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Advanced Spanish Phrases for Studying and Working

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Learning a language, whether in the classroom or on your own, is a rewarding and fun experience. It allows you to watch movies and understand lyrics in another language, and it can even help you make new friends. When you reach an advanced level, however, a world of opportunities opens.

If you’re dreaming of an academic or professional career in Spain or another Spanish-speaking country, you’re already aware that it can be the pathway to a brilliant future. More than 500 million people around the planet speak the language—just imagine the possibilities! 

Need a little help getting there? Here are some advanced Spanish phrases that can put you on track. Also, stick around for some bonus everyday Spanish idioms that will make you sound like a native. Enjoy!

A Man in a Suit and a Woman Shaking Hands in an Office

Here’s to a brilliant career doing business in Spanish!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Useful Phrases for Academic Writing
  2. Power Phrases for Your Cover Letter
  3. Smart Phrases for Business and Meetings
  4. Bonus: Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Useful Phrases for Academic Writing

Academic writing is one of the most formal ways to express yourself. Once you’ve reached an advanced level in Spanish, you’ll be able to produce fluid and coherent texts for the academic sphere. Here are some advanced Spanish phrases for essays that will make your work look great:

En este ensayo… / En esta redacción… “In this essay…” 
In Spanish, “essay” can be translated as either ensayo or redacción, the latter being less formal and more commonly used in school. Ensayo, then, is often used in higher education and research.
  • En este ensayo, voy a demostrar la existencia de sirenas en el mar Mediterráneo. 
    “In this essay, I’m going to prove the existence of mermaids in the Mediterranean Sea.”

En referencia a… / En cuanto a… 
“In reference to…”
  • En cuanto a las teorías de Isaac Newton, la manzana es una fruta importante en la ciencia.
    “In reference to Isaac Newton’s theories, the apple is an important fruit in science.”

De acuerdo con… / Según… 
“According to…”
You can use either of these two expressions when citing other authors in your work.
  • Según Miguel de Cervantes, el Quijote se volvió loco porque leía muchas novelas. 
    “According to Miguel de Cervantes, Quixote went mad because he read too many novels.”

En mi opinión… / Según mi punto de vista… / A mi parecer… 
“In my opinion…”
Great academic writing does not prohibit you from expressing your mind on the matter. However, don’t forget to make it clear when a statement is your own opinion by including these useful expressions.
  • A mi parecer, España tiene una buena calidad de vida. 
    “In my opinion, Spain has a good quality of life.”

Por una parte… “On the one hand…”
  • Por una parte, la tortilla española es un plato típico. 
    “On the one hand, the Spanish omelet is a typical dish.”

Por otra parte… 
“On the other hand…”
  • Por otra parte, la tortilla también es muy nutritiva. 
    “On the other hand, the omelet is also very nutritious.”

Por el contrario… 
“On the contrary…”
  • Por el contrario, las patatas fritas no son muy sanas. 
    “On the contrary, fries are not very healthy.”

Tal y como está indicado… 
“As stated…”
To better structure your essay, it’s important to use expressions that point out the data or argument you think is most relevant. You can use variations of the expression above, such as:

Tal y como demuestran los datos… (“As the data show…”) 
Tal y como ha sido previamente mencionado… (“As it has been previously mentioned…”)
  • Tal y como está indicado en el gráfico 1, las ganas de celebrar la Navidad crecen cada año.
    “As stated in Chart 1, the desire to celebrate Christmas grows every year.”

Cabe destacar que… 
“It should be noted that…”
  • Cabe destacar que el Papa Francisco es originario de Argentina. 
    “It should be noted that Pope Francis is from Argentina.”

En resumen… 
“To sum up…”
  • En resumen, todas las canciones de Shakira hablan de amor. 
    “To sum up, all of Shakira’s songs talk about love.”

En conclusión… 
“In conclusion…”
  • En conclusión, hacer yoga por la mañana es mejor que por la noche. 
    “In conclusion, doing yoga in the morning is better than at night.”

    ➜ Would you like additional words and phrases to use in your essays and in the classroom? Then check out the lesson Academia on SpanishPod101.com!

A Young Woman Writing in a Notebook in Front of a Laptop

Ace your essay in Spanish!

2. Power Phrases for Your Cover Letter

In Spain, a cover letter goes a long way when applying for a job. Now that so many people have a good education and are well-experienced, showing who you really are in a few paragraphs can turn the tables in your favor. However, try to maintain a formal structure and use sophisticated vocabulary with these advanced Spanish phrases:

Entre mis competencias, cabe destacar… 
“Among my competencies, it should be noted…”

Cuento con una dilatada experiencia en… 
“I have extensive experience in…”

Uno de mis puntos fuertes es…
“One of my main strong points is…”
A very common question in Spanish job interviews is: ¿Cuáles son tus puntos fuertes y cuáles son tus puntos débiles? (“Which are your strong points and weak points?”) Be prepared to give a good answer!

Trabajo bien bajo presión. 
“I work well under pressure.”
Trabajo bien… (“I work well…”) is a handy expression for any type of situation in the workplace.
  • Trabajo bien en equipo. → “I work well in a team.” / “I’m a team
  • Trabajo bien en grupos reducidos. → “I work well with small teams.”

Me especializo en el campo de… 
“I specialize in the field of…”

Estoy realmente interesado en esta oportunidad. 
“I’m really interested in this opportunity.”

Admiro la cultura de trabajo de su empresa. 
“I admire your company’s culture.”
There are different things you might admire about a company that you can pinpoint in an interview or in your cover letter:
  • Admiro la trayectoria de su empresa. → “I admire your company’s trajectory.”
  • Admiro los logros de su empresa. → “I admire your company’s achievements.”
  • Admiro el impacto de su empresa en el sector. → “I admire your company’s impact on the sector.”

Espero que les interese mi perfil. 
“I hope you’re interested in my profile.”

Estoy disponible para aclarar cualquier duda. 
“I’m available to clarify any doubts.”
Showing interest in continuing the conversation with your potential interviewer is always a good idea. 

An alternative phrase would be: No duden en contactarme para cualquier cuestión. (“Don’t hesitate contacting me for any inquiries.”)

Espero aprender más sobre su proyecto. 
“Looking forward to learning more about your project.”

    ➜ Are you looking for a job in Spain? Don’t miss this blog post from SpanishPod101, where we give you the best advice, insight, and tips.

A Young Woman Speaking to a Man during a Job Interview

A good cover letter can get you your dream interview.

3. Smart Phrases for Business and Meetings

The business world has its own expressions and slang. Learning how to properly communicate in the workplace can make all the difference when trying to succeed in business. With these advanced Spanish phrases, you’ll learn how to express yourself in a meeting and also how to address others in a professional manner.

Gracias por asistir a esta reunión. 
“Thank you for coming to this meeting.”
After the greetings, it’s polite to thank your coworkers, superiors, or clients for making time for the meeting. 

En mi presentación, hablaré de… 
“In my presentation, I will talk about…”

Me gustaría añadir que… 
“I’d like to add that…”

Cumpliremos todos los términos del acuerdo. 
“We’ll fulfill all the agreement’s terms.”

Nos estamos retrasando con este tema. 
“We’re lagging behind with this issue.”

Tenemos que cerrar este proyecto. 
“We have to come to a close with this project.”
In order to succeed with your business endeavors, it’s important to be assertive so that everyone is on the same page when talking about work.

Tu aportación es muy interesante. 
“Your insight is very interesting.”

Es una idea brillante. 
“It’s a brilliant idea.”
Encouraging words always go a long way, even in the business world. Another way to celebrate someone’s good ideas is by saying: ¡Qué buena idea! (“What a good idea!”) Further, you can congratulate them for a job well done with: ¡Buen trabajo!

¿Podrías resumir tu argumento? 
“Could you sum up your point?”

Gracias por su tiempo. 
“Thank you for your time.”

Te contestaré lo antes posible. 
“I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

    ➜ Do you want to learn some more advanced phrases in Spanish for the workplace? Then visit the lesson Spanish Business Phrases on SpanishPod101.com!

A Group of Coworkers in a Business Meeting

Thank your coworkers for coming to your meeting!

4. Bonus: Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage

Spanish idioms are very present in everyday conversations. Do you want to know what your teacher means when (s)he tells you to “put on the batteries”? Or maybe what the young people mean when they say “molar”?

Fear not! We’re here to help you master advanced Spanish phrases, idioms, and slang expressions.

Ponerse las pilas 
“To get your act together”
Literally: “To put on the batteries”
Si quiere aprobar el curso, tiene que ponerse las pilas.
“If he wants to pass his classes, he has to get his act together.”

¡Es la caña!
“He / She / It rocks!”
Literally: “It’s the cane!”
Marta me cae muy bien, ¡es la caña!
“I like Marta a lot. She rocks!”

Estar en las nubes 
“To be in the clouds”
Estás en las nubes, no has escuchado nada de lo que he dicho.
“You’re in the clouds; you haven’t listened to anything I’ve said.”

Hablar por los codos 
“To talk up a storm”
Literally: “To talk through the elbows”
Mi abuela nunca se calla, habla por los codos.
“My grandma never shuts up; she talks up a storm.”

Tirar la toalla 
“To throw in the towel”
Cuando vio que se complicaba el camino, tiró la toalla y se fue.
“When he saw that the path got complicated, he threw in the towel and left.”

Echar una mano 
“To give a hand”
Miguel me echó una mano para estudiar el temario.
“Miguel gave me a hand studying the syllabus.”

No me importa ni un pimiento 
“I don’t care at all”
Literally: “I care less than a pepper”
No me importan ni un pimiento sus excusas.
“I don’t care at all about her excuses.”

Dejar plantado 
“To stand (someone) up”
Su pareja le dejó plantado.
“His partner stood him up.”

En un abrir y cerrar de ojos 
“In a split second”
Literally: “In an opening and closing eyes time”
Me comí el pastel en un abrir y cerrar de ojos.
“I ate the cake in a split second.”

Otro gallo cantaría 
“Things would be different”
Literally: “Another rooster would sing”
Si hubieras estudiado, otro gallo cantaría.
“If you had studied, things would be different.”

Tener mala leche 
“To be nasty”
Literally: “To have bad milk”
Antonia me da miedo, tiene muy mala leche.
“Antonia frightens me; she’s very nasty.”

Molar mucho 
“To be cool”
¡Esta fiesta mola mucho!
“This party is very cool!”

    ➜ Spanish is a rich language, and idioms play an important role in how we communicate each day. Don’t miss the lesson Spanish Idioms on SpanishPod101.com to learn more.

A Rooster

Otro gallo cantaría… (“Things would be very different…”)

5. Final Thoughts

In this guide to advanced Spanish phrases, you learned a variety of expressions that will help you improve your speaking and writing for the academic and business worlds. You even picked up several Spanish idioms! 

Studying and working in a Spanish-speaking country is possible for an advanced student such as yourself. However, it’s best to keep on learning and to memorize even more advanced phrases in Spanish. You can continue your studies with the variety of advanced Spanish lessons available on SpanishPod101.com, each one designed with both progress and fun in mind! In fact, we have advanced pathways for different varieties of Spanish: 

And don’t forget to check out the free vocabulary lists and other useful tools on SpanishPod101.com. They will make your path to mastery both fun and convenient. Create your free lifetime account to get started! 

¡Que te diviertas! (Have fun!)

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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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The 10 Best Podcasts for Learning Spanish

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Are you looking for new ways to learn Spanish? Do you want to find new resources to complement your lessons? Or are you simply tired of using the traditional language learning methods? 

Podcasts are a great resource for learning a new language in a fun and lively way. The good news for Spanish learners is that a ton of useful Spanish-language content is being produced every day—not surprising, considering the language’s more than 500 million speakers around the world. But where to start? 

In this guide, SpanishPod101 has listed the best Spanish podcasts for learners. We have done our best to include something for everyone, from beginners to more advanced students; we’ve also included podcasts on a variety of topics ranging from soccer to fictional stories. You’re sure to find the perfect podcast to help you learn Spanish while having fun.

