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They say that the best way to gain fluency in a language is to make sure you have daily conversations in that language.
If you want to learn how to converse in Spanish then, you need to start by learning how to start a conversation.
Spanish conversations for beginners may sound like something that is intimidating or will require a lot of hard work but, never fear, we’ve come up with this guide that can help you learn quickly and easily.
To help you start, we’ve included some basic Spanish conversation phrases that you can use to strike up a conversation in Spanish. If you want to maintain a conversation in Spanish, however, we suggest you check out this post we made on Spanish small talk questions.
Let’s start, with step one.
If you want to learn how to have a conversation in Spanish or any other language, you need to learn some basic conversational skills. One of the first skills you need to learn is how to properly and respectively greet someone in Spanish.
Spanish-speakers tend to be a warm and friendly bunch, proof of this is the fact that there are many different Spanish greetings. You should check out our post on useful Spanish greetings here. It’s also got several ways to end a conversation and say “goodbye”, something we’ll touch on a little later on.
For now, let’s look at the most basic and common ways to properly greet someone in Spanish.
Meaning: Hi or hello!
This is the most basic way to say “hello” in Spanish. As you might know, there are a variety of Spanish dialects, and a speaker of one of those dialects might use certain Spanish words or phrases slightly differently than someone who speaks another dialect.
For an example of the differences, you might see with Spanish dialects, check out this post on the different ways to say “hello” in Mexican Spanish. While they will understand and use “hola”, there are also some other greetings that they prefer to use.
Meaning: Hi, good morning/good afternoon/ good evening
The rule of thumb is that you use one of these phrases to greet a Spanish speaker if it is a specific time of day.
So, you say “hola, buenos dias” if it is the morning, sometimes from sunrise to about noon. When noon hits, it might be better to switch to “hola, buenos tardes” or “hello, good afternoon”. When the sun goes down, switch to “hola, buenos noches”.
If you want, you can also drop the “hola” and just use the appropriate phrase for the time of day. Note, that “buenas noches” can also mean “goodnight” so it can be used to say farewell.
After saying “hello”, most people consider it proper to ask their conversation partner how they are.
If you want to politely inquire about a Spanish speaker’s state of being, you should use one of the following common Spanish phrases.
Meaning: How are you? (informal/formal)
Take note that there are informal and formal ways of saying “you” in Spanish. Because of this, there are actually two ways to ask “how are you?” in Spanish. To determine which of these phrases you should use, you should think about your relationship with the speaker or the context where the conversation is being held.
If you are among friends or peers in an informal setting like a bar, you can be informal. If, however, you are talking to a superior or an older Spanish speaker, you should be a bit more formal.
Meaning: How is it going? (informal/formal)
While the English phrase “how is it going” might be considered too warm and informal for say, the office, in Spanish it depends on which version of the phrase you use.
Meaning: How are you doing? (informal/formal)
While the literal translation of this Spanish phrase is “how do you walk”, a native Spanish speaker will use it the same way that a native English speaker would “how are you doing”. Again, take note that there is an informal and a formal version of this phrase.
Meaning: What’s up?
This is Spanish slang. It is an informal phrase you might hear among young people when they want to greet their friends and ask “how are you”.
Sometimes, after you’ve exchanged greetings with someone, they’ll ask you how you are before you can ask them. You should therefore know how to answer when a Spanish speaker asks how you are.
Meaning: I’m fine.
Meaning: I’m very good.
Meaning: I’m fine, how are you?
Meaning: I’m fine, and you?
Now that polite greetings have been exchanged, it’s time to ask a few Spanish conversational questions. Here are a few basic questions you can ask someone in Spanish – and a few basic answers to those questions.
Meaning: What’s your name?
Meaning: My name is (your name)
Meaning: How old are you?
Meaning: I am (number) years old.
Meaning: Where are you from?
Meaning: I am from (place or country)
Meaning: Where do you live?
Meaning: I live in (place)
Meaning: What’s your address?
Meaning: I live in (house number) (street name)
Meaning: How many children do you have?
Meaning: I have (number) children
Meaning: I don’t have children
Meaning: How many siblings do you have?
Meaning: I have (number) siblings.
Meaning: I’m an only child.
Meaning: Do you have a dog/cat?
Meaning: Yes, I have a dog/cat
Meaning: No, I don’t have a dog/cat
Meaning: What’s your job?
Meaning: What do you like to do in your free time (formal/informal)
Meaning: I’m interested in
la cocina – cooking
la lectura – reading
el alpinismo/montañismo - mountain climbing
ir al cine - going to the cinema
ir al gimnasio - going to the gym
jugar a juegos de mesa - playing board games.
escuchar música - listening to music
aprender idiomas - learning languages
Spanish conversations for beginners start with the basic phrases that we listed above. In order to help you learn, we’ve included these phrases in a handy, downloadable PDF file that you can get here.
You can mix and match, use different combinations of greetings and “how are you” phrases, and pick different questions to ask your new Spanish-speaking friend. Practice this in your head and out loud in front of a mirror.
The best way to learn how to have Spanish conversations for beginners, however, is to work with an online native Spanish-speaking language tutor. Conversational practice is a big part of any language tutoring plan, so you can take these phrases and the “dialogue” you developed using these phrases and try them out with your tutor.
Your tutor can help you practice having a conversation in Spanish and provide you tips on how you can make yourself better understood. They can also help develop your conversational skills by suggesting other phrases and bits of dialogue that you can use when speaking with native speakers.
Remember, the best way to learn how to have a conversation in Spanish is to start talking to native Spanish speakers, so book a tutoring session and start practicing having real conversations with your tutor. You’ll find your confidence and your conversational skills will really develop with every session.
Step 1: Make a Proper Greeting Step 2a: Ask Them How They Are Step 2b: How to Respond to “How Are You”? Step 3: Ask a Few Basic Conversational Questions
If you want to learn how to have a conversation in Spanish or any other language, you need to learn some basic conversational skills. One of the first skills you need to learn is how to properly and respectively greet someone in Spanish. Spanish-speakers tend to be a warm and friendly bunch, proof of this is the fact that there are many different Spanish greetings. You should check out our post on useful Spanish greetings here. It’s also got several ways to end a conversation and say “goodbye”, something we’ll touch on a little later on. For now, let’s look at the most basic and common ways to properly greet someone in Spanish. 1. ¡Hola! 2. Hola, buenos dias/tardes/noche
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