30 Basic Spanish Vocabulary words for beginners
Learning a new language can be one of the hardest things to do; quite tasking, especially if you need it to be speaking it real soon. There’s even a theory that says the older you are, the harder it is to learn a new language.
Are you travelling to Spain or a Spanish speaking country? Are you afraid the locals might not understand you and you might get stranded? Sure, you may come across some people who may understand English or any other language you speak, and honestly that would be just fine. But you have to admit that things would be so much smother and easer for you, if you spoke Spanish, even if it was just to introduce yourself.
Maybe you’re even learning Spanish for a job. It could even be for academic purposes; a lot of people take Spanish across many levels of education so maybe it’s for school. Maybe you just want to learn Spanish because you like the language, which is a very valid reason, because Spanish is really just an amazing language. Whatever your reason, it can be agreed that this looks like it’ll be no easy task to accomplish.
Spanish is the second most widely spoken first language in the world, with more than 400 million speakers. With these 30 Basic Spanish Vocabulary Words and Phrases for Beginners, you’ll be well on your way to become a fluent Spanish speaker. And don’t worry so much about pronunciations; Spanish speakers are very warm and accommodating; they’ll mostly appreciate the gesture, and you do not have to worry too much about making mistakes, or speaking as fast as a native speaker would so it is not obvious that you are a learner. Just take it slow, and whoever you may be speaking too will understand and reciprocate!
We’ve also added basic sentences for you; to make learning Spanish Vocabulary words with pictures easier so, you can understand the context and manner in which some of these words are used!
It’s important to note that we are not trying to take the place of a Spanish tutor. Should you seek to be learning more, then please by all means, use a language app in collaboration with this guide, or get a tutor for maximum results. Here’s our Spanish Vocabulary words list
Spanish Phrase Bank
Say you’re new in a place, and you are looking to make an entrance. If you’re looking to introduce yourself to someone, then you can say;
- Me llamo — My name is
- Mi nombre es — My name is
You could also begin with another word, such as ‘soy, which means ‘I am’
- Soy — I am
- Hola, soy Markus — Hi, I’m Markus
Now that you’ve introduced yourself and you’re talking to someone, it is polite to let them introduce themselves to you, as well. If you wish to know their name(s), you say;
- ¿Cómo te llamas? — What is your name?
If you’ve been introduced to someone, the words ‘mucho gusto’ which literally translate to ‘pleasure’, can be used. It can also be said to mean ‘nice to meet you’. It helps if you’re looking to be polite you say;
- Mucho Gusto — Nice to meet you
Now that you know who you are talking to, perhaps you would like to share more about yourself. It is a great way to break the ice and continue the conversation. If you’re trying to talk more about yourself, then these phrases can come in very handy;
- Yo tengo … años — I am … years old.
- Yo soy de — I come from
Greetings are the creators of conversations. If you’re trying to start a conversation with someone, and you also wish to keep it going, then greetings are in order. Almost everyone knows ‘hola’ which means either ‘hi’ or ‘hello’,but why stop there when you can go further. To share a greeting in Spanish, and you say;
- Buenos días — Good morning
- Buenas tardes — Good afternoon
- Buenas noches — Good evening / Good night
To keep things flowing, asking about the welfare of your companion is a nice step. Here are some sentences to do just that, and keep you very much in the conversation.
- Cómo está usted? — How are you? (formal)
- ¿Cómo estás? — How are you? (informal)
- ¿Qué tal? — How are you? (informal) / What’s up?
- ¿Cómo te va? — How’s it going?
- ¿Qué haces? — What are you doing?
- ¿Qué pasa? — What’s happening?
Of course, it is not always the case that you are the one asking these questions. Perhaps your personality is so charming that they seek to continue speaking with you. In that case, if you’re the one being greeted and you wish to respond, a big smile and these phrases are just what you need
- Bien, gracias — Good, thank you
- Muy bien — Very well
- Así, así — So, so
- Como siempre — As always
And you should not be forgetting thus very vital follow up question,
- ¿Y tú? — And you?