A Woman Lying in the Grass with Her Eyes Closed and Headphones On

Listening to podcasts is a fun and easy way to learn Spanish!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Spanish
  2. The 10 Best Spanish Podcasts
  3. Tricks to Help You Learn Spanish More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. Final Thoughts

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Spanish

Podcasts are a great resource for those learning a new language. Listening to Spanish podcasts is an excellent way to start from scratch and get used to how the language sounds from the very beginning; it can also be a good way to complement any classes you might be taking. With podcasts, you can hear how natives speak using real, everyday language. 

Podcasts are also economical as you can listen to most of them for free and will require very little equipment to get started. The minimum requirement is a device with speakerphones or a pair of headphones. This also means you can choose whether you want to be sitting in front of your computer and taking notes or simply relaxing on the couch. In fact, podcasts are a productive and educational tool you can use to make the most of your time when commuting, working out, or cleaning the house.

And, of course, learning while listening to podcasts is fun! There are many Spanish podcasts you can choose from that match your interests. Whether you like fictional stories, cultural insights, or comedy, you’ll find a podcast that will keep you entertained while you expand your knowledge. What a deal!

2. The 10 Best Spanish Podcasts

1 – Unlimited Spanish

  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free

This podcast has over two hundred episodes that vary in terms of level, topic, and format. Some of the Unlimited Spanish episodes are vocabulary or grammar lessons, but many others are mini-stories or discussions about a specific topic related to Spanish culture. It’s a great option for beginners who want to learn everyday spoken Spanish. 

2 – Un día en español 

  • Level: Beginner 
  • Theme: Stories
  • Free 

Un día en español (“One Day in Spanish”) features stories about a day in the life of a Spanish speaker. This is one of the best Spanish podcasts for beginners, as the episodes are recorded in very basic Spanish and cover a variety of Latin American accents. There are two versions uploaded: one with the narration in English and the dialogues in Spanish, and another one only in Spanish. Unfortunately, the podcast hasn’t been updated with new episodes for a while.

3 – Notes in Spanish

  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Theme: Conversations
  • Free + Paid additional content

This podcast is a very well-structured tool for Spanish learners, as it categorizes the episodes by level. It features conversations about many different topics that get more complex as you level up, and it also employs different learning techniques. What’s great about Notes in Spanish is that you can learn real and useful conversational vocabulary. Also, there are additional materials available for purchase.

A Man Smiling while Listening to a Podcast with Headphones

Learn everyday Spanish with podcasts!

4 – SpanishPod101

  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free content + Premium subscriptions

If we’re talking about the best Spanish podcasts, we have to add SpanishPod101 to the list, of course! Our platform offers short audio (and video!) lessons for fast and easy learning, with lessons ranging from the absolute beginner level to the advanced level. Also, you’ll have access to different study tools, such as flashcards and free vocabulary lists, to help you on your Spanish learning journey. And you can even get personal coaching with a Premium PLUS subscription!

5 – Hoy Hablamos

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Theme: Teaching Podcast
  • Free + Premium subscription

Hoy Hablamos (“Today We Speak”) is a daily podcast that has more than 1000 episodes and 180 hours of content. It includes episodes that focus on grammar, other aspects of the Spanish language, and Iberian accents, but most of the episodes introduce listeners to a variety of topics related to Spanish culture. Hoy Hablamos offers premium subscribers additional tools, including transcripts, exercises, and premium episodes as well.

6 – El gran apagón

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Theme: Fiction
  • Free

El gran apagón (“The Great Blackout”) is one of the most popular Spanish fiction podcasts ever. Hosted on the Podium Podcast platform, which is home to many interesting Spanish podcasts, it tells the story of a worldwide blackout that occurs after an enormous solar storm and leaves the whole planet without internet or electricity. The three seasons of this thrilling podcast are available to help you learn Spanish in a very fun way! 

7 – Play Fútbol

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Soccer
  • Free

Fútbol (or “soccer”) is the biggest and most popular sport in Spain. Big teams such as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have millions of fans all over the world. If you love Spanish soccer, Play Fútbol is a great way to stay up to date with the sports world and learn all the latest news while also learning Spanish. It’s broadcast live from Monday to Friday, but you can also find the episodes uploaded on their website.

Three Guys Sitting on a Sofa, Intensely Watching a Soccer Game

There are podcasts for soccer fans, too!

8 – Ciberlocutorio

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Love and relationships
  • Free 

This podcast is like a chat with your girlfriends about love and relationships, but in Spanish! Ciberlocutorio is conducted by two young women who express their views on modern dating life in a fun and informal way. It’s hosted by Primavera Sound Radio, which gathers in one place the coolest podcasts about music, cinema, art, and life itself. 

9 – Entiende tu mente

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Theme: Self-development
  • Free

Entiende tu mente (“Understand Your Mind”) is a very popular weekly Spanish podcast that focuses on self-development. Led by experts in psychology, it’s an informative podcast that deals with issues such as coping mechanisms, relationships, and personal goals. Besides improving your Spanish, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself!

10 – Nadie sabe nada

  • Level: Advanced
  • Theme: Comedy
  • Free

Nadie sabe nada (“Nobody Knows Anything”) is the most popular Spanish podcast. Led by two of the most well-known comedians in Spanish media, Andreu Buenafuente and Berto Romero, this weekly podcast brings you 50-minute episodes with the funniest improv. The two comedians start each episode talking about a topic, and then they take it to the wildest extreme. Only for advanced Spanish listeners!

A Woman Giving a Radio Broadcast at a Station

Discover the most popular Spanish podcasts!

3. Tricks to Help You Learn Spanish More Effectively with Podcasts

Listening to Spanish-language podcasts is a wonderful way to improve your comprehension skills. However, you have to take a few things into account if you want to make the most of them. Here are some tricks that will help you choose the best podcast for you: 

  1. Set your personal goals.

    If you think that listening to podcasts can help you learn Spanish, think about what you want to take away from them. You might want to improve your grammar, expand your vocabulary, refine your pronunciation, or learn about Spanish culture. Or you might want it all! Setting your goals will help you choose the best podcast for you.
  1. Pick a podcast for your level.

    Picking a podcast beyond your level might be frustrating as you’ll probably feel that you’re missing out on too many things. If you really want to listen to that soccer podcast, but it’s too hard for you, don’t worry! You’ll get there eventually. Start with a podcast that’s easier for you to follow so that you’ll stay motivated.
  1. Pick a podcast according to the attention you can pay.

    Ideally, we would have endless time to listen to all the interesting podcasts in this guide. In reality, however, we usually have to fit our podcast-listening time into our busy schedule. That’s why we listen to our favorite podcasts while jogging or cleaning the house. If you know you’ll be busy when listening, pick something light and easy.
  1. Select the right topic for you.

    Learning a language gives you the awesome possibility to align your study time with your hobbies. Tuning in to a Spanish podcast that matches your interests is one of the most entertaining and enjoyable ways to learn. Choose the podcast that appeals to you the most, and it won’t feel like a lesson!
  1. Choose the right accent or dialect.

    Fortunately, Spanish is such a huge language that you have endless content to listen to, watch, and read. There are many podcasts online that can help you with your Spanish, but you need to take into account which Spanish dialect you’re trying to learn. If one of your goals (step number 1!) is to learn Iberian Spanish, choose the podcast accordingly.
  1. Listen to different podcasts.

    Variety is key if you want to keep the magic alive! Listening to podcasts in Spanish can feel like a treat at the beginning. However, when it’s part of your routine, you might lose some interest. To spice things up, it’s important that you try to listen to different podcasts and discover new ways to learn Spanish while having fun.
  1. Be perseverant.

    Learning a language demands that you be perseverant, which means studying and practicing regularly. The same concept applies when you’re learning with podcasts. If you listen to them on a daily basis, you’ll see how your level of understanding and knowledge increases dramatically. La constancia es la clave. (“Perseverance is key.”)
  1. Use all the tools available to you. 

    Podcasts allow you to use different tools, which can help you get a richer and more educational experience. Some of them offer transcripts and worksheets, most platforms let you adjust the speed, and all of them allow you to go back a few seconds if you missed the meaning of an expression. Be active and use everything you have at hand in order to make the most of the podcast!

A Woman Sweating and Tired After a Workout, Listening to a Podcast with Earbuds

Pick a podcast that will keep you entertained while working out.

4. Final Thoughts

In this guide, we introduced you to our Spanish podcast recommendations and discussed how this kind of resource could enrich your learning experience in a fun way. We categorized our top picks based on level and topic, so you can start listening to your first episode today! 

Which of these podcasts are you going to listen to first? Are there any you’re already listening to that we didn’t list? Let us—and your fellow language learners—know in the comments. 

If you want to take your Spanish learning journey further, don’t forget to check out SpanishPod101. We have plenty of free vocabulary lists to help expand your Spanish vocabulary, as well as useful lessons starting from a beginner level.

Happy learning!

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Basic Spanish Phrases for Beginners

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When you first start learning any language, the first few lessons can feel overwhelming. If Spanish grammar seems too challenging or vocabulary lists just aren’t for you, why don’t you start by picking up some simple Spanish phrases for beginners?

Fortunately, you’ll be able to handle the most basic interactions by learning just a few of these ready-to-go expressions and sentence patterns. Saying hello and goodbye, making small talk, ordering in a restaurant…it’s really not so complicated. You’ll see!

In this guide from SpanishPod101, you’ll find more than 50 easy Spanish phrases for beginners that’ll help you navigate a variety of situations using this beautiful language. 

A Man and a Woman Greeting with an Air Kiss

If you want to meet Spanish people, you’ll need to learn some 
basic phrases—and how to give two kisses!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions
  3. Dining & Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Greetings and Self-introductions

First things first, let’s start by learning beginner phrases in Spanish for greeting others and introducing oneself in a conversation. This is one of the most basic interactions in any language, and learning these expressions will help you start off on the right foot. You probably know the meaning of the word hola, so you’re already on your way to mastering greetings and self-introductions in Spanish!

Let’s start with the most common greetings:

Hola.Hello.
Buenos días.Good morning.

Buenas tardes.Good afternoon.
Strictly speaking, you should change buenos días to buenas tardes right after noon. 

However, you’ll be surprised to learn that many Spanish people will say buenos días for a couple more hours. This is because many people don’t consider it to be the afternoon until they’ve had lunch, which in Spain tends to be quite late!

Buenas noches.Good evening. / Goodnight.
Buenas noches is both a greeting and a farewell expression. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Buenas noches, ¿tienen mesa para dos? → “Good evening. Do you have a table for two?”

  • Nos vemos mañana. Que descanses, buenas noches. → “See you tomorrow. Sleep well, goodnight.”

As we’ve just seen, buenas noches is a common farewell expression. Here are some others:

Adiós.Bye.

Hasta luego.Bye. / See you later.
In some regions in Spain, hasta luego is even more common than adiós

Even though it literally means “until later,” Spanish people don’t necessarily mean that they’ll see the other person ever again. It can be a bit confusing sometimes!

Hasta pronto.See you soon.
Nos vemos.See you.
Que vaya bien.Wish you well. / Have a nice one.

Que tengas un buen día. 
[informal]

Que tenga un buen día. 
[formal]
Have a nice day.

Cuidate.Take care.

If you’re meeting someone for the first time, here are some useful Spanish phrases you can use to introduce yourself:

Me llamo…I’m…
Soy…I am…

Mi nombre es…My name is…
The three expressions above mean basically the same thing. However, Me llamo… is the most common one, and Mi nombre es… is the most formal one.
  • Encantada de conocerte, me llamo Julia. → “Nice to meet you, I’m Julia.”

  • Buenas tardes, señor. Mi nombre es Marcos. → “Good afternoon, sir. My name is Marcos.”

¿Cómo te llamas?What’s your name?

Encantado de conocerte.
[masculine]

Encantada de conocerte.
[feminine]
Nice to meet you.

Mucho gusto.Nice to meet you.
¿De dónde eres?Where are you from?
Soy de…I’m from…

A Woman Waving to Someone and Smiling

¿Cómo va?  (“How’s it going?”)

2. Courtesy Phrases & Social Expressions

Once you’ve gotten past the greetings and introductions, it’s important to keep the conversation alive (as long as you can, anyway!). In this section, you’ll learn the most basic Spanish phrases for beginners that will help you master polite conversations with native Spanish speakers.

Here are the most important courtesy phrases in Spanish:

Gracias.Thank you.
Muchas gracias.Thank you so much.
De nada.You’re welcome.
Por favor.Please.

