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The Advanced Spanish Words You Definitely Need

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Speaking Spanish in casual conversations is a rewarding experience. Sure, native Spanish speakers converse at a really fast pace. But, if you ask them to slow down, they will—and they will probably try to help you understand and be part of the conversation.

At the end of the day, there’s a reason why Spanish-speaking countries are said to have some of the friendliest people!

But what happens when, instead of an informal chat over some wine and tapas, you have to face a doctor’s appointment or a super important business meeting? Formal situations will call for advanced Spanish words, which might be scary for those who are still learning.

Namely, you’ll have to step up your game in order to succeed in conversations related to higher education, business, the law, and even medicine. 

Don’t worry, though! You can be prepared for all those kinds of situations! SpanishPod101 is here to help with this guide to the advanced Spanish words you’ll need to thrive in a variety of contexts. Also, stick around for some bonus expressions that will help you ace your next Spanish essay.

¡Que lo disfrutes! (“Enjoy!”)

A Woman Interviewing for a Job

Do business in Spanish like a pro!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Bonus: Alternative Words for Acing a Spanish Essay
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Advanced Academic Words

One of the reasons people move to Spain is to study, whether that means studying the Spanish language itself or pursuing another subject of interest. However, one must keep in mind that the academic environment is much more formal than everyday Spanish life. 

Especially if you have to write essays, compose a thesis, or discuss a topic in class, you’ll need to master some advanced Spanish vocabulary related to the academic world. Of course, if you forget some of the most common classroom phrases in Spanish, you can always head over to SpanishPod101.com to review them!

Here you’ll find the essential words related to studies and training, so you’ll be prepared for everything from exams to seminars. We have also included a section on advanced Spanish words that’ll help you defend your work or thesis.

You’ll notice that many words are similar to their English counterparts, as formal or niche words tend to evolve less in languages. This means you’re one step ahead in mastering advanced Spanish!

1 – Studies and Training

EstudiosStudies

FormaciónTraining / Studies
Formación is a common word used to describe one’s academic curriculum in formal situations (i.e., a job interview). It’s more generic than estudios, as it applies to both formal and informal training/education.
  • Se formó como mecánico pero acabó yendo a la universidad para completar sus estudios en ingeniería. → “He was trained as a mechanic, but he ended up going to university to finish his engineering studies.”

CursoTraining course
ConferenciaConference
SeminarioSeminar
ExamenExam
RedacciónEssay
TrabajoPaper
AvaluaciónAssessment

CarreraDegree
False friend alert! 

The word carrera, very similar to the word “career,” does mean the same as its English counterpart in work-related contexts. However, in the academic world, carrera also means “degree”!
  • Estudió la carrera de Enfermería y luego tuvo una carrera meteórica en el hospital. → “She studied a nursing degree and she later had a meteoric career in the hospital.”

GraduadoGraduate
DoctoradoPhD
CompetenciasCompetences
Plan de estudiosSyllabus

A Man Studying in a Library

¿Cuál es el plan de estudios de tu carrera? (“What’s the syllabus of your degree?”)

2 – Defending Your Thesis

InvestigaciónResearch
InvestigadorResearcher
Autor / AutoraAuthor
SujetoSubject / Exhibit
MuestraSample
AnálisisAnalysis
ExperimentoExperiment
DemostraciónDemonstration / Proof
Comprobación / VerificaciónVerification
ResultadoResult
CampoField
MétodoMethod
JustificaciónJustification
Reflexión / ConsideraciónConsideration
OpiniónOpinion

ArgumentoArgument
Take into account that the Spanish word argumento never refers to a quarrel. 

Instead, if you wanted to indicate that two scholars are having “a heated argument,” you would say they’re having una discusión acalorada.

AmbiguoAmbiguous
Polémica / ControversiaControversy

three researchers examining and recording data

Los investigadores (“The researchers”)

2. Advanced Business Words

Similar to entering the Spanish academic world, finding a job that requires you to speak fluent Spanish is a challenging opportunity. First things first: You need to learn all the essential words related to the workplace.

You already know the basics, of course. But if you need to review, you can refer to the Spanish Job Vocabulary lesson on SpanishPod101.com.

Here are the advanced words in Spanish that will help you handle business like a pro!