Now since you are pretty much still a beginner, and it may be difficult to keep up with native speakers, you might want to revert back to a more comfortable language for you, such as English. If it all becomes too overwhelming, and you’re wondering if the person you’re speaking with understands English, but you do not want to be rude by just switching to English, then you ask;
- ¿Habla inglés? — Do you speak English?
If responding nicely is still your aim, then you say
- ¡Gracias! — Thank you!
- ¡Muchas gracias! — Thank you very much!
- ¡De nada! — You’re welcome! / No problem!
It’s always nice to add these at the end of your sentences, so that you don’t seem rude. They always come in quite handy!
- Por favor — Please (generally used at the end of a sentence)
- ¡Perdon! — Excuse me!
- ¡Disculpe! — Excuse me! (to apologize in advance for troubling them a bit too much)
- ¡Lo siento! — Sorry! (to apologize for a mistake)
These 30 basic Spanish words for beginners should do just the trick in making your travel experience to a Spanish speaking location easy and smooth. We may have covered the basics however, but there are words you could also make use of in the Spanish vocabulary, especially if you are looking to make your usage effective. Here’s a bonus section of commonly used words that you might find useful in your day to day activities in Spanish.
If you want to ask questions, these words are very use
- Qué…? — What?
- ¿Quién…? — Who?
- ¿Cuándo…? — When?
- ¿Dónde…? — Where?
- ¿Por qué…? — Why?
- ¿Cuál? — Which?
- ¿Cómo…? — How?
Now here are some more complex question structures that you will be needing, especially if you intend to get around.
- ¿Qué hora tienes? — What time is it?
- ¿De dónde viene? — Where are you from?
- ¿Dónde vives? — Where do you live?
- ¿Puede ayudarme? — Can you help me?
- ¿Podría ayudarle? — Can I help you?
- ¿Cuánto cuesta eso? — How much does it cost?
- ¿Qué hora tienes? — What time is it?
- ¿Entiende? — Do you understand?
- ¡Puede repetirlo! — Can you say that again?
- ¿Qué significa [word]? — What does [word] mean?
- ¿Puedes hablar más despacio? — Can you speak slowly?
- ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi? — Where can I find a taxi?
- ¿Dónde está [hotel’s name] hotel? — Where is [hotel’s name] hotel?
If you are learning how to ask questions in Spanish, it is also important to learn how to answer in Spanish too
- Sí — Yes
- No — No
- Tal vez — Maybe
- Siempre — Always
- Nunca — Never
- Claro — Of course
- ¡Sin problema! — No problem!
- No entiendo — I don’t understand!
- No (lo) sé — I don’t know!
- No tengo ni idea — I have no idea!
- No hablo español — I don’t speak Spanish
- Estoy perdido — I’m lost
- Mi español es malo — My Spanish is bad
Perhaps you happen upon an occasion. If you want to send in your well wishes, here are some words to use for celebrating occasions
- ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! — Happy Birthday!
- ¡Felicitaciones! — Congratulations!
- ¡Diviértete! — Have fun!
- ¡Buen provecho! — Bon appetit!
- ¡Bienvenidos! / ¡Bienvenidas! — Welcome!
- Salud! — Cheers!
Saying goodbye can be sad business; very sad business indeed. No one likes goodbyes, and we bet with how your trip’s gone, you wouldn’t really want it to end, at least not so soon. All good things must come to an end, hard as it may be, and eventually you will have to. Here’s how to say goodbye or farewell in Spanish
- Adiós — Goodbye
- Chao — Goodbye
- Hasta luego — See you later (most likely today)
- Hasta mañana — See you tomorrow
- Nos vemos — See you (informal)
- ¡Cuídate mucho! — Take care!
- ¡Tenga un buen día! — Have a nice day!
- ¡Hasta luego! — See you soon!
- ¡Buen viaje! — Have a good trip!
How about regular words that may be used in daily Spanish speak? We’ve also got list of them for you to learn.
Spanish Word Bank
|la estación de la policía||police station|
|los correos||post office|
|la estación del tren||train station|