of “Nice to meet you”)
If you are talking with native Spanish speakers in their country, you most probably know where they are from. But you most likely will be asked where you are from.
¿De dónde eres? => Where are you from?
You can reply:
Soy de (Estados Unidos) => I am from (United States)
Here are other questions frequently used to get to know someone. Even if you are the first one to use these questions, your conversational partner will most likely ask you the same. Therefore, you should think of your answers beforehand.
- Q: Where are you from? => ¿De dónde eres?
- A: I am from (United States) => Soy de (Estados Unidos)
- Q: Where do you live? => ¿Dónde vives?
- A: I live in New York => Vivo en Nueva York
- Q: What do you do? => ¿A qué te dedicas? (Informal) / ¿A qué se dedica? (formal)
- A: I am a doctor => Soy doctor
- Q: How old are you? => ¿Cuántos años tienes?
- A: I am 30 years old => Tengo treinta años.
- Q: Do you have siblings => ¿Tienes hermanos?
- A: Yes I have younger brother and sister. They are twins. => Sí, tengo hermano y hermana menores. Son gemelos.
- Q: What are your hobbies? => ¿Cuáles son tus pasatiempos?
- A: I like to play tennis => Me gusta jugar al tenis y leer libros.
- Q: What do you like to do in your free time? => ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?
- A: I like to read / watch movies => Me gusta leer / ver películas
- Q: What is your favourite movie? => ¿Cuál es tu película favorita?
- A: My favourite movie is Fight club. => Mi película favorita es Fight Club.
- Q: What is your favorite food => ¿Cuál es tu comida favorita?
- A: I like Mexican food => Me gusta la comida mexicana
- Q: Who are you here with? => ¿Con quién estás aquí?
- A: I came alone => Vine solo/sola
- Q: What brings you here? => ¿Qué te trae por aquí?
- A: I am here to meet new friends => Estoy aqui para conocer nuevos amigos
Note that in most of these examples I am using the form tú, which is an informal way of talking with someone. If you need to use a formal form you have to use the “usted” instead and change the verb forms accordingly.
Finding a topic to keep the conversation going
If you are ready to move with the conversation after the small talk follows a more stimulating topic. What this topic will be – depends on you and your interests.
Hopefully, you and your conversational partner can find common ground.
Almost everyone likes to travel, so if you start with this topic – you won’t miss it.
Conversation about traveling:
- Do you like to travel? =>¿Te gusta viajar?
- Where was the last place you went on holiday? => ¿A dónde fuiste la ultima vez de vacaciones?
- Have you been to [Spain]? => ¿Has estado en [España]?
- What is your favourite country that you have been to? => ¿Cuál es tu país favorito en el que has estado?
- Are you planning any trips in the future? => ¿Estás planeando algún viaje en el futuro?
Questions about other interests:
- Do you like to cook? => ¿Te gusta cocinar?
- Do you speak any other languages? => ¿Hablas otros idiomas?
- What’s your favorite type of music? => ¿Que tipo de música te gusta más?
- Do you practice any sport? => ¿Practicas algún deporte?
- Do you like [footbal]? => ¿Te gusta [el fútbol]?
- What team do you support? => ¿De qué equipo eres?
- Do you like your job? => ¿Te gusta tu trabajo? ( Answer: “Si”, “No”. Follow up with ¿Por qué? )
- What is the most famous food in your country? => ¿Cuál es la comida más famosa de tu país?
- What do you like to do for fun? => ¿Qué haces para divertirte?
Spanish conversation starters with someone you already know
These are some typical small talk Spanish phrases you can use when you bump into someone you know, and possibly you haven’t seen each other for a while.
- How have you been? => ¿Cómo te ha ido?
- I haven’t seen you for a while => No te he visto en mucho tiempo
- I haven’t seen you since (Christmas) => No te he visto desde (Navidad)
- It’s great to see you again! => ¡Es genial verte de nuevo!
- How’s work going? => ¿Cómo va el trabajo?
- How are your studies going? => ¿Cómo van tus estudios?
- You look great ! => ¡Te ves genial!
If you don’t understand what the person is saying use any of the following phrases:
- I don’t understand. => No entiendo / No comprendo
- Could you repeat that? => ¡Puedes repetirlo!
- I don’t know => No (lo) sé
- Can you speak more slowly? => ¿Puedes hablar más despacio?
- I am still learning Spanish so I am not fluent yet. => Todavía estoy aprendiendo español, así que todavía no hablo con fluidez.
- I started learning Spanish 3 months ago. => Empecé a aprender español hace 3 meses.
Phrases that make you sound natural when you speak Spanish
In English, there is a lot of expressions that make you sound more natural, such as: “y’ know”, “Y’see”, know what I mean?
Spanish is the same.
The following expressions are not usually covered in classrooms or textbooks. They will spice up your dialogue and make you sound more fluent and natural.
- Of course! => ¡Claro que si! / ¡Por supuesto!
- Seriously ? => ¿En serio?
- Sorry? => ¿Cómo? ( You can use it if you want someone to repeat themselves)
- Oh my god! => ¡Dios mio!
- Let’s see => A ver..
- Okay! => ¡Vale! ( Used in Spain)
- Okay! => ¡Dale! ( Used in Latin America)
- No way! => No me digas! ( depends on the accent, accent on di – no way, or it can be used tosay: don’t talk to me.
- A question… => Una pregunta… ( Same as we use to start with “Let me ask you something”)
- As far as I know => Qué yo sepa.
Changing the topic
When you feel it’s time to change the topic of the conversation, you can take the matter in your control and smoothly change the topic by using the following phrases:
- By the way, I want to ask you about …=> Por cierto, quiero preguntarte sobre
- Speaking of => Hablando de
- On another note => Por otra parte
- This reminds me => Oh esto me recuerda
- I wanted to mention => Quería mencionar
Closing the conversation
- I have to go, but I enjoyed this conversation! => Tengo que irme, ¡pero disfruté esta conversación!
- I would lobe to reconnect => Me encantaría reconectarme
- It was nice talking to you => Fue agradable conversar contigo
- Loved this conversation, but I have to go => Me encantó esta conversación, pero me tengo que ir
- Would you like to take my contact number so we can connect again? => ¿Desea tomar mi número de contacto para que podamos conectarnos nuevamente?
So here you have it: 89 Useful Spanish phrases for conversation with PDF. I hope you found it useful! With these common Spanish phrases, you will soon find yourself having your first conversations in Spanish.
It’s just the beginning, and obviously, there are many more phrases you will start using once you start getting fluent in Spanish. Do you have other examples of useful Spanish phrases for conversation? Please let me know in the comments section.
And finally… to improve the quality of any conversation it is essential to work on listening skills. If you feel that you have to work on this, check out the Free Spanish podcasts for beginners.