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One of the joys of language learning is getting the chance to meet and make new friends from all over the world.
Learning Spanish opens up an entirely new world of experiences and a way to communicate and relate to people from all walks of life – in countries near and far.
The first step you need to take to start making friends and having conversations in Spanish is to learn how to properly introduce yourself. You want to make a good impression, of course, and present yourself as someone that other people will want to get to know and become friends with.
If you find the idea of introducing yourself in Spanish a little intimidating, don’t worry, we can help. You can basically think of the different ways of introducing yourself in Spanish as consisting of three steps: A greeting, an introduction, and asking for someone’s name.
Let’s break things down a bit.
The most common way to introduce yourself in Spanish would be to start with a friendly greeting.
Spanish-speakers are usually very warm and friendly and there are a variety of Spanish greetings that are appropriate for almost any situation.
You should check out this post we previously made on different Spanish greetings. Choose the one that seems appropriate for the situations you will face or just one that sounds “right” or suits your personality.
Take note that, native Spanish speakers tend to be very touchy and affectionate, fond of hugs and even cheek kisses. In informal situations, don’t be too surprised if you get pulled in for a quick hug. In formal situations, a handshake is almost always expected if you are just being introduced to someone.
What’s important to remember here is, your body language must always be readable as “friendly”. Smile and make eye contact. If you are uncomfortable at the thought of being brought into a hug or for a cheek kiss, make the first move and offer your hand for a handshake. Most Spanish speakers will take the hint and keep it to that if you do so.
To start you off, here are a few of the most common friendly greetings that you can use when you want to introduce yourself in Spanish:
2. Buenos días.
Meaning: Good morning.
3. Buenas tardes.
Meaning: Good afternoon.
4. Buenas noches.
Meaning: Good evening.
TIP 1: Buenas dias/tardes/noches are Spanish greetings that are time-sensitive. While you will not insult someone by using the wrong one at the wrong time, it might be slightly embarrassing. Just remember, “buenos dias” is for the morning, sunrise till around noon. After lunch, switch to “buenas tardes”. When the sun goes down, it’s time to start using “buenas noches”.
TIP 2: While either of these four common Spanish greetings can be used on your own, you might also want to consider using “hola” plus one of the other three greetings – as long as it’s the appropriate time of day. So, if it’s morning, try saying “¡Hola! Buenos dias!”.
After you’ve exchanged the proper greetings, you should proceed to introduce yourself.
This part of the introductions has two parts: First, you need to introduce yourself and secondly, you need to encourage the other person to introduce themselves to you.
In daily Spanish conversation, asking about and volunteering your name is pretty much the automatic and polite thing to do. Right after you’ve said your greeting, it’s expected that you will tell your conversation partner what your name is.
Here are the two most common ways that you can tell someone what your name is.
1. Me llamo + your name
Meaning: My name is
2. Soy + your name
Meaning: I am
Either of these two phrases are appropriate to use when introducing yourself. “Soy” is considered a little more casual than “me llamo” but it is perfectly fine to use in formal or business situations.
There is one more common phrase that is used when you want to say what your name is. This is considered the formal way and it is:
4. Mi nombre es + name
Meaning: My name is (formal)
You can also consider adding, “soy” and your name right after you say “hello,” so:
5. Hola, soy + your name
Meaning: Hello, my name is
After you have given someone your name, the next part to making a proper introduction in Spanish would be to ask what the name of the person that you are speaking to is.
Here are the two common Spanish phrases used when asking somewhat what their name is:
1. ¿Cómo se llama?
Meaning: What’s your name? (formal)
2. ¿Cómo te llamas?
Meaning: What’s your name? (informal)
As you can see, the difference comes down to whether or not they use the formal or informal version of the word “you”. In Spanish, you is either “tu” or “usted” and with the former being considered informal. Depending on which version of “you” is used, the statement or phrase is either formal or informal.
The most basic ways to introduce yourself in Spanish would consist of taking these three steps. So, you choose a greeting, then a way to introduce yourself, and finally choose how you should ask someone else what their name is.
Here are some scenarios and examples:
Scenario 1: It is your first meeting with your language learning partner.
Hola, me llamo es Kyle. ¿Cómo se llama?
Scenario 2: You are at a bar with your classmates, someone new comes over.
Hola, soy Candice. ¿Cómo se llama?
Scenario 3: You have come to school early to meet your new professor before class.
Buenas dias. Me nombre es Adam. ¿Cómo se llama?
Scenario 4: You are starting a new job. You are leaving the offices and find yourself waiting for the elevator with someone new.
Buenas noches. Me llamo Raquel. ¿Cómo se llama?
After proper introductions are made, you can usually take that as a key that it’s time to start a conversation. If you are at a bar or some other social function, you can try to use this list of Spanish small talk questions to get to know someone better.
However, you might want to use some of these polite phrases here to respond to the introductions that have just been made.
1. Mucho gusto.
Meaning: Nice to meet you.
Meaning: Happy to meet you! (masculine)
Meaning: Happy to meet you! (feminine)
4. Estoy encantada de conocerla.
Meaning: I’m pleased to meet you (feminine)
5. Estoy encantada de conocerlo.
Meaning: I’m pleased to meet you (masculine)
6. Es un placer
Meaning: it’s a pleasure
7. Tanto gusto
Meaning: I’m delighted to meet you
The longer you travel through a Spanish-speaking area, the greater the chance that you yourself might need to introduce, not just yourself but someone else!
Let’s say, for example, you are in a bar with your new friend Miguel when your classmate Daisy walks in. When you greet Daisy, it’s also proper that you introduce her to Miguel. To do that, you need to know the following phrases that you can use to introduce someone.
1. Este es + name
Meaning: This is
2. Se llama + name
Meaning: His/her name is
If you are in a more formal setting, the appropriate phrase to use to introduce someone is the more formal:
3. Permíteme presentarle a + name
Meaning: I’d like to introduce you to + name
As important as it is to learn how to properly introduce yourself in Spanish, it’s also important to learn how to keep a conversation going in Spanish. If you have a hobby or an interest, learn how to talk about those interests in Spanish. We’ve got some posts that can help if, for example, you are interested in talking about sports or the arts.
The best way to learn how to properly introduce yourself in Spanish and start a conversation, however, is to just start talking to a native Spanish speaker. That’s why learning Spanish with a native-speaking online tutor is a good idea. You can practice introducing yourself and having a conversation with your tutor and get real-time feedback as well as conversational tips and tricks.
You should really check out the Spanish-speaking tutors on JustLearn. Your sure to find a tutor that can help you not only learn Spanish but appreciate the beauty of the language and the cultures that consider it their native tongue.
Step 1: Start With A Friendly Greeting, Step 2: Introduce Yourself, Step 3: Ask someone what their name is
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