Disculpa. 
[informal]

Disculpe. 
[formal]
Excuse me.

Perdón.Sorry.
Perdón can be used in various forms. If you want to directly appeal to the person you’re saying sorry to, you can say the informal version (perdona) or the formal one (perdone). These words can also be used as a way to say “excuse me.”

But if you’re apologizing for something really serious, you should say perdóname (“forgive me”).
  • Perdone, ¿me podría decir a qué hora abre el museo?  → “Excuse me, could you tell me at what time the museum opens?”

  • No debería haberte mentido, perdóname. → “I shouldn’t have lied to you; please forgive me.”

Lo siento.I’m sorry.
No te preocupes.Don’t worry.
No pasa nada.That’s okay.

To get a conversation flowing, you’ll need some additional phrases. Here are some useful small talk expressions to get you started:

¿Qué tal?How’s it going? / How are you doing?
¿Cómo estás?How are you?

¿Cómo va?How’s it going?
The three expressions above mean more-or-less the same thing, and they can be used in most conversations. However, each one has a slightly different shade. 

¿Qué tal? is a very generic expression that can be used as a greeting. You might be asking about how the other person is, asking about a situation, or maybe just greeting the other person without expecting any response.

¿Cómo estás? is also used mainly as a small talk phrase. You wouldn’t expect the other person to get too deep with their answer, unless it’s someone close to you or if you’re having an intimate conversation.

¿Cómo va? is even more casual and generic than the two expressions mentioned above. It can be used as a greeting, too.

¡Hola, Amanda! ¿Cómo va?
¿Qué tal, Jaime? Cuanto tiempo sin verte.
Es verdad. ¿Qué tal, te has recuperado de tu lesión?
Sí, mi pierna está mejor, gracias.

Hi, Amanda! How’s it going?
How are you doing, Jaime? Long time, no see.
That’s true. How are you? Did you recover from your injury?
Yes, my leg is better, thank you.


Estoy bien, gracias.I’m well, thank you.
Que te recuperes pronto.Get well soon.
Me alegro de verte.It is good to see you.

Saluda a … de mi parte.Say hello to … on my behalf.
In Spain, it’s polite to ask about the other person’s family or common acquaintances. Before finishing the conversation, you can tell him/her to give them your best.
  • Me he alegrado de verte. Saluda a tus padres de mi parte. ¡Adiós! → “It was good to see you. Say hello to your parents on my behalf.”

    → Still confused about how to be polite in Spanish? Learn how to avoid impoliteness (and other mistakes) by reading through our guide!
Someone with a Cast on Their Foot and Leg

Que te recuperes pronto. (“Get well soon!”)

3. Dining & Shopping Phrases

If you travel to Spain, dining out and popping into the local shops will give you some great opportunities to practice your Spanish. If you go to a restaurant, it’ll be important to know how to politely ask for a table or order some food; in shops, you’ll need to know how much the item you like costs!

Here are some simple Spanish phrases for beginners that will be very useful to you:

¿Podría ayudarme, por favor?Could you help me, please?
¿Cuánto cuesta?How much is it?
¿Cuánto es?How much is it?
¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta?Can I pay with a credit card?
¿Puedo pagar con efectivo?Can I pay with cash?

¿Tienen mesa para … personas?Do you have a table for … people?
When you go to a restaurant with a party of people, it’s polite to ask if they have room for all of you. 

Alternatively, you could say: Querría una mesa para … personas. (“I’d like a table for … people.”)

Tengo una mesa reservada.I have a reservation.
Querría pedir…I’d like to order…
No como…I don’t eat…

Soy vegetariano / vegano. 
[masculine]

Soy vegetariana / vegana. 
[feminine]
I’m a vegetarian / vegan.
Historically, the gastronomy of many Spanish regions has been very meat-oriented. Nowadays, things are changing, and vegetarianism and veganism are increasingly popular in Spain. This means that there are now more vegetarian and vegan options in restaurants than were previously available. 

However, don’t forget to say soy vegetariano or soy vegano before ordering your food if you don’t want to find unexpected chorizo (Spanish sausage) or jamón (ham) on your plate!

A Waiter Carrying Three Plates of Salad

Querría pedir la ensalada. (“I’d like to order a salad.”)

4. Asking for Help

Some of the most common situations where you might have to rely on Spanish are, unfortunately, those where you’re in need of assistance. If you’re lost or feeling sick, having these simple Spanish phrases for beginners at hand will be crucial. 

¿Hablas inglés?Do you speak English?
No te entiendo, lo siento.I don’t understand you, I’m sorry.
No hablo muy bien el español.I don’t speak Spanish properly.
¿Cómo se dice … en español?How do you say … in Spanish?
¿Dónde está…?Where is…?
¿Cómo puedo llegar a…?How can I get to…?
¡Ayuda!Help!
¡Socorro!Help!
Necesito un médico.I need a doctor.
Llamad a una ambulancia.Call an ambulance.


A Tourist Asking Someone for Directions while They Both Examine a Map

¿Cómo puedo llegar a la estación? (“How can I get to the station?”)

5. Final Thoughts

In this guide to basic Spanish phrases for beginners, you’ve learned more than 50 of the most common Spanish expressions for different contexts. It’ll be a useful tool for you as you navigate your very first conversations in Spanish, and you can always refer back to it even as you progress in your studies. 

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 Spanish vocabulary, as well as useful lessons for every level. We recommend creating your free lifetime account today and getting started with our Level 1 Spanish pathway.

Good luck!

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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!”)

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Level Up with These Intermediate Spanish Words

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If you’re here, it’s because you succeeded in mastering Spanish at the beginner level. Enhorabuena! (“Congratulations!”) Now it’s time to take it a step further by picking up some intermediate Spanish words. 

Jumping from beginner to intermediate level can be a scary move. It means that you have to get out there and try out your newly acquired skills…and actually speak Spanish to people!! But that’s why we’re here, right?

Intermediate Spanish lessons are very exciting because they allow you to start expressing yourself more freely and having more fluent conversations. At this stage, you can master everyday vocabulary and actually start making friends within the native Spanish-speaking community.

This intermediate Spanish wordlist will give you the tools you need to level up and gain enough confidence to live your life in Spanish.

Vamos allá! (“Let’s go!”)

Four Friends Chatting with Coffee Beverages

Start making friends in Spanish!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. (Larger) Numbers
  2. Nouns
  3. Verbs
  4. Adjectives
  5. Adverbs
  6. Prepositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Connectives
  9. Possessive Pronouns
  10. Final Thoughts

1. (Larger) Numbers

In our Spanish beginner words article, you learned how to count from one to ten. Ready to reach the next level? In this intermediate Spanish category, you’ll learn all of the cardinal numbers. This means that you’ll be able to count from eleven to infinity!

From 11 to 19

  • once → “eleven”
  • doce → “twelve”
  • trece → “thirteen”
  • catorce → “fourteen”
  • quince → “fifteen”
  • dieciséis → “sixteen”
  • diecisiete → “seventeen”
  • dieciocho → “eighteen”
  • diecinueve → “nineteen”

From 20 to 90

  • veinte → “twenty”
  • treinta → “thirty”
  • cuarenta → “forty”
  • cincuenta → “fifty”
  • sesenta → “sixty”
  • setenta → “seventy”
  • ochenta → “eighty”
  • noventa → “ninety”

As a general pattern, you can add y and a number 1-9 to express the rest of the numbers. You can already see this pattern in, for example, diecisiete:

  • diecisiete = diez + y + siete

With tens and twenties, words are written together following the pattern shown above (with some slight changes). So, if you wanted to say “twenty-three,” it would be:

  • veintitrés = veinte + y + tres

Starting from the thirties, however, things get even easier and the words are written separately. Here are a few examples:

  • treinta y uno “thirty-nine” 
  • sesenta y cuatro “sixty-four”
  • ochenta y uno “eighty-one”

From 100 to 900

  • cien “one hundred”
  • doscientos “two hundred”
  • trescientos “three hundred”
  • cuatrocientos “four hundred”
  • quinientos “five hundred”
  • seiscientos “six hundred”
  • setecientos “seven hundred”
  • ochocientos “eight hundred”
  • novecientos “nine hundred”

In Spanish, numbers in the hundreds are quite easy to form. The first word is the “hundred” figure, then you leave a space and add the number that follows. Here’s an example:

  • cuatrocientos setenta y tres → “four hundred seventy-three”

However, you need to remember that there is one exception to the rule! Cien becomes ciento when followed by another number. Like this:

  • ciento seis “one hundred and six”

From 1,000 to 9,000

  • mil “one thousand”
  • dos mil “two thousand”
  • tres mil “three thousand”
  • cuatro mil “four thousand”
  • cinco mil “five thousand”
  • seis mil “six thousand”
  • siete mil “seven thousand”
  • ocho mil → “eight thousand”
  • nueve mil → “nine thousand”

As with the hundreds, the Spanish thousands are also formed by leaving a space after the first one or two words (depending on whether it’s mil or dos mil, tres mil, etc.) and adding the number that follows. Here are a couple of examples:

  • dos mil veinte → “two thousand and twenty”
  • cinco mil trescientos sesenta y nueve → “five thousand three hundred seventy-nine”

Note that, even though Spanish uses the same numerals as English does, there is a tiny difference in how we write them. Starting from the thousands, instead of separating the hundreds, thousands, millions, etc., with a comma, we use a dot in Spanish. Here’s how you should do it:

  • 1.000 → “1,000”
  • 4.589 → “4,589”

From 1,000,000 to Infinity

  • un millón “one million”
  • dos millones “two million”
  • tres millones “three million”
  • diez millones “ten million”
  • cuatrocientos millones “four hundred million”
  • siete mil millones “seven billion”

Millions are usually the last piece you need to learn in order to count to infinity. As in English, “billón” (“billion”) can also be used to say “a thousand million”. However, this expression is not widespread in Spain, and it’s still common to hear mil millones.

A Little Girl Counting on Her Fingers

Now you can count to infinity!

2. Nouns

In our Spanish beginner words article, we already introduced you to plenty of everyday vocabulary—the essential basics you need to survive in a Spanish-speaking environment!

In this guide, we’re taking things to the next level. Memorizing the words on this list will give you a solid intermediate Spanish vocabulary base to help you manage most everyday conversations. Stay tuned for useful words related to time, home, and leisure!

    → Don’t forget that SpanishPod101.com also has plenty of free vocabulary lists to help you learn all the Spanish nouns you need!

2.1 – Time

2.1.1 – Time Units

SegundoSecond
MinutoMinute
HoraHour
DíaDay
SemanaWeek
MesMonth
TrimestreTrimester
SemestreSemester
AñoYear
SigloCentury


2.1.2 – Days of the Week

LunesMonday
MartesTuesday
MiércolesWednesday
JuevesThursday
ViernesFriday
SábadoSaturday
DomingoSunday

2.1.3 – Time of Day

MañanaMorning
MediodíaMidday
TardeAfternoon
Evening
NocheNight
MadrugadaDawn

2.2 – Home

2.2.1 – Rooms in the House

RecibidorHall
CocinaKitchen
ComedorDining room
SalónLiving room
Baño
Lavabo
Bathroom
DormitorioBedroom
EstudioStudy
JardínGarden
PatioCourtyard
TerrazaTerrace
BalcónBalcony
GarageGarage
HabitaciónRoom

A Beautiful Porch

¡Qué bonito balcón! (“What a nice balcony!”)

2.2.2 – House Objects

CamaBed
MesaTable
EscritorioDesk
SillaChair
VáterToilet
SofáCouch
CortinasCurtains
PersianaBlinds

2.2.3 – Kitchenware

CubiertosCutlery
TenedorFork
CuchilloKnife
CucharaSpoon
PlatoDish
VasoGlass
CopaGlass
Wineglass
OllaPot
SarténPan

2.3 – Leisure

2.3.1 – Vacations and Free Time

ViajeTrip
MaletaLuggage
VacacionesHolidays
CineMovie theater
TeatroTheater
RestauranteRestaurant
DeporteSport

2.3.2 – Holidays

NavidadChristmas
Año NuevoNew Years
Semana SantaEaster
Día de Todos los SantosAll Saints Day

    → Curious about Spanish holidays? Don’t miss all of the interesting posts about Spanish culture and traditions on SpanishPod101’s blog!

