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Intermediate Spanish Phrases for Everyday Conversations

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Once you’ve mastered the basics of a language, you’re ready to move on to the next level and start handling more complex interactions. Learning intermediate Spanish phrases will allow you to have everyday conversations, get around with confidence in a Spanish-speaking environment, and make new friends!

However, even if you’ve studied the grammar and memorized long vocabulary lists, sometimes it’s difficult to actually put your skills to the test. Have you ever found yourself having a conversation in Spanish and going completely blank, forgetting every lesson you’ve learned? If the answer is yes, don’t worry. SpanishPod101 is here to help.

In this guide, you’ll find a list of intermediate Spanish phrases for everyday conversations. Using these structures and expressions will help you navigate conversations about what you did last weekend, react to shocking information, and even give good restaurant recommendations.

A Group of Four Friends Having Coffee Beverages Together and Chatting

Learn how to invite new friends to brunch!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Talking About Past Events
  2. Making and Changing Plans
  3. Explaining and Listing Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations
  6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Talking About Past Events

Meeting new people often involves talking about past events. Whether you’re just making some chitchat about the weekend or talking about your childhood memories, what you did in the past will surely be a topic of conversation.

To talk about the past, of course, it’s crucial that you learn how to use the past tenses. You should quickly get the hang of it, though, as we use the preterit tense very often in Spanish. 

These intermediate Spanish phrases will help you kickstart a conversation about past events:

Llegué a España el mes pasado.I arrived in Spain last month.

El fin de semana pasado lo pasé genial.Last weekend, I had so much fun.
The Spanish expression pasarlo bien (or pasarlo genial) is a common way to say that you had a great time at a past event.

If you wanted to say you didn’t have a good time, then you would just have to change bien or genial to mal or one of its synonyms.
  • Cuando tuve la gripe lo pasé muy mal.
    → When I had the flu, I had a very hard time.

Ayer por la noche no pude dormir.Last night, I couldn’t sleep.
Crecí en un pueblo muy pequeño.I grew up in a very small town.
María y yo nos conocimos en Madrid.María and I met in Madrid.

Terminé la carrera hace dos años.I finished my degree two years ago.
Remember that the Spanish word carrera means both “professional career” and “educational degree.” It’s actually one of the most common false friends for native Spanish speakers!

Oh, and it also means “race” in the context of sports!

Cuando era joven tenía una moto roja.When I was young, I had a red motorcycle.
Mi padre me enseñó a tocar el piano.My father taught me how to play the piano.

    ➜ SpanishPod101’s verb conjugation series is the perfect tool for mastering verb tenses in Spanish. Don’t miss it!

Someone Lugging a Suitcase Behind Them at an Airport

Llegué a España el mes pasado. (“I arrived in Spain last month.”)

2. Making and Changing Plans

Once you’ve started to make new friends with your newly acquired intermediate Spanish skills, it’s time to make plans with them. 

Apart from learning the future tense, it’s important that you learn to use some courtesy expressions; this will help you ask politely about your friends’ availability or their interest in planning things together. These expressions would also be helpful in a business environment or even when making an appointment with the doctor.

Here are some common phrases in intermediate Spanish to get you started:

¿Qué planes tienes este fin de semana?What are your plans for the weekend?
Podríamos cenar comida mexicana.We could have Mexican food for dinner.

Espero que puedas venir a mi fiesta.I hope you can make it to my party.
This is a polite expression you can use when you invite someone to an event. It’s a way to express that you really want them to be there.

Here’s an example:
  • El viernes estrenamos mi nueva película. Espero que puedas venir, ¡me encantaría verte! 
    → Next Friday is the preview of my new film. I hope you can make it; I’d love to see you!

¿Quieres venir conmigo a la playa?Do you want to come with me to the beach?
Necesito cambiar la hora de la visita.I need to change the appointment time.
¿Podrás llegar a tiempo a la reunión?Will you make it on time for the meeting?
Llámame mañana por la tarde para hablarlo.Call me tomorrow afternoon to discuss it.

    ➜ If you want to learn more about making plans in Spanish, check out this useful lesson on SpanishPod101.com.

3. Explaining and Listing Reasons

If you want to start having more interesting conversations, a big step forward is learning to express your opinions and the motivations behind your actions. This way, once you’ve described the things you’ve done, you can also explain why so the other party can understand and get to know you better.

Don’t forget that, when dealing with a whole new language and culture, you’re probably going to make some errores de novato (“beginner mistakes”). So if a Spanish person ever tells you that you’re putting too much water into the paella, you can always try to explain yourself. 

Below are a few intermediate Spanish words and phrases you can use to give reasons and explain your actions.

Pensé que sería buena idea. I thought it’d be a good idea.
Creo que deberíamos hacerlo.I think we should do it.

En mi opinión, he hecho lo correcto.In my opinion, I did the right thing.
There are several other ways to state your opinion in everyday Spanish:
  • Opino que… → I think that… / I believe that… 
  • Creo que… → I believe that… 
  • Pienso que… → I think that… 

Decidí probar tu recomendación.I decided to try what you recommended.

Lo escogí por tres razones: 
En primer lugar… 
En segundo lugar… 
Por último…
I chose it because of these three reasons:
First of all…
Secondly…
Last but not least…

A Large Pan of Paella

Pensé que sería buena idea poner más agua en la paella. 
(“I thought it’d be a good idea to put more water in the paella.”)

