SpanishPod101.com Blog
Learn Spanish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Spanish Culture' Category

How to Compliment in Spanish: Spanish Compliment Guide

Thumbnail

Hacer un cumplido, lanzar un piropo, or un halago: to compliment someone in Spanish.

Spanish is a Latin language, also known as one of the romance languages. While this doesn’t mean the language is romantic by nature, there are plenty of sweet Spanish compliments you can offer someone to warm their heart.

So, how do you say “compliment” in Spanish? Compliments in Spanish are known as piropos, halagos, or cumplidos.

If you’re planning to travel to Spain or Latin America, you’ll come across many of those. You’ll be amazed by how we compliment anyone on anything. It’s our way of encouraging each other!

Whenever I’m with some foreigner friends around my city, they’re always in awe about how we naturally call anyone guapo or guapa. This is certainly different from other Eastern European cultures, where people are more discreet and reserved.

Ever wonder how to compliment someone in Spanish? Well, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn how to compliment in Spanish, whether to get the attention of someone you like, give your compliments to the chef after eating a delicious meal, or congratulate your coworkers after a presentation.

Sometimes body language can be enough. But we don’t usually keep compliments to ourselves!

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

  1. Compliments in Spanish About How Someone Looks
  2. Compliments in Spanish for Someone’s Work
  3. Compliments in Spanish About Someone’s Personality or Lifestyle
  4. Compliments in Spanish on Someone’s Skills
  5. How to Make Your Compliment in Spanish More Sincere
  6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments in Spanish
  7. Conclusion

1. Compliments in Spanish About How Someone Looks

Compliments

Compliments are very common in the Spanish-speaking world, whether they’re used to flirt with, seduce, or praise someone. If you’ve just started learning Spanish, it may be hard to understand when you’re being complimented, or even how to compliment someone naturally. Here, we’re going to cover some nice Spanish compliments you can use to let someone know you like them (or just like their style).

Learn how to say a compliment in Spanish to a woman:

  • Qué guapa eres.
    “How pretty.”
  • Eres muy bonita.
    “You are beautiful.”
  • Estás muy guapa.