3. Verbs 

After learning all of the useful nouns listed above, you’ll also need to pick up some more verbs to get your Spanish conversations flowing!

Verbs are always the most feared grammar category for Spanish students, but don’t worry! If you’re still struggling, don’t miss SpanishPod101’s ultimate guide to Spanish conjugation.

Here are the intermediate Spanish verbs you’ll need to master everyday conversations:

3.1 – Home

3.1.1 – Chores

CocinarTo cook
LimpiarTo clean
LavarTo wash
Tender (la ropa)To hang (the clothes)
Doblar (la ropa)To fold (the clothes)
Planchar (la ropa)To iron (the clothes)
Hacer la camaTo make the bed
Sacar / tirar la basuraTo take out the garbage

3.1.2 – Cooking

FreírTo fry
CalentarTo heat up
EnfriarTo cool down
HervirTo boil
AsarTo roast
BatirTo beat
PelarTo peel

3.2 – Hobbies

BailarTo dance
CantarTo sing
PintarTo paint
DibujarTo draw
CorrerTo run
NadarTo swim
PasearTo go for a walk
Jugar a + […]To play + [game or sport]
As in English, jugar can refer to playing games or sports.

Here are some examples:
  • Jugar a fútbol → “To play football”
  • Jugar a balonmano → “To play handball”
  • Jugar al Monopoly → “To play Monopoly”
Tocar + […]To play + [instrument name]
However, to play an instrument in Spanish is not expressed with jugar. The correct verb is tocar:
  • Tocar el piano → “To play the piano”
  • Tocar la gaita → “To play the bagpipe” (This phrase is also a Spanish idiom that means “to be annoying.”)
ViajarTo travel

3.3 – Other Useful Expressions

QuedarTo meet with
Llamar por teléfonoTo call
Mandar mensajeTo text
Llegar tardeTo be late
Estar ocupadoTo be busy

Someone Playing the Bagpipe

Tocar la gaita” can have two very different meanings…!

4. Adjectives

In our beginner words article, you learned the basic adjectives you need to describe objects, people, emotions, and the weather. Now it’s time to level up by learning how to describe temporary conditions, state your opinion, and more. Here are the most useful intermediate Spanish adjectives for you: 

4.1 – Opinion

BuenoGood
MolaBad
GenialAwesome
PerfectoPerfect
HorribleHorrible
RaroWeird
AburridoBoring
InteresanteInteresting
OrgullosoProud
AvergonzadoEmbarrassed

4.2 – Conditions

LlenoFull
VacíoEmpty
LimpioClean
SucioDirty
RotoBroken
EnfermoSick
SanoHealthy
CasadoMarried
SolteroSingle
VivoAlive
MuertoDead

4.3 – Useful Everyday Adjectives

BaratoCheap
CaroExpensive
FácilEasy
DifícilDifficult
PeligrosoDangerous
SeguroSafe
TóxicoToxic
NuevoNew
ViejoOld
ComúnCommon
TípicoTypical
ÚtilUseful

A Woman Carrying a Map while Traveling

Este mapa es muy útil. (“This map is very useful.”)

5. Adverbs

As you begin going through intermediate Spanish lessons, you’ll find that adverbs become increasingly important! These words are a crucial part of conversational Spanish and help you make your point clear. They allow you to emphasize what you’re saying, state the location of an object, locate an event at a particular moment in time…

Excited already? Well, once you finish learning these intermediate Spanish adverbs, you can graduate to our guide on the 100 most common Spanish adverbs!

5.1 – Quantity

MuyVery
MuchoA lot
MenosLess
DemasiadoToo much
PocoA little
MásMore
SuficienteEnough

5.2 – Location

CercaNear
LejosFar
Al ladoNext to
En 
Dentro de
In 
Inside
En 
Encima de
On 
On top of
Debajo de 
Bajo de
Under
DelanteIn front of
DetrásBehind
EntreBetween
A la derechaOn the right
A la izquierdaOn the left

5.3 – Time

HoyToday
AyerYesterday
MañanaTomorrow
AnteayerThe day before yesterday
Pasado mañanaAfter tomorrow

5.4 – Other Useful Adverbs

SiempreAlways
NuncaNever
AhoraNow
PreviamentePreviously
PreviamenteCurrently
YaAlready

A Woman Covering Her Mouth with Both Hands

Nunca digas nunca… (“Never say never…”)

6. Prepositions

Our next set of intermediate Spanish words consists of prepositions. These are little words that allow your speech to flow much better and help you be more precise in your conversations. 

Let’s start with the locative prepositions that, together with adverbs, help you point out the position or direction of the person/thing you’re talking about.

6.1 – Location and Direction

ATo
Al lado deNext to
Alrededor deAround
A través deThrough
ContraAgainst
DeFrom
JuntoNear
HaciaTowards
SobreOn 
Over
TrasBehind

6.2 – Other Useful Prepositions

A favor deIn favor of
A pesar deDespite
Excepto 
Salvo
Except
Gracias aThanks to
InclusoEven
PorBy
ParaFor
SegúnAccording to
SinWithout


7. Conjunctions

Intermediate Spanish learners should make an effort to learn at least a few conjunctions, as these words help you connect words and sentences. As a beginner, you probably learned the more basic conjunctions (esto y aquello – “this and that”). But learning how to use more advanced conjunctions can help you level up your conversational skills and enrich your speech/writing. 

Let’s see some Spanish conjunctions in three different categories: 

7.1 – Causal

PorqueBecause
ComoAs
Like
Ya queBecause 
Since 
As
Dado que 
Visto que 
Puesto que
Since 
Given that
PuesSince 
As 
So

7.2 – Comparison

QueThan
Como siAs if 
As though
Sin queWithout

7.3 – Concession

AunqueEven if Although Though
Aun cuandoEven when
Si bienIf
Por más que 
Por mucho que
As much as

A Woman Holding a Crate Full of Kittens

Os quiero, aunque a veces os portáis mal. (“I love you, even though you sometimes misbehave.”)

8. Connectives

  • Sin embargo Nevertheless / However
  • En efecto / Efectivamente → Indeed
  • Con todo Even so
  • Por eso → That’s why
  • En primer lugar In the first place
  • En segundo lugar In the second place
  • Ahora bien However / Having said that
  • En ese caso→ In that case
  • A pesar de ello In spite of that
  • Por el contrario On the contrary

9. Possessive Pronouns

Pronouns are a great tool for producing more fluent speech, as they allow you to avoid repeating clauses and nouns excessively so you can get straight to the point. SpanishPod101’s Ultimate Guide to Spanish Pronouns will help you learn how to use them properly! 

In this article, we’ll focus exclusively on possessive pronouns. We’ve included all singular/plural and masculine/feminine forms. 

SpanishEnglish
singularplural
singular1st mimismy
2ndtutusyour
3rdsusushis
her
plural1stnuestronuestrosour
nuestranuestras
2ndvuestrovuestrosyour
vuestravuestras
3rdsusustheir

A Couple Greeting Guests to Their Home

Mi casa es tu casa. (“My house is your house.”)

10. Final Thoughts

In this guide to intermediate Spanish words, you’ve gained a handful of new tools to get your Spanish conversational skills to the next level. Apart from useful nouns, verbs, and adjectives, you’ve learned handy connective words, adverbs, and prepositions that will help you be more precise and fluent in your speech. 

Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you? 

Either way, don’t stop here! SpanishPod101 has plenty of intermediate Spanish lessons for you to explore. And you’ll even find that, once you graduate from that category, there’s still an entire upper intermediate lesson series that will continue guiding you on your Spanish learning journey. 

Of course, don’t forget to check out the free vocabulary lists and other useful tools on SpanishPod101.com.

Enjoy!

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Learn the Names of Animals in Spanish

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Learning animal names is a basic step in mastering everyday vocabulary in any language. From pets (our dearest companions) to wild animals (which may represent some danger), it’s important to know the names of animals in Spanish.

If you need some encouragement to face this task, here’s some: 

Many farm animals in Spanish are common words in the cooking niche, so if you’ve ever ordered a pollo dish, you already know how to say “chicken.” Also, the names of wild animals in Spanish are pretty easy to learn, as many of their names are similar to their English translations (for instance, elefante and hipopótamo). You already have one foot in the door!

In this guide, you’ll find a list of animals in Spanish with their English translations. You will learn which animals are popular pets in Spain, which species are native to the country, and what different animals symbolize. 

Ready to expand your vocabulary into the animal kingdom? Stick with SpanishPod101 and enjoy!

A Woman Snuggling a Dog while Lying in the Grass

¿Quién es el mejor amigo del hombre? (“Who is man’s best friend?”)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Pets
  2. Farm Animals
  3. Wild Animals
  4. Sea Animals
  5. Bugs
  6. Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians
  7. Animal Body Parts
  8. Bonus: Animal Idioms and Proverbs
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Pets

The Spanish word for “pet” is mascota. Spanish mascotas are important in every household, as they’re considered to be uno más de la familia (“a member of the family”). 

In Spain, as in most countries, dogs and cats are the preferred pets. Small mammals like rabbits and hamsters, or even small birds, are common children’s pets, as they’re easier to take care of. Exotic pets, such as snakes and other reptiles, have their fair share of fans; you can even see people walking their ferrets out in the street with a leash!

Here’s a list of popular pet animals in Spanish:

El perro“Dog”
El gato“Cat”
In Spanish, there are no specific words for “puppy” or “kitten.” They’re often referred to as cachorro, a generic word for baby mammals.
El hámster“Hamster”
El ratón“Mouse”
La rata“Rat”
El conejo“Rabbit”
La tortuga“Turtle”
El pez“Fish”
El periquito“Parakeet”
Periquitos are one of the most popular pájaros (“birds”) in Spanish homes.
La cobaya“Guinea pig”
La serpiente“Snake”
El hurón“Ferret”

Two Dogs, a Cat, a Bird, a Snake, and a Mouse

Las mascotas (“The pets”)

2. Farm Animals

It will be useful to learn the names of farm animals in Spanish, as the animals bred in Spain are more or less the same as those in the rest of the world. On a Spanish farm, you’ll find cows, pigs, and chickens. We included rabbits in the pet section, although some people in Spain eat them too!

Get ready for your trip to la granja (“the farm”)!

La vaca“Cow”
El toro“Bull”
The toro is a well-known Spanish symbol. This is partly due to the bullfighting tradition of the country, but also because the popular brandy house Osborne placed 90 giant toro silhouettes all over Spain as part of a marketing campaign. This has become part of the popular Spanish imagery.
La ternera“Calf”
El cerdo“Pig”
El burro“Donkey”
When burro is used to describe a person, it’s an insult that implies the person is not very bright.
El caballo“Horse”
La mula“Mule”
El pollo“Chicken”
La gallina“Hen”
Gallina is often used as a colloquial way to call someone a coward, as in the English idiom “to chicken out.”
  • Juan no se atreve a saltar, es un gallina. – “Juan doesn’t dare to jump; he’s a coward.” 
El gallo“Rooster”
El pavo“Turkey”
El pato“Duck”
La oveja“Sheep”
El carnero“Male sheep”
El cordero“Lamb”
La cabra“Goat”


Two Donkeys Staring into the Camera

Un par de burros (“A pair of donkeys ”)

3. Wild Animals

It is said that, in Roman times, a squirrel could cross the entire Iberian Peninsula by jumping from one tree to another. Unfortunately, the Spanish flora has decreased greatly in the last few centuries—and so has its wild fauna.

However, it’s not uncommon to find wild foxes and boars in the Mediterranean mountains or wolves in the northern forests. If you’re very lucky, you might even encounter a lynx!

Here’s a list of animals in Spanish that you might find out in the wild, both in Spain and abroad: 

El tigre“Tiger”
El león“Lion”
El elefante“Elephant”
La jirafa“Giraffe”
El rinoceronte“Rhino”
El hipopótamo“Hippopotamus”
El mono“Monkey”
Mono, like “monkey” in English, is a generic word we use to refer to all types of primates.

The more specific monkey names are often similar to their English counterparts: gorila (“gorilla”), chimpancé (“chimpanzee”) and orangután (“orangutan”).
El jabalí“Boar”
El zorro“Fox”
El oso“Bear”
El ciervo“Deer”
El reno“Reindeer”
El lobo“Wolf”
El lince“Lynx”
One of the most popular native Spanish wild animals is the Iberian Lynx, a beautiful cat with a short tail and characteristic pointy beard and ears.

