The Most Common Words That Will Come in Handy in Spain


SPAIN It would make your life so much easier if there was a compact yet comprehensive guide on common Spanish words that would help you get around. You’re in luck because we have done the legwork for you. Below we will introduce useful words and phrases that everyone should learn before visiting Spain. Are you ready? Let’s begin!

Image by Chris –

1. Basic Spanish Greetings to Get You Started

Of course, we need to start with the greetings first. Let’s preface this by saying if at any time you need help with language during your travels, or you would like to learn Spanish online, you can register and learn Spanish with online lessons all taught by a real Spanish teacher.

Through Preply, online learning has never been so easy. You can learn basic Spanish and get the hard part out of the way. Now let’s jump into some greeting words.

  • ¡Hola! – This means “hello”. It’s very useful whenever you see someone on the street.
  • ¡Buenos días! – Another basic Spanish phrase, this means “good morning”
  • ¡Buenas tardes! – Good afternoon/Good evening.
  • ¡Buenas noches!– Good night.
  • ¿Cómo está? – How are you? (formal).
  • ¿Cómo estás? – How are you? (informal).
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
  • Me llamo _____ – My name is _____.
  • Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you.
  • Por favor – Please.
  • Lo siento – Sorry

What do you do when you get stuck? Use these phrases below:

  • Yo no entiendo – I don’t understand
  • ¿Tu habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

Before you make your trip to Spain, it can be important to check out what the cities look like, not through images on Google but through the lenses of real travelers. 

2. When You Want Something – How to Express Want

Human beings often want for more things, but the word “want” is also another basic Spanish word to know. It’s used to convey services you require, and other things you might need.

We wont get into the conjugation of verbs, instead, just remember these simple phrases.

  • Yo quiero _______ – The basic Spanish for “I want”. You may add whatever noun afterwards.
  • Quisiera _______ – I would like. A slightly more formal method of requesting something.

3. Don’t Get Lost! – How to Ask for Directions

Another very important category is directions. It’s easy to get lost in a new country, a new environment. Before you panic, remembering these phrases could get you out of a pinch.

  • ¿Dónde está ______? – Where is _______?

Useful phrases with the above:

  • ¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?
  • Discuple – Excuse me.
  • Estoy perdido – I’m lost.

When the locals actually do tell you how to get to a location, you need to make sure you understand their directions.

  • Aqui – Here.
  • Alli – There
  • A la derecha – On the right.
  • A la izquierda – On the left.
  • Derecho – Ahead

4. Transportation – How to Get around

You might not always want to wander around on foot, and understanding the local transportation system is important too. Below are some basic Spanish words related to methods of transport.

  • ¿Dónde puedo encontrar _______ ? – Where can I get ______? Place modes of transportation into the blank.
  • ¿Dónde está la parada de ________ más cerca? – Where is the nearest ________stop? Place modes of transportation into the blank.
  • Un billete para ________, por favour – A ticket to ________, please.

5. Dining at a Restaurant – Because You Gotta Eat!

            Part of experiencing a rich culture like Spain has is to taste the delectable local dishes and specialties. The waiter/waitress might ask you the below:

  • ¿Qué quieres comer? – Would you like something to eat?
  • ¿Quieres algo para beber?– Would you like something to drink?
  • ¿Quieres algo para comer? – What would you like to eat?

If these phrases seem too long, pay attention to a few keywords such as “quieres” – want, “comer” – to eat, and “beber” – to drink. You can guess the gist of it afterwards.

When you read the menu, it could be overwhelming, but we can break it down for you.

  • Una entrada – an appetizer
  • Un plato principal – a main course
  • Un postre – a dessert
  • Una bebida – a drink
  • Una agua – water
  • Una sopa – soup
  • Una ensalada – salad
  • Un café – a coffee
  • Soy vegetariano/vegetarian – Male and female of “I’m a vegetarian”.
  • Tengo alergia a ________ – I’m allergic to _________.
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much is it?
  • La cuenta, por favour – The bill, please.

Other useful words:

  • Quién – Who
  • Qué – What
  • Dónde –Where
  • Cuándo – When
  • Por qué – Why
  • Cómo – How
  • Cuánto – How much
  • Cuántos – How many
  • A qué hora – At what time/when?


A lot of the time, with just a few words, you can guess the meaning of a sentence in a foreign language. We hope our list of common Spanish words can help you on your next journey in Spain!

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