EmpresaBusiness / Company
Empresa is the most common word used to refer to a business or company. However, you will hear the word compañía more and more frequently due to influence from the English language. 

MultinacionalMultinational company
AsesoríaConsulting
ReuniónMeeting
ConvenciónConvention
FiscalidadTaxation
FacturaBill
TesoreríaTreasury
ContabilidadFinances / Accounting
OfertaOffer
ContraofertaCounteroffer
EstrategiaStrategy
CampañaCampaign
InformeReport
SalarioSalary / Wage

ConvenioCollective bargaining
In Spain, there are hundreds of convenios that apply to all kinds of different jobs. They establish a minimum wage, acceptable job conditions, and workers’ rights for each profession. 

Don’t forget to check out your convenio if you’re looking for a job in Spain!

ContratoContract

A Job Applicant and a Hiring Manager Shaking Hands

¡Estás contratado! (“You’re hired!”)

ProductoProduct
SuministroSupply
ServicioService
VentaSale
GananciasProfit
PérdidasLoss
AuditoríaAudit
Declaración de la rentaTax return
Trabajador asalariadoWorker (of a company)

Trabajador autónomoSelf-employed worker / Freelancer
From a fiscal point of view, there are two main types of workers in Spain: those who are employed by a company (trabajador asalariado) and those who are self-employed (trabajador autónomo).

MercadoJob market

    → Want to learn more advanced Spanish for business or review the basics? SpanishPod101 has plenty of lessons that can help you prepare for the Spanish workplace.

3. Advanced Medical Words

Some of the most important advanced Spanish words are those related to the field of medicine. You never really think about these words until you urgently need to use them!

Having to visit the doctor is normally an unpleasant (and often unexpected) situation that can make us feel vulnerable, especially if we don’t understand the words he or she is saying. “Radiografía? What’s that supposed to mean? It sounds bad…!”

Don’t panic. Here is an advanced Spanish vocabulary word list that will prepare you for any medical situation!

A Man Getting an X-ray

Knowing medical vocabulary in Spanish will definitely help you feel more at ease!

VisitaAppointment
RadiografíaX-ray test
BiopsiaBiopsy
EcografíaSonogram
Médico generalGeneral practitioner

Médico de cabecera / Médico de familiaFamily doctor
Médico de cabecera or médico de familia refer to general practitioners who are assigned to the different users of the public healthcare system.

As they know each of their patients and their background, they deal with most of the issues that don’t require a specialist. It’s important to have your own médico de cabecera if you live in Spain.

Médico especialistaSpecialist

Médico residenteResident doctor
This term applies to doctors who, after graduating medical school and passing a very demanding entry exam, specialize in their field of choice for four years.

Enfermero/aNurse
Auxiliar de enfermeríaNursing assistant
Dentista / Odontólogo/aDentist / Odontologist
Dermatólogo/aDermatologist
Cardiólogo/aCardiologist
Traumatólogo/aOrthopedic surgeon
Ginecólogo/aGynecologist
Urólogo/aUrologist
AmbulanciaAmbulance
GripeFlu

A Little Girl Who Has the Flu

Tengo la gripe… (“I got the flu…”)

Gastroenteritis / Virus estomacalStomach flu
Infección de orina / CistitisUrinary tract infection / Cystitis
InsolaciónSunstroke
Intoxicación alimentariaFood poisoning
EmboliaStroke
Ataque al corazón / InfartoHeart attack
Ataque de ansiedadPanic attack
DemenciaDementia
ComaComa

Receta médicaMedical prescription
Don’t forget your receta when going to the pharmacy!

In Spain, many common drugs cannot be bought without a medical prescription.

MedicamentoDrug / Medication
TratamientoTreatment


4. Advanced Legal Words 

Dealing with legal or bureaucratic situations is a classic example of when you would need to know advanced words in Spanish. Legal vocabulary is highly formal and technical, and it’s easy to feel frustrated if, for example, you can’t tell the difference between the abogado and the procurador.

With this advanced Spanish words list, you’ll learn the most important concepts of the legal world. Knowing these words will prepare you to face any situation involving the public administration or the court system.

Don’t forget to get yourself a good attorney, too!

A Gavel Sitting Atop a Book

¡Silencio en la sala! (“Order in the court!”)