Unfortunately, the Iberian Lynx is an endangered species and was on the verge of extinction 20 years ago. A successful reintroduction project has increased the number of cats from 94 to 855.

A Lynx

La mirada del lince (“The lynx’s gaze”)

4. Sea Animals

The Spanish territory has over 8000 kilometers (about 4971 miles) of coastline, which explains our strong cultural bond to the sea and its marine life. The Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts are home to a number of sea animals.

Here’s a list of animals in Spanish that you’ll find underwater:

El tiburón“Shark”
El delfín“Dolphin”
La ballena“Whale”
El pulpo“Octopus”
El caballito de mar“Seahorse”
El calamar“Squid”
La foca“Seal”
El cangrejo“Crab”
La langosta“Lobster”
La gamba“Shrimp”
El mejillón“Mussel”
La medusa“Jellyfish”
In Spanish, jellyfish share a name with the mythological Greek creature that turned people into stone by looking into their eyes. 

On Spanish beaches, though, medusas are very much real and common. You don’t want to cross them, as their sting hurts a lot!

    → Want to dive deeper? Then visit our vocabulary list Marine Animals & Fish to learn even more words along with their pronunciation!

A Jellyfish

Cuidado con la medusa. (“Beware the jellyfish.”)

5. Bugs

¡Bichos! This is the Spanish word for bugs, used on occasions when you need to point out the unpleasant company of these little animals. But it’s also commonly used to describe a person who is a bit naughty, or even as an affectionate nickname in the diminutive form bichito.

  • Él quiere mucho a su gato, le llama su “bichito.” – “He loves his cat very much; he calls her his bichito.”

If you visit Spain during the summer, you won’t have to worry too much about dangerous animals. However, take into account that flies and mosquitoes won’t leave you alone!

La hormiga“Ant”
La mosca“Fly”
El mosquito“Mosquito”
La araña“Spider”
In Spanish, the spider web is called a telaraña.
El grillo“Cricket”
La abeja“Bee”
La avispa“Wasp”
La polilla“Moth”
La mariquita“Ladybug”
La mariposa“Butterfly”
La lengua de las mariposas (“Butterfly Tongue”) is a 1999 movie by José Luis Cuerda, set in the region of Galicia during the Spanish Civil War. It explores the relationship between a pupil and his teacher.

A Ladybug

Una mariquita (“A ladybug”)

6. Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians

There are many species of wild birds, reptiles, and amphibians in Spain. Of course, you can find frogs croaking in the many Spanish water reservoirs and swallows flying over the countryside during springtime.

Fun fact: There is a breed of little green parrots, called cotorras, that are native to Argentina. They were introduced in Spain as exotic pets, and now that some of them have escaped, there is a sizable population of them in cities such as Barcelona.

La paloma“Pigeon” / “Dove”
Paloma can refer to both the city pigeon and the beautiful white dove.
La gaviota“Seagull”
El águila“Eagle”
This word is a tricky one! Although most Spanish animal names (and nouns, for that matter) ending in “a” are gendered feminine, this one is masculine.
El cuervo“Crow”
El flamenco“Flamingo”
The word flamenco can refer to both the traditional Spanish music genre and the pink bird.

Depending on the time of year, this migratory bird resides in different wetlands of the Spanish territory, such as the Doñana National Park or the Ebro River Delta.
El loro“Parrot”
La golondrina“Swallow”
La rana“Frog”
El sapo“Toad”
El lagarto“Lizard”
La iguana“Iguana”
El cocodrilo“Crocodile”
Note that cocodrilo and “crocodile” are quite similar, but take into account that the position of the “r” is different!

A Solitary Flamingo Standing in the Water

¿Los flamencos bailan flamenco? (“Do flamingos dance flamenco?”)

7. Animal Body Parts

Now that you know several different animal names in Spanish, it’s time to learn what to call their various body parts.

Pata“Paw” / “Leg”
Cola“Tail”
Ala“Wing”
Garra“Claw”
Garra is the generic term for animal claws. In the case of felines, who have very special claws, theirs are called zarpas.
Cuerno“Horn”
Pluma“Feather”
Pico“Beak” / “Bill”
Hocico“Snout”
The colloquial version of hocico is morro. This word is also used to refer to human mouths in a slightly negative (but rather joking) way, especially in the plural form morros.
  • María lleva los morros llenos de chocolate. – “María’s snout is full of chocolate.”
Caparazón“Shell”
Aleta“Fin”
Bigotes“Whiskers”

A Cat Playing with a Toy

Los gatos tienen zarpas. (“Cats have claws.”)

8. Bonus: Animal Idioms and Proverbs


Spanish expressionSentir mariposas en el estómago
English equivalent“To feel butterflies in one’s stomach”
This expression is often used to describe the nervous feeling of someone who is infatuated or in love.

Spanish expressionTener la piel de gallina
English equivalent“To have goosebumps”
This refers to the nervous reaction of the skin to cold or to powerful emotions.

Spanish expressionComo pez fuera del agua
English equivalent“Like fish out of water”
It means that someone feels completely out of their comfort zone or out of place.

Spanish expressionSer la oveja negra
English equivalent“To be the black sheep”
This refers to a family member or another individual who does not fit in. 
  • Marta es la oveja negra de la familia, es la única que es abogada en lugar de médico.
    “Marta is the family’s black sheep; she’s the only one who’s a lawyer instead of a doctor.”

Spanish expressionHay cuatro gatos.
This literally translates to, “There are four cats.” It’s used to describe a place that’s quite empty.

Spanish expressionPerro ladrador, poco mordedor
English equivalent“His bark is worse than his bite.”
This describes the type of person who seems very brave when they talk but rarely takes action.

Spanish expressionA caballo regalado, no le mires el diente.
English equivalent“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
This proverb means that one shouldn’t be too picky when gifted with something.

Spanish expressionDe noche, todos los gatos son pardos.
This phrase means, “At night, all cats are black.” It advises that when it’s dark (and especially after drinking a bit too much), we often overlook other people’s defects.

Spanish expressionAunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
English equivalent“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
This Spanish proverb literally means: “Even when the monkey is dressed in silk, it’s still a monkey.” It means that when someone or something is ugly, there’s not much that can be done about it.

Spanish expressionGato con guantes no caza ratones.
English equivalent“A cat with gloves catches no mice.”
This phrase warns that it’s better to be dressed for the job at hand rather than trying to be too fancy.

Spanish expressionA perro viejo todo son pulgas.
English equivalent“Old dogs have all the fleas.”
Usually, this expression is used in reference to all of the illnesses and various health-related problems that come with age.

9. Final Thoughts

In this article, we provided you with a list of animals in Spanish that will help you navigate situations involving anything from pets to nasty bugs! 

What’s your favorite animal? Do you remember its name in Spanish?

At SpanishPod101.com, you can continue learning the Spanish language and exploring Spanish culture. There are plenty of free resources, such as vocabulary lists and our word of the day tool, as well as lessons tailored for every level of fluency.

Happy learning on SpanishPod101.com!

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The Most Common Spanish Phone Phrases

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Many Spanish learners have a hard time expressing themselves or understanding others over the phone. Connection problems aside, you can encounter situations where you struggle to keep up because the person on the other end is speaking too quickly. This can make you anxious, or even afraid, to speak during a phone call. 

Non-verbal communication and body language are important components of conversation. Whenever we speak to someone on the phone, we miss out on these subtle clues since we cannot see their face or posture.

But there’s good news. Learning Spanish phone conversation phrases will help you become more confident and prepared for calls!

In this guide from SpanishPod101, you’ll learn the most common Spanish phone phrases. Having these phrases down will help you crush your conversations, whether you’re arranging a brunch date with a friend or making a business call.

Remember: Practice makes perfect!

A Woman Lying on Her Stomach on the Floor while Talking on the Phone

Ready for great Spanish phone conversations? Start with Hola!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating Why You’re Calling
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Ending the Phone Call
  9. Bonus: Sample Phone Conversations
  10. Final Thoughts

1. Picking up the Phone

The first set of Spanish phone phrases you need to learn are the greetings. The greeting you use may differ depending on whether you’re the caller or the receiver. 

1 – Calling

Hola.Hello.
The well-known hola is an informal Spanish greeting used in real life and over the phone. If you know the name of the person you’re calling, you can use it in the greeting: Hola, ___. 
Buenos días. / Buenas tardes.Good morning. / Good afternoon.
Buenos días and buenas tardes sound a bit more formal, so these are safe to use during business calls.

2 – Answering

¿Sí?Yes?
This is how most Spanish people answer the phone, especially if it’s their personal number.
¿Diga? / ¿Dígame?Hello? 
Literally meaning “Tell me,” this is an apt way to begin a Spanish phone conversation. It’s most common in formal situations and among the older Spanish-speaking population. 
Hola.Hello.
Nowadays, we often know who’s calling because their name appears on our phone screen if we’ve saved their number. If the caller is a saved contact, you can simply answer with hola
¿Aló?Hello?
This is a very common Spanish phone call greeting, but only in Latin America
Bueno. Hello.
Bueno, literally meaning “good” or “well,” is a common phone greeting used in Mexican Spanish. 

    → There are many other ways to say hello in Spanish, most of which can be used to begin a phone conversation. Learn about greeting people on SpanishPod101.com!

Someone Picking up Their Work Phone

Pick up the phone; someone’s calling you!

2. Saying Who You Are

Now that you’ve learned some useful greetings, you should become familiar with a few Spanish phone phrases for introducing yourself. 

In informal conversations, you’d say Soy (“I am”) followed by your name. Here’s an example:

    A: ¿Sí?  – “Yes?”
    B: ¡Hola Manuel! Soy Andrea. – “Hello, Manuel! This is Andrea.”

If you’re calling on behalf of a company or an organization, the structure of the sentence should be:

    Soy [name], de [company name]. – “This is [name], from [company name].”

However, making a business phone call in Spanish can get a tad more formal:

    Mi nombre es [name], de [company name]. – “My name is [name], from [company name].”
A Guy on the Sofa Talking on the Phone with a Remote in His Hand

Buenos días, mi nombre es Juan. (“Good morning, my name is Juan.”)


3. Stating Why You’re Calling

Querría hablar con alguien sobre…I’d like to speak to someone about…
You can use this phrase to ask for assistance with something, especially if you’re contacting an institution, company, or organization.

Example: 
  • Querría hablar con alguien sobre la cancelación de mi vuelo. – “I’d like to speak to someone about the cancellation of my flight.”
Quería información sobre…I wanted some information about…
This phrase can be used to ask for directions, schedules, timetables, etc.
  • Quería información sobre las horas de apertura del museo. – “I wanted some information about the museum’s opening hours.”
Me gustaría preguntar si…I’d like to ask if…
This is a polite introduction to whatever question you have. Here are a few examples:
  • Me gustaría preguntar si dais clases de salsa en vuestra escuela. – “I’d like to ask if there are salsa classes at your school.”
  • Me gustaría preguntar si mañana va a estar el director en la oficina. – “I’d like to ask if the director is going to be in the office tomorrow.”
  • Me gustaría preguntar si puedo comprar billete de tren anticipado. – “I’d like to ask if I can book a train ticket in advance.”
Estoy devolviendo tu llamada.I’m returning your call.
Llamaba para reservar una mesa.I was calling to make a reservation.
Literally, this phrase means: “I was calling to book a table.”


A Woman Staying Late at Work and Taking a Phone Call

Lo siento, la línea está ocupada. (“I’m sorry, the line is busy.”)

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

If you’re meaning to call a specific person and someone else comes to the phone, here’s how you ask to be handed over to the right person. 

In informal conversations, you’d say the following:

  • ¿Está [name]? – “Is [name] there?”

A more polite way to ask the same question would be:

  • ¿Me podrías poner con [name]? – “Could you transfer me to [name]?”

And here’s a formal alternative:

  • Querría hablar con [name]. – “I’d like to speak to [name].”

Open for business? Learn all about Making a Business Phone Call with SpanishPod101!