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

When you learn a new language, you’re bound to discover a whole new world, sometimes even physically. Learning Spanish allows you to travel to beautiful places, including Spain and many Latin American countries. Once you know how to recommend the hottest spots in town (and how to advise your friends to avoid tourist scams), you’ll be one step closer to mastering everyday Spanish conversations!

Here are just a few useful Spanish phrases for intermediate learners who are ready to explore—and review—their new surroundings.

No te pierdas las vistas desde el castillo.Don’t miss the view from the castle.
Tienes que probar el salmorejo de mi abuela, es el mejor del mundo.You should eat my grandma’s salmorejo. It’s the best.
Nos encantó el hotel, te lo recomiendo.We loved the hotel; I recommend it.
No me gustó nada el museo.I didn’t like the museum at all.
Barcelona es muy bonita, pero es muy cara.Barcelona is very beautiful but very expensive.

¡Deberías aprender español!You should learn Spanish!
Of course, if you encourage a friend to start learning Spanish, don’t forget to show them all the amazing beginner resources at SpanishPod101.com

A Child with a Backpack Looking at a Picture in a Museum from Behind a Stanchion

No me gustó nada el museo. (“I didn’t like the museum at all.”)

5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations

Maybe, while you’re going through the intermediate Spanish phrases in this guide, you’re wondering: What about when it’s the other person who’s explaining something? How do I respond to them?

It’s common to freeze when a conversation doesn’t exactly follow the script we had memorized. But actually, that’s what makes it a real conversation!

These Spanish phrases for intermediate speakers will be useful for those times when you need to react to what someone else is saying:

1 – Great!

A: El fin de semana pasado lo pasé genial. – Last weekend, I had so much fun.
B: Qué bien, ¡me alegro por ti! – Great, I’m happy for you!

2 – Sorry.

A: Ayer por la noche no pude dormir. – Last night, I couldn’t sleep.
B: ¡No me digas! Cuanto lo siento. – You don’t say! I’m so sorry.

3 – Interesting.

A: Crecí en un pueblo muy pequeño. – I grew up in a very small town.
B: Qué interesante. – How interesting.

4 – I can’t believe it.

A: Cuando era joven tenía una moto roja. – When I was young, I had a red motorcycle.
B: ¿De verdad? No me lo puedo creer. – Really? I can’t believe it.

5 – Cool!

A: Mi padre me enseñó a tocar el piano. – My father taught me how to play the piano.
B: ¡Qué guay! – How cool!

Mind that guay is a very colloquial word. Other colloquial expressions that also mean “How cool!” include ¡Cómo mola! and ¡Qué pasada!


6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

Even though Spaniards are known to be pretty easygoing, they do value good manners and expect you to use the most common courtesy expressions. Of course, por favor (“please”) and gracias (“thank you”) go a long way, but it’s wise to learn some other intermediate Spanish phrases in order to work on your politeness.

Also, you’ll quickly realize that Spanish people love to be hosts and will try to make you feel at home all the time. It’s only fair that you learn the most common Spanish phrases for being polite so that you can do the same for them when they visit you!

Buen provecho.Enjoy your meal. / Bon appetit.

Perdona que te interrumpa. [Informal]

Perdone que le interrumpa. [Formal]
Sorry for the interruption.
Although both expressions are polite, the use of the formal version will always sound even more well-mannered.
    ➜ Are you still struggling with how and when to use formal Spanish? Don’t miss SpanishPod101’s lesson on the topic.

Bienvenido a mi hogar.

Bienvenido a mi casa.
Welcome to my home.
Siéntete como en casa.Make yourself at home.
Llámame si necesitas cualquier cosa.Call me if you need anything.
Bienvenido a mi hogar. / Bienvenido a mi casa.Welcome to my home.
Disfruta de tu estancia.Enjoy your stay.
Espero noticias tuyas.I hope to hear from you.

Saluda a tus padres de mi parte.Send my regards to your parents.
In Spain, it’s a courtesy to ask the person you’re talking to about their loved ones. 

When you say your goodbyes, you can take the opportunity to send them your regards. Another (less formal and more affectionate) way to do this is to send hugs or kisses on your behalf, similar to the English expression “Give them my love.”

A: ¿Cómo se encuentra tu mujer después de la operación? – How’s your wife doing after her surgery?
B: Ay, mucho mejor, ¡gracias! – Oh, she’s much better, thank you!
A: Por favor, dile que le mando un abrazo. – Please, tell her I send her a hug. 
B: Claro, ¡de tu parte! – Of course, on your behalf!

¡Que tengas buen viaje!Have a nice trip!

An Older Couple Greeting Family Inside Their Home

¡Bienvenidos a nuestro hogar! (“Welcome to our home!”)

7. Final Thoughts

In this guide, you have learned the most common Spanish phrases for intermediate speakers. These examples will help you ace your everyday conversations about past events, future plans, recommendations and complaints, and much more. They’ll also be useful for reacting to what someone else says and following Spanish etiquette.

If you want to take your Spanish learning journey further, don’t forget to check out SpanishPod101.com. We have plenty of free vocabulary lists to expand your intermediate Spanish vocabulary, as well as useful lessons for intermediate-level and upper intermediate-level students.

Happy learning!

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