Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spanish words for greetings

One of the most important lessons we learn in a new language is how to greet people properly. Goodbyes make a role almost as important. We suggest ways of greeting for different accents and countries. Even if your knowledge of Spanish is rudimentary, it can make your conversation a bit smoother to know some of these statements or questions of courtesy. Phrases in common use can vary with location, is not the same to be in Spain than to be in Central America or South America. Also in the picture you can find other common expressions related to greetings in Spanish:

Spanish words for greetings

  • Hola — Hello, hi — It can be the most common way to say hello in every single country, Spain or latinamerica. It is formal and it can be casual too. 
  • Hola, aló, jaló, bueno, al, diga — Hello (on the telephone) —We can say the first one can be use everywhere, aló is more use in South America, bueno is more used in Central America and Diga is popular in Spain. All of them can be undestund everywhere. 
  • Adiós — Goodbye — An informal alternative in many areas is chau or ciao like the italian way to say hello or goodbye 
  • ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo está? — How are you? — The first form (which is informal) normally would be used with someone you know on a first-name basis or when speaking with a child. It is more used in Spain. The second form generally would be used in other situations. Usage can depend quite a bit on where you are; in some areas, the informal form (estás) would be expected where under the same circumstances the formal form would be used in other areas. If you're a foreigner, chances are no one will criticize you for using the wrong form, although you may be politely corrected. 
  • Muy bien, gracias — Very well, thank you. 
  • Buenos días — Good day, good morning — In some areas, like latinamerica a shortened form, buen día, is used. 
  • Buenas tardes — Good afternoon, good evening — In most areas, buenas tardes should be used in the early evening in preference to buenas noches. 
  • Buenas noches — Good night — Unlike the English translation, buenas noches can be used as a greeting as well as a farewell. 
  • ¿Cómo te va? ¿Cómo le va? ¿Qué tal? ¿Qué hay? — How's it going? What's happening? — There is also a variety of colloquial alternatives, although many of them depend on the area. 
  • ¿Qué pasa? — Very informal way to say  What's happening? 
  • ¿Qué hubo? ¿Qué onda? — How is it going? What's happening? — These phrases are most common in Mexico and it is informal. 
  • ¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo se llama usted? — What's your name? — A literal translation would be "What do you call yourself?" or, somewhat less literally, "What are you called?" The first form normally would be used with a child, or possibly with someone of equal social status at an informal occasion. If you're uncertain which form to use, the second one is safer. Also see the explanation with the entry for "
  • ¿Cómo estás?" above. Me llamo (nombre).— My name is (name). — A literal translation would be "I call myself (name)" or, somewhat less literally, "I am called (name)." You can also literally translate the English: Mi nombre es (nombre). 
  • Mucho gusto. Encantado. — It's a pleasure to meet you. — Either of these could be said upon meeting someone. If you're female, you should say encantada instead of encantado. These literally mean "much pleasure" and "delighted," respectively, so they would have different meanings in other contexts. 
  • Bienvenido, bienvenida, bienvenidos, bienvenidas — Welcome — Note the difference in number and gender. Bienvenido would be used with a man, bienvenida with a woman, bienvenidas with a group of all females, and bienvenidos with males or a mixed group, females and males.

1 comment:

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