5. Asking Someone to Wait

If the conversation is going too fast and you need a second to collect your thoughts, look up information, or fetch the person they’re calling, here are a few Spanish phone conversation phrases that can help.

Un momento, déjame comprobar. Just a moment, let me check.
Te / Le pongo en espera un momento. I’ll put you on hold for a second.
In Spanish, your tone can come across quite differently depending on the formality level you use. In this case, the pronoun te sounds much more casual than the pronoun le

Remember to use the formal pronoun in business conversations, when doing bureaucratic processes, when asking for professional help, etc. 


No cuelgues / cuelgue, por favor.Don’t hang up, please.
Ahora te lo / la paso.I’ll put him/her on the phone.
If the caller is asking for your roommate or a coworker, this is an informal way to state that you’ll ask them to answer the phone.
Déjame transferirte / Déjeme transferirle a su oficina.Let me transfer you to his/her office. 
This is the formal and business-style way to say Ahora te lo paso.

A Group of People Working in a Call Center

Déjeme transferirle a su oficina.  (“Let me transfer you to her office.”)

6. Leaving a Message

Did you miss the person you were calling? Here are three Spanish phone call phrases you can use to leave a message: 

¿Puedo dejarle un mensaje?Can I leave a message?
Por favor, dígale de mi parte que…Please let him know that…
¿Le puede decir que me llame al [phone number]?Can you tell him to call me back at [phone number]?
Of course, sometimes you might prefer to deliver the message yourself. This phrase is how you ask for the person to call you back. 

7. Asking for Clarification

When learning a new language, phone conversations with native speakers are some of the trickiest situations we have to face.

If you don’t understand what the person on the other end is saying, don’t worry. Take a deep breath and then use one of these phone call phrases in Spanish to ask for clarification.

Perdón, ¿podrías repetirlo?Sorry, could you say that again?
¿Podrías repetirlo, solo para comprobar que te he entendido?Could you repeat that, just to double-check I understood?
There’s no harm in double-checking! Don’t hesitate to ask as many times as you need to make sure you understand the other person.
No te he entendido, disculpa.I didn’t understand, I’m sorry.
Lo siento, pero me está costando entenderte. I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time understanding you. 
Creo que hay una mala conexión.I think there’s a bad connection.
Sometimes, technology can add even more obstacles when we’re trying to understand a conversation in a foreign language.
¿Podrías deletrear tu nombre, por favor?Could you spell your name for me, please?

A Businesswoman Stressed while Talking on the Phone

Lo siento, pero me está costando entenderte. (“I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time understanding you.”)

8. Ending the Phone Call

There are many ways to end a call, depending on the kind of call you’ve had. Whether you were asking for some information, arranging a meeting, or just chatting, here are a few phone call phrases in Spanish you can use.

Me has ayudado mucho. Gracias.You’ve been very helpful. Thank you.
Gracias por su ayuda.Thanks for your help.
This is a formal way to end a phone call when you want to show gratitude. 

You can also use the informal variation: Gracias por tu ayuda. This is more heartfelt and honest, good for when you’re speaking to a friend.


Un placer hablar contigo / con usted.It was a pleasure talking with you.
Nos vemos a las [time] en [place].See you at [time] at [place].
It doesn’t hurt to repeat the time and place you’ve set for a meeting, just to double-check that you understood. 
Que tengas un buen día.Have a great day.
Adiós.Bye.
You might find that some Spanish people have a hard time letting go of the conversation and actually hanging up the phone. It’s because they’re very friendly!

Don’t be surprised if they use all of the phrases above to say goodbye. Here’s an example:
  • Me has ayudado mucho, Antonio. Gracias. Un placer hablar contigo. Nos vemos a las tres en la oficina. Que tengas una buena mañana. ¡Adiós! – “You’ve helped me a lot, Antonio. Thanks. It was a pleasure talking with you. See you at three in the office. Have a great morning. Bye!”

9. Bonus: Sample Phone Conversations

You now have plenty of phrases to start practicing! But how might they sound when used in a real-life phone call? 

Here, we’ve included two sample phone conversations in Spanish. The first one is an informal call, while the second one takes place in a more formal context. 

Enjoy! 

1 – Asking your friend to meet for brunch

A: ¿Sí? – “Yes?”

B: Ey Juan, soy Marta. ¿Qué tal? – “Hey Juan, it’s Marta. How’s it going?”

A: ¡Hola Marta, cuánto tiempo! Todo bien, ¿qué tal tú? – “Hello Marta, it’s been so long! All good, how about you?”

B: Pues muy bien, justo quería proponerte de vernos este fin de semana. – “I’m good, I wanted to propose that we meet up this weekend.”

A: ¡Suena genial! Pero estoy ocupado todo el sábado… – “Sounds great! But I’m busy all Saturday…”

B: ¿Y qué tal el domingo? Podríamos quedar para tomar un brunch. – “How about Sunday? We could meet up for brunch.”

A: Perfecto. ¿Quedamos a las 12 donde siempre? – “Perfect. Should we meet at 12 in the usual spot?”

B: Vale. ¡Nos vemos entonces! – “Okay. See you then!”

A: Sí, ¡qué ganas! Hasta el domingo. – “Yes, can’t wait! See you on Sunday.”

B: Que vaya bien, ¡besos! – “Take care, kisses!”

A: ¡Un beso, Marta! Adiós. – “Kisses, Marta! Bye.”

2 – Making a reservation

A: Restaurante Antojo, ¿dígame? – “Antojo Restaurant, hello?”

B: Buenos días, llamaba para ver si tenían una mesa libre esta noche. – “Good morning, I was calling to know if you have a free table this evening.”

A: ¿Para cuántas personas sería? – “How many people in your party?”

B: Somos cinco, aunque uno podría fallar a última hora. – “We’re five, but one of us could not make it last minute.”

A: No hay problema. Tenemos mesa para ustedes. – “No problem. We have a table for you.”

B: ¡Perfecto! Otra pregunta, ¿tienen opciones veganas? – “Perfect! Another question, do you have any vegan options?”

A: Sí, todo nuestro menú es adaptable para veganos y personas con alergias alimentarias. – “Yes, our whole menu can be adapted to vegans and people with food allergies.”

B: Estupendo, ¿puede reservarnos la mesa para las 9? – “Great, could we make a reservation for nine p.m.?”

A: Tendría ser a las 9 y media ya que antes tenemos lleno, lo lamento. – “It has to be for 9:30 as we’re fully booked before that, I’m sorry.”

B: Ningún problema, también nos va bien. – “No problem, it’s also okay for us.”

A: Pues les esperamos esta noche a las 9 y media. – “So we’ll expect you at 9:30.”

B: ¡Muchas gracias! Hasta luego. – “Thank you so much! See you later.”

A: A usted, hasta luego. – “You’re welcome, see you later.”

A Woman Writing Something Down while Making a Reservation

¡Mesa para cinco! (“Table for five!”)

10. Final Thoughts

In this guide, you’ve learned the basic vocabulary and expressions you’ll need to make a phone call in Spanish. We hope the phrases we lined up here will help you have a successful conversation, from picking up the phone to ending the call. 

Do you feel more confident about your next all-Spanish phone call now? Or are there still some phone phrases or situations you’d like to see covered? Let us know in the comments! 

If you’d like to continue learning and improving your Spanish, create your free lifetime account on SpanishPod101.com today! We have tons of lessons tailored for every level, free vocabulary lists, and a blog with lots of fun and interesting posts like this one. 

Happy learning!

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Basic Spanish Words for Beginners

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Have you decided to learn Spanish? Congratulations! It will be a very exciting and rewarding journey.

However, as you set out to learn this new language, you might not know where to begin. The sheer number of Spanish vocabulary words you have to learn can be overwhelming!

Keep in mind that you don’t need to rush into lessons that are above your level. It’s better to start from the basics and build a foundation that will help you reach your desired level of proficiency in Spanish!

To give you a boost, SpanishPod101 has compiled this guide to basic Spanish words for beginners. We’ve listed over 200 common Spanish words in different categories, providing additional information where necessary. 

Have fun!

A Man and a Woman Chatting while Drinking Coffee

You’re one step closer to your first conversation in Spanish!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Articles
  3. Numbers
  4. Nouns
  5. Verbs
  6. Adjectives
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Prepositions
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Pronouns

Pronouns are some of the most important basic Spanish words for beginners. You’ll use them often in regular conversations!

However, when you start learning Spanish, you might be overwhelmed by how complex the pronoun system is. Don’t worry! We’ll start with the basics.

1 – Personal Subject Pronouns

Personal subject pronouns replace the subject of a sentence. You can use them to talk about a previously mentioned noun, whether it’s a person, an animal, or an object. In addition, you can use them to talk about yourself or to address other people.

  • Yo hablo español. → “I speak Spanish.”
  • Vosotros habláis inglés. → “You speak English.”

PersonSpanishEnglish
1st person sg.yoI
2nd person sg.you
3rd person sg.él, ellahe, she
1st person pl.nosotroswe
2nd person pl.vosotrosyou
3rd person pl.ellos, ellasthey

You might be surprised to learn that most native speakers won’t use personal subject pronouns to begin a sentence. The subject is often omitted unless it’s not obvious who or what we’re talking about.

  • Hablo español. → “(I) speak Spanish.”
  • Habláis inglés. → “(You) speak English.”

Apart from subject pronouns, other personal pronouns include direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, and prepositional pronouns. In Spanish, personal pronouns change form depending on their function and position in the sentence. Want to learn more? Check out SpanishPod101’s lesson on personal pronouns.

2 – Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish (such as ese, este, and aquel) are quite easy for English speakers to grasp, as they work similarly to their English equivalents. You can use them to identify a person, an animal, or a thing, as well as its distance from you. These are some of the basic beginner Spanish words you need to learn early on!

In English, there are only four demonstrative pronouns: this and that and their plural forms these and those. However, in Spanish, there are fifteen! Why is that?

First of all, Spanish demonstrative pronouns correspond to the three different adverbs used to express distance: aquí (“here”), allá (“there”), and ahí (expresses something between here and there).

  • Este de aquí es mi perro. → “This is my dog.”
  • Esos de ahí son mis amigos. → “Those are my friends.”
  • Aquel de allá es mi coche. → “That is my school.”

The other main difference between Spanish and English demonstrative pronouns is the gender distinction, which applies to both singular and plural pronouns. Spanish has different forms for masculine, feminine, and neuter gender.

PersonSpanishEnglish
aquíahíallíherethere

masculine
sg.esteeseaquelthisthat
pl.estosesosaquellosthesethose

feminine
sg.estaesaaquellathisthat
pl.estasesasaquellasthesethose
neuterestoesoaquellothisthat

3 – Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are crucial in any language, making them some of the most important Spanish words for beginners to learn. Asking is the best way to learn, after all!

And here’s some good news: They’re very easy for English speakers to learn, as they work just like their English equivalents! 

  • Qué → “What”
    ¿Qué quieres comer? “What do you want to eat?”
  • Cuál → “Which”
    ¿Cuál de ellos es tu hijo? → “Which one is your son?”
  • Por qué → “Why”
    ¿Por qué dejaste tu trabajo? “Why did you quit your job?”
  • Quién → “Who”
    ¿Quién vas a invitar a tu cumpleaños? “Who will you invite to your birthday?”
  • Dónde → “Where”
    ¿Dónde vas a ir de vacaciones? “Where will you go on your vacation?”
  • Cuánto → “How much”
    ¿Cuánto pagaste por esta chaqueta? “How much did you pay for this jacket?”
  • Cuántos / Cuántas → “How many”
    ¿Cuántos días te vas a quedar? “How many days will you stay?”
    ¿Cuántas manzanas quieres comprar? “How many apples do you want to buy?”
  • Cuándo → “When”
    ¿Cuándo vas a tener el bebé? “When will you have the baby?”

Of course, it will be helpful to learn a few full questions by heart if you’re planning to visit Spain or have a conversation with a Spanish speaker. Fortunately, SpanishPod101 always has your back! Check out the Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations.

A Woman Feeling the Stomach of a Pregnant Woman

¿Cuándo vas a tener el bebé? (“When will you have the baby?”)

2. Articles

One of the most characteristic aspects of the Spanish language is its articles. Studying these basic Spanish words for beginners is key to starting your learning journey off on the right foot.

Articles accompany nouns and can be definite (like the English word “the”) or indefinite (like the English words “a” and “an”).

  • El vaso “The glass”
  • Un vaso → “A glass”

In Spanish, however, they also indicate gender and number. This is why there are more articles to learn than there are in English. 

PersonDefinite articleIndefinite article

masculine
sg.elun
pl.losunos

feminine
sg.launa
pl.losunas

There is also the neuter article lo, which goes before adjectives, participles, and ordinal numbers that are not followed by a noun.

  • Lo mejor “The best”
  • Lo hablado → “What was said”
  • Lo primero “The first”

3. Numbers

When you start learning a language, you definitely have to learn how to count in it!

Let’s see the cardinal Spanish numbers from one to ten:

  • Uno → “One”
  • Dos → “Two”
  • Tres → “Three”
  • Cuatro → “Four”
  • Cinco → “Five”
  • Seis → “Six”
  • Siete → “Seven”
  • Ocho → “Eight”
  • Nueve → “Nine”
  • Diez → “Ten”

And here are the ordinal Spanish numbers from one to ten:

  • Primero → “First”
  • Segundo → “Second”
  • Tercero → “Third”
  • Cuarto → “Fourth”
  • Quinto → “Fifth”
  • Sexto → “Sixth”
  • Séptimo → “Seventh”
  • Octavo → “Eighth”
  • Noveno → “Ninth”
  • Décimo → “Tenth”

Once you’ve mastered counting from one to ten, check out SpanishPod101’s lessons on numbers to learn how to count to infinity!

4. Nouns

Nouns identify a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. Spanish nouns can be singular or plural, and each one has a grammatical gender

Below is a list of nouns you can use in your daily life, whether your back hurts, you’re looking for the post office, or you’re preparing a tasty meal. These basic beginner Spanish words can help you communicate general ideas even before you learn how to form sentences, so remember as many as you can!


1 – Body Parts

cuerpobody
cabezahead
caraface
ojoseyes
nariznose
bocamouth
orejasears
pelohair
mejillascheeks
cuelloneck
nucaback of the neck
hombrosshoulders
brazosarms
manoshands
Dedosfingers
uñasnails
pecho / pechoschest / breasts
These are some tricky words! Pechos is plural for pecho (“chest”), but it actually refers to “breasts.”
barrigabelly
espaldaback
caderahip
muslosthigh
piernaslegs
piesfeet

2 – Family

familiafamily
madre (Mamá)mother (Mom)
padre (Papá)father (Dad)
hijo / hijason / daughter
hermano / hermanabrother / sister
abuelo / abuelagrandfather / grandmother
tío / tíauncle / aunt
sobrino / sobrinanephew / niece
primo / primacousin

A Grandfather, Father, and Son

¡Una familia unida! (“A united family!”)

3 – Occupations

maestro / maestrateacher
profesor / profesoraprofessor
policíapoliceman / policewoman
médico / doctor / doctoradoctor
In Spanish, médico and doctor are used often equally. However, the phrase “to go to the doctor” is often said as “ir al médico” and, when you address the doctor directly you’ll refer to him or her as “doctor” or “doctora“, sometimes followed by his or her surname.
  • ¿Es grave, doctora García? → “Is it serious, doctor García?”
enfermero / enfermeranurse
abogado / abogadalawyer 
cocinero / cocineracook
camarero / camarera waiter / waitress
empresario / empresariabusinessman / businesswoman
oficinistaoffice worker

4 – Places Around Town

hospitalhospital
mercado / supermercadomarket / supermarket
escuelaschool
museomuseum
oficina de correospost office
universidaduniversity
comisaríapolice station
estación de trentrain station
aeropuertoairport
centro (de la ciudad)city center / downtown
In Spanish cities and towns, it’s common to refer to the old and central areas as el centro. It’s usually where there are the most tourist attractions and where rent is most expensive.
  • La estación del tren está en el centro. → “The train station is in the city center.”
afueras (de la ciudad)outskirts
Contrary to the concept of el centro, there is the concept of las afueras, which refers to the areas of a town or city that are farther away from the urban core.
  • El aeropuerto está en las afueras. → “The airport is in the city’s outskirts.”

5 – School and Office Essentials

lápizpencil
rotuladormarker
bolígrafopen
You’ll rarely hear a student say the word bolígrafo. The diminutive boli is much more commonly used.
ordenadorcomputer 
(ordenador) portátillaptop
To say “the laptop,” most Spanish speakers will say el portátil, but some may say ordenador too. Nowadays, laptops are more popular than traditional computers, so some people specify ordenador de sobremesa (literally, “on-desk computer”).
  • Prefiero usar el portátil en lugar del ordenador de sobremesa. → “I prefer using the laptop instead of the computer.”
libretanotebook
foliopiece of paper
carpetafolder
goma de borrareraser
marcadorhighlighter
clippaperclip
pizarrablackboard / whiteboard / chalkboard / greenboard
pupitredesk 
This word is used to talk specifically about school desks.
mochilabackpack

A Little Girl with a Backpack and Flower Bouquet Heading to School

Lista para la escuela (“Ready for school”)

6 – Food

verdurasvegetables
tomatetomato
lechugalettuce
pimientopepper
berenjenaeggplant
patatapotato
alcachofaartichoke
frutafruit
manzanaapple
perapear
plátanobanana
cerezascherries
sandíawatermelon
melónmelon
carnemeat
pescadofish
lechemilk
quesocheese
huevoseggs
harinaflour
salsalt
azúcarsugar
aceiteoil
mantequillabutter


5. Verbs

Verbs are some of the most common and basic beginner Spanish words. Why is that? Because verbs are used to describe every action in our lives! 

Here’s a list with over 50 verbs that will prove useful when you’re starting to speak Spanish. Did you know that in Spanish there are four different verbs that mean “to eat”? Keep reading! 


1 – Basic Auxiliary Verbs

haberto have
serto be
estarto be

The verbs ser and estar both translate to the English verb “to be,” but they serve different functions. 

Ser is used for permanent or lasting attributes, occupations, characteristics, origins, and relationships. It’s also used to give the time. 

  • Marta es una buena persona. → “Marta is a good person.”
  • Son las dos de la tarde. → “It is two in the afternoon.”

On the other hand, estar is used for positions, locations, actions, conditions, and emotions:

  • La ciudad de Moscú está en Rusia. → “The city of Moscow is in Russia.”
  • Estoy haciendo la compra. → “I’m doing the grocery shopping.”

These auxiliary verbs are some of the most important Spanish words for beginners to learn. They’re used with main verbs to express the tense or to explain the way in which the verb is understood.

  • He fregado los platos. → “I’m doing the dishes.”
  • Estoy haciendo la compra. → “I’m doing the shopping.”
  • La presidenta fue elegida por sus conciudadanos. → “The president was chosen by her fellow citizens.”

2 – Most Common Verbs

tenerto have 
Don’t mix up tener with haber!

Tener means “to have” in the sense of “to possess.”
hacerto do / to make
podercan
decirto say
irto go

3 – The Five Senses

ver / mirarto see / to watch
escuchar / oirto hear / to listen
olerto smell
degustarto taste
tocarto touch

Close-up of a Freckled Face and Green Eyes

¿Qué ven esos ojos? (“What do those eyes see?”)

4 – Basic Actions

caminarto walk
correrto run
hablarto talk
decirto say
contarto tell
llamarto call
escribirto write
leerto read
darto give
venirto come
llegarto arrive
marcharseto leave
ponerto put
dejarto leave / to put
Dejar is used in the sense of “leaving something” in a specific place.
quitarto remove

5 – Thoughts and Feelings

saberto know
conocerto know
Both conocer and saber translate to the English verb “to know.” However, they’re used in very different situations.

Saber is used when the speaker knows a fact, piece of information, or how to do something. Conocer, on the other hand, is used when the speaker knows a person, place, or thing.
  • Sé cocinar una paella riquísima. → “I know how to cook very good paella.”
  • ¿María? No la conozco. → “María? I don’t know her.”
sentirto feel
querer / amarto love
recordarto remember
añorarto miss
necesitarto need
soñarto dream
sufrirto suffer
llorarto cry
reirto laugh

6 – Daily Routine

despertarseto wake up
levantarseto get up
ducharseto shower
desayunarto eat breakfast
almorzarto eat lunch or second breakfast
comerto eat (lunch)
cenarto eat dinner
Spanish speakers use different verbs meaning “to eat,” depending on the meal they’re having.

The first meal of the day is desayuno, so the verb is always desayunar.

Almorzar means “to eat lunch,” but most people nowadays use it to talk about a second meal you have between breakfast and lunch (could be the Spanish equivalent to “brunch”).

Comer is the generic word for eating whatever and whenever, but if you say voy a comer you mean “I’m going to have lunch.”

Lastly, the final meal of the day is la cena; when you eat dinner, you’ll say cenar.
beberto drink
trabajarto work
estudiarto study
conducirto drive
dormirto sleep

7 – Life and Death

nacerto be born
vivirto live
respirarto breathe
crecerto grow (up)
morirto die

    → Learning the Spanish verb tenses can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, SpanishPod101 will help you master this subject in our Spanish Verb Conjugation Series.

A Newborn Baby being Held by a Doctor

¡Vivir es nacer a cada instante! -Erich Fromm (“To live is to be born every second!” -Erich Fromm)

6. Adjectives

Our next set of Spanish beginner words are adjectives. These colorful words can help you describe the world around you and strengthen the impact of your speaking or writing. 

Spanish adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they describe. In this table, you’ll find both genders in the format [ Masculine / Feminine ]. If you see only one, it means the masculine and feminine forms are identical.

Plurals, on the other hand, are rather predictable and follow the general rules of Spanish plural formation.


1 – Describing Objects

The following adjectives can be used to describe the physical attributes or aspects of objects, and are sometimes used to describe people and animals too. 

grandebig
pequeño / pequeñasmall / little
largo / largalong
pesado / pesadaheavy
Beware! Most of the time, when people use pesado or pesada to describe a person, they’re using it as an insult to call them “tiresome” or “annoying.”
ligero / ligeralight

2 – Describing People

These adjectives, on the other hand, are mostly used to describe people. They can also describe animals where applicable. 

guapo / guapabeautiful / pretty / handsome
atractivo / atractivaattractive
alto / altatall
bajo / bajashort
delgado / delgadathin
gordo / gordafat
jovenyoung
viejo / viejaold
rubio / rubiablond 
moreno / morenadark (skinned or haired)
pelirrojo / pelirrojared-haired

3 – Describing Emotions

contento / contentahappy / pleased
felizhappy
emocionado / emocionadaexcited / emotional
ilusionado / ilusionadahopeful / excited
tristesad
desanimado / desanimadadisheartened
deprimido / deprimidadepressed
ansioso / ansiosaanxious / eager
aburrido / aburridabored
avergonzado / avergonzadaembarrassed / ashamed

4 – Describing Weather

lluviosorainy
nubladocloudy
ventosowindy
soleadosunny

7. Conjunctions

You can use conjunctions to connect words, clauses, and sentences. 

  • y → “and”
    El perro y el gato → “The dog and the cat”
  • ni → “nor”
    Ni el perro ni el gato “Not the dog nor the cat”
  • pero → “but”
    Quiero ir pero tengo que estudiar. → “I want to go but I have to study.”
  • porque → “because”
    Me marcho porque estoy cansado. → “I’m leaving because I’m tired.”

    Many people, even native Spanish speakers, mix up porque and por qué when they write, but they mean very different things! While porque means “because,” por qué means “why.”
  • como → “like” / “as”
    Pelean como el perro y el gato. → “They fight like dogs and cats.”
  • ya que → “because” / “since”
    Dejó los estudios ya que encontró un trabajo. “She quit her degree because she got a job.”
  • que “that” / “who”
    Mi madre es la persona que más me quiere. → “My mother is the person who loves me the most.”

Check out SpanishPod101’s lesson Spanish Conjunctions: But You Won’t Have Time! to learn about different types of conjunctions.

A Dog and Cat Cuddling

El perro y el gato (“The dog and the cat”)

8. Prepositions

  • a “to”
    Me voy a dormir. → “I’m going to sleep.”
  • de → “from” / “of”
    Recibí una carta de mi abuelo. “I received a letter from my grandad.”
  • en “in”
    Pon la ropa en la lavadora. → “Put the clothes in the washing machine.”
  • con → “with”
    Han venido con sus amigos. → “They have come with their friends.”
  • por “by” / “for”
    Este pastel está hecho por él mismo. → “This cake was made by himself.”
  • sin “without”
    He venido sin abrigo. → “I came without a coat.”
  • para “for”
    Mi sobrina dibujó esto para mí. → “My niece drew this for me.”

A Little Girl Holding up a Picture She Drew

Mi sobrina dibujó esto para mí. (“My niece drew this for me.”)

9. Final Thoughts

In this guide to basic Spanish words for beginners, you’ve learned more than 200 of the most common Spanish words. These will prove useful as you get ready to handle your first conversations in Spanish! 

How many of these words did you know already? Were any of them new to you? We look forward to hearing your thoughts! 

If you want to take your Spanish learning journey further, don’t forget to check out SpanishPod101. We have plenty of free vocabulary lists to help you expand your Spanish vocabulary, as well as useful lessons ranging from Beginner Level to Advanced

Enjoy the ride!

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Top 10 Spanish Filler Words to Help You Sound Like a Native

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Even if you’ve mastered Spanish grammar, you might notice that during conversations with native speakers, some words frequently come up that don’t quite fit with everything you’ve learned about the language.

This might be frustrating and cause you to get lost in conversations, but there’s no need to panic. What you’re hearing are Spanish filler words

Filler words are an important part of every spoken language. They’re short words or phrases that are commonly used to indicate pauses, to fill gaps in speech, or to start conversations. While they don’t necessarily follow any grammar rules, they’re a unique part of speech that help make up the particularities of a language. 

Learning a few basic Spanish filler words will not only spare you a lot of headaches during your conversations, but it will also make you sound like a native speaker.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you should know about filler words in Spanish: why and how to use them, which ones are most common, and much more.

Ready to become a master of the Spanish language with SpanishPod101? Let’s go!

A Group of Four Friends Sitting Down with Drinks to Talk

Bueno, y ¿cómo han estado? / Well, so, how have you been?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. What are ‘muletillas’ and why are they important?
  2. The Top 10 Filler Words According to Their Functions
  3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words
  4. La despedida

1. What are ‘muletillas’ and why are they important?

As their name indicates, filler words are typically used to fill gaps in speech during a conversation. In Spanish, however, they’re given the name muletillas. Muletilla literally means “cane” or “crutches.” This term has a somewhat pejorative connotation, as it conveys the need for constant support in order to communicate. 

As you can guess, language purists do not encourage the use of muletillas. However, it is undeniable that they’ve become an important part of spoken Spanish.  

You can see the same phenomenon occurring in English. Just think of the words “well,” “like,” and “so,” which are used in just about every conversation. In addition to filling in any blank spaces, they help the speaker better structure their thoughts. Spanish filler words are used in much the same way! 

Filler words in Spanish can perform the following functions:

  • Indicate a pause so you can think or restructure your ideas
  • Connect your ideas and give your speech greater structure
  • Express agreement regarding what your conversation partner is saying
  • Emphasize a point
  • Gauge whether your conversation partner is following the conversation

Also keep in mind that Spanish filler words vary greatly from one country to another. We recommend keeping your ears open all the time in order to learn as many variations as possible. 

Now that you know the basics, here are 10 of the most common filler words in Spanish that you can start using in your conversations right away. 

2. The Top 10 Filler Words According to Their Functions

A Woman on Campus Waving Goodbye to Her Friends

Bueno, los veo en la clase de mañana. / Okay, see you in tomorrow’s class.

2.1 Filler Words to Take a Pause

#1. Bueno

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Bueno“Well” / “Good”“Well” / “Okay”

Bueno is a very common muletilla in Spanish. It’s mostly used to take a pause as you gather your thoughts (just like “well” is used in English), but it can also be used as an affirmative filler word to show agreement. It’s also a common Spanish sentence starter.

Bueno, me parece ya es algo tarde, podemos continuar mañana. 
Well, I believe it is already a little late; we can continue tomorrow.

A: Te veo mañana en clases. 
B: Bueno, nos vemos mañana. 
A: See you tomorrow in class. 
B: Okay, see you tomorrow.

#2 Pues

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Pues“Well” / “As” “Well”

Pues can be used interchangeably with bueno, and it’s also used very much like the English word “well.”

A: ¿Alguién sabe cuándo recibiremos las calificaciones de la clase de Inglés?
B: Pues, yo espero que mañana. 
A: Does anybody know when we are receiving our grades for the English class? 
B: Well, I expect that tomorrow.

A: ¿Irás a la fiesta de bienvenida? 
B: Pues no sé, estoy muy cansada. 
A: Are you going to the welcome party? 
B: Well, I don’t know, I am very tired.

    → You can sound even more like a native by learning additional Key Spanish Phrases in our free vocabulary list! 

2.2 Filler Words to Add Structure

#3 En fin

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
En fin“In end”“Lastly” / “In short” / “Anyway”

En fin is used to wrap up or summarize a conversation, or to indicate that you’re getting ready to drive home your point. You can use this common Spanish filler to politely end a conversation and avoid an awkward silence. 

En fin, la reunión ha sido muy interesante, pero deberíamos comenzar a prepararnos para el examen. 
Anyway, the meeting has been very interesting, but we should start getting ready for the exam.

En fin, el objetivo del proyecto es aplicar todo lo que aprendieron durante el semestre.
In short, the goal of the project is to apply everything you learned during the semester.

#4 Entonces

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Entonces“Then” / “Hence”“So” / “Then”

Entonces is a connecting and transitioning word you’ll hear very often during conversations. Although this word is also used in formal written Spanish, its meaning changes slightly when it’s used as a filler word.

In writing, you’ll mostly find it used as a connecting word similar to “then,” “therefore,” or “hence” in English. When used in a conversation, it can also serve this function as well as that of the English filler word “so.”

Entonces, ¿no hay clases mañana? 
So, there is no class tomorrow?

A: Está cerrado el laboratorio. 
B:
Entonces mejor vayamos a la biblioteca. 
A: The laboratory is closed.
B: We’d better go to the library then.

2.3 Filler Words to Express Agreement

A Woman Paying Close Attention in Class

Vale, ahora entiendo. / Got it, now I understand.

#5 Ya

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Ya“Already” / “Now”“Yes”

The word ya literally means “already” or “now,” and you can find it used this way in both written Spanish and spoken Spanish. But, like the previous word we looked at, it can also serve another function when used as a filler word. In this context, ya can be used to express agreement.

A: Creo que no podré ir a la reunión, esta tarea me está tomando más tiempo de lo que pensé.
B: Ya, entiendo, yo también me siento un poco cansado tampoco sé si iré. 
A: I don’t know if I will go to the meeting; this homework is taking me longer than I expected. 
B: Yes, I understand; I also feel very tired myself. I don’t know if I will make it either.

A: Todavía no puedo decidir si continuar con mi posgrado o no.
B: Ya, es una decisión muy difícil. 
A: I still can’t decide if I should continue with graduate school or not. 
B: Yeah, that is a very difficult decision.

#6 Vale

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Vale“It’s valid”“Okay” / “Right” / “Got it”

Vale is one of the most common Spanish filler words to hear in a conversation, especially in Spain. It’s a very versatile word and it can come up multiple times in a single sentence. You can use it to express agreement, to emphasize your engagement in a conversation, or to check the engagement of your conversation partner.

A: Tu estarás a cargo de la redacción del proyecto. 
B: Vale, me parece perfecto. 
A: You will be in charge of writing the project.
B: Got it, that’s perfect.

Paso por ti mañana a las 10 para ir a la conferencia, ¿vale? 
I’ll pick you up tomorrow at 10 to go to the conference, okay?

2.4 Filler Words to Show Emphasis

#7 Mira

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Mira“Look”“Look”

Mira, which literally means “look,” can be used to emphasize something or to indicate that what we’re about to say is important. This filler word in Spanish is used very similarly to its English counterpart.

Mira, yo creo que lo mejor sería que mañana conversemos esto con el equipo completo
Look, I think it would be best if we talked about this with the whole team tomorrow.

Me parece una buena idea pero mira, no creo que se del agrado del profesor. 
Sounds like a good idea to me, but look, I don’t think the teacher will like it.

#8 Venga / Vamos

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Venga / Vamos“Come” / “Come on”“Come on”

Though both words have the same meaning, venga is very commonly used in Spain while vamos is used in Latin American Spanish. This word is used to encourage someone to take action or to express incredulity.

Vamos, que llegamos tarde. 
Come on, we’re going to be late.

Venga, ¿en serio? no me lo creo.
Come on, really? I can’t believe it.

2.5 Filler Words to Check Engagement or Comprehension

Two Women Sitting on a Sofa and Chatting

Reunirnos para practicar nuestro español ha sido muy útil, ¿sabes? 
Meeting up to practice our Spanish has been very helpful, you know?

#9 ¿Sabes?

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
¿Sabes?“You know?”“You know?”

Sabes literally means “you know.” Like in English, you use it to check in with your conversation partner and to emphasize your own engagement in the conversation.

Este semestre ha sido muy difícil continuar con el trabajo y la escuela ¿sabes? 
This semester, it has been very difficult to keep up with work and school, you know?

La maestra dijo que estaba de acuerdo con nuestra propuesta, nunca pensé que fuera tan flexible ¿sabes? 
The teacher said she was okay with our proposal. I never thought she would be that flexible, you know?

#10 ¿Viste?

SpanishLiteral TranslationEnglish Equivalent
Viste“Did you see?”“Did you see?” / “Right?”

This filler word is used a lot in South America, especially in Argentina, although it’s widely understood among Spanish speakers everywhere. It’s used to make sure your conversation partner is following the conversation or to ask them for agreement.

El proyecto final no fue tan complicado, ¿viste?
The final project wasn’t so complicated, right?

El director ignoró completamente nuestra solicitud ¿viste? 
The principal completely ignored our request, did you see?

3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words

A Woman Sitting on the Ground Holding a Speech Bubble by Her Face

En fin, ahora estoy lista para comenzar a usar muletillas en una conversación.
Anyway, now I am ready to start using filler words in a conversation.

As you can see, filler words are short and fairly easy to pick up. They are very versatile and can be used to make conversations more fluid. So that means you should start using them right away, right?

Well…yes and no. Filler words have their pros and cons, so let’s talk about them.

3.1 Sound Like a Native

Once you’ve mastered Spanish grammar and pronunciation, using filler words will definitely make your speech sound more natural and help you engage in conversations like a native. 

As we mentioned before, filler words are an essential part of any spoken language. According to experts, one in every ten words used when speaking is a filler word. Thus, learning how to identify and use them is an important step on your journey toward mastering Spanish.

3.2 Beware of Overusing Them

Despite the importance of Spanish sentence starters and filler words, you should be careful not to overuse them. An excess of filler words in your speech can make you sound hesitant. Like idioms, they should be used sparingly and according to the situation.

Remember the term muletillas? One of the reasons they’re called this is because it’s easy to start depending on filler words whenever you’re stuck or struggling to find the right words. Using filler words everytime you forget what comes next or get stuck in your flow of thought does not leave the best impression.

Our advice is to start by learning to identify the most common Spanish filler words when they appear in your conversations. Once you can do that, start slowly adding them to your own speech as auxiliaries, being careful not to depend upon them too much for communication. 

4. La despedida

In this guide, we’ve presented to you everything you should know about Spanish filler words: the most common ones, their meaning, and examples of how to use them. We’ve also talked about their importance as well as the risk of overusing them.

Is there any filler word in Spanish you know that we didn’t mention? Please let us know in the comments!

Once you have all of these words memorized, we recommend paying attention to how they’re used in conversations and how they change for different variations of Spanish. You can do this by listening to podcasts in Spanish, watching YouTube videos or movies, and more.

Remember that, at SpanishPod101.com, you can find lots of useful resources to practice your pronunciation, learn new vocabulary, and have fun while improving your Spanish.

If you’re looking for a faster and more intensive way to take your Spanish to the next level, you can try our Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, which gives you access to 1-on-1 private coaching from a professional Spanish teacher.

So, get ready to practice and start using filler words in Spanish! We wish you happy learning with SpanishPod101 y ¡hasta luego!

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