Say hello in Spanish! A Lesson on Greetings

Hello! And welcome to Your Daily Pinch of Spanish. Today Ill be showing you some greetings, and at what time of day to use which.

Its really one of the first things your want to learn and that you should learn. This is a simple lesson that surely will be very useful.

If you need to know more about how to pronounce Spanish, I have prepared three tables to help you. You can see them here.

Lets begin!

Hola (Oh-lah) Hello

Hola is the most common greeting you will hear anywhere Spanish is spoken. Its for any occasion, any time of day. Depending on your tone, you can make it more casual or formal. Just like the English greeting hello or hi.

¿Cómo estás? (koh-moh es-tahs) How are you?

Follow Hola with this one to ask the other person how theyre doing. Just like in English when you say hi, how are you? (Remember, the accents function is to add strength to the syllable.)

Say Hola, ¿Cómo estás? to your friends or family next time you meet with them and show them that now you can greet them in Spanish! To make this greeting formal, simple change estás with está. It becomes Hola, ¿Cómo está? And you can also add usted which is the formal version of , and translates to you. Hola, ¿Cómo está usted? Add usted when youre meeting a person who is not in familiar terms with you or someone like your boss, for example. To greet friends, co-workers, and family, use Hola, ¿Cómo estás?

* A variation can be ¿Cómo está todo? Which translates to Hows everything? or Hows it going?

And also ¿Cómo estamos? Which translates to How are we? Here in Puerto Rico I hear men greet each other with this one all the time. ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estamos? 


Saludos (Sah-loo-dohs) Greetings, Regards

This one is used when youre addressing people, like when talking in public. Here in Puerto Rico I hear older men greet each other with it, too. Jovially, ¡Saludos! ¿Cómo estás? Or ¡Saludos! ¿Cómo está todo? And also ¡Saludos! ¿Cómo estamos? So it seems it was very common to use it casually some time ago.


Buenas (boo-eh-nahs) Hello, regards (Literally its a variation of Bueno and translates to good)

I use this when I make a phone call, like for example when I call a doctors office. I would say Buenas, ¿es la oficina del doctor? (Hi, is this the doctors office?). Also when I approach a person who is working, like a store cashier for example, to ask a question. Its a short little greeting thats useful for both casual and formal settings. I use it for the situations I mentioned.


Bienvenido (bee-ehn-veh-nee-doh) Welcome

When a person enters a place, he or she is received by Bienvenido. Exactly like in English. To mention the place where youre receiving the person, add a. For example: ¡Bienvenido a Your Daily Pinch of Spanish! (Welcome to Your Daily Pinch of Spanish!)


Buenos días (boo-eh-nohs dee-ahs) Good morning; good day

Use this greeting during the morning hours. Also used when its still daytime, even in the afternoon. But for the afternoon, we have the next one Im going to mention now.


Buenas tardes (boo-eh-nahs tahr-dehs) Good afternoon

Use this after midday, like in English.


Buenas noches (boo-eh-nahs noh-ches) Good evening; good-night

This is the greeting for evenings and nights, but you can use it too when saying good-night to a person before they go to bed.

Here you have them, some greetings in Spanish. I hope you’ve found this lesson useful, and that you can understand. There’s a lot of information here, but I think its pretty simple and easy to understand. If you have any doubt, don’t hesitate in contacting me! Here is my Twitter page and here is my Facebook page. Hit follow and like! I’m there to answer your questions and comments.

Keep looking forward to more free lessons and tips! Until next time!

~ María