DenunciaReport
DemandaLawsuit
SolicitudRequest
Representante legalLegal representative
AbogadoAttorney

Abogado de oficioPublic defender
In Spain, you have the right to have a defense attorney (abogado de oficio) assigned to you free of charge. 

ProcuradorLawyer
TestigoWitness
AcusadoDefendant
DenuncianteAccuser
FiscalProsecutor
JuezJudge
TribunalCourt
JuradoJury
JuicioTrial
Sentencia / CondenaSentence

Recurso / ApelaciónAppeal
Depending on the legal or bureaucratic process, the appeal will be called a recurso or an apelación.

AprobaciónApproval
DenegaciónRejection
BurocraciaBureaucracy
Administración públicaPublic administration
FuncionarioPublic worker

5. Bonus: Alternative Words for Acing a Spanish Essay 

As promised, here is a bonus list of advanced Spanish words you can use to surprise your Spanish teacher! 

You already know how to describe objects, people, and feelings, and how to maintain a coherent and fluent discourse. The next step is to start introducing some “high-end” words (including helpful connectors) into your vocabulary that can substitute basic everyday words. Using them well can help you score higher on your writing tests.

A Woman Wearing Glasses and Carrying a Load of Books

Connectors can definitely help you seem more clever!

1 – Adjectives

For “big” and “long”:

MayúsculoEnormous / Tremendous
ConsiderableNoteworthy
ProlongadoExtended
ExtensoExtensive
VastoVast

For “important”:

NotableNotable / Prominent
DestacadoProminent
SignificativoSignificant
TrascendentalVery, very important

For “small”:

DiminutoTiny
ReducidoLimited / Reduced
InsignificanteInsignificant
MinúsculoMinuscule

Several Tiny Chicks

¡Mira estos diminutos pollitos! (“Look at these tiny chickens!”)

2 – Adverbs

For “only” and “just”:

SolamenteSolely
ExclusivamenteExclusively

ÚnicamenteUniquely
Única y exclusivamente is a phrase that combines two of the words mentioned here. It means basically the same thing but helps reinforce the idea of “only.”

Note: In Spanish, when using an adverb ending in -mente after another, you can ditch the -mente in all adverbs except the last one. Here’s an example:
  • Está durmiendo tranquila, sosegada y pacíficamente. → “She’s sleeping calmly, serenely, and peacefully.”

Positive reinforcers:

CompletamenteCompletely
TotalmenteTotally
ÍntegramenteEntirely
ObviamenteObviously
EfectivamenteIndeed
EvidentementeEvidently
Sin dudaWithout a doubt
Por supuestoOf course

Negative reinforcers:

DifícilmenteHardly
LigeramenteSlightly
InsuficientementeInsufficiently
LevementeSlightly
PobrementePoorly
Con dificultadWith difficulty


3 – Connectors

For “likewise”:

TambiénToo / Also
IgualmenteEqually
AsimismoAdditionally

For “so”:

Así puesSo
JustamentePrecisely
PrecisamentePrecisely
De este modo / De esta formaThus

For “however”:

Sin embargoNevertheless
AunqueAlthough
AunEven if
Si bienAlbeit
No obstanteDespite
Pese a queIn spite of

For “moreover”:

AdemásIn addition
Es másMoreover / Furthermore

For “regarding”:

En cuanto aWith regard to
Respecto aRegarding / With respect to
En relación aIn relation to
A propósito deConcerning

For “to sum up”:

En conclusiónIn conclusion
En definitivaUltimately
En resumenTo sum up

A Woman Giving a Speech

¡Qué buen discurso! (“What a great speech!”)

6. Final Thoughts

In this guide to advanced Spanish words, you have learned the most important words in the academic, business, medical, and legal worlds. Also, the bonus section gave you a handful of tools you can use to ace your written exams or essays in Spanish class. You’re now prepared to face any type of formal situation! 

Did you know any of these words already? Which ones? 

Of course, you can still continue your journey of learning advanced Spanish! SpanishPod101.com has plenty of advanced Spanish lessons to help you gain knowledge, skills, and confidence. We will help you dive deeper into Spanish culture and flex your fluency in any situation. And don’t forget to check out the free vocabulary lists and other useful tools on SpanishPod101.com. They will make the path super fun!

¡Hasta pronto! (“See you soon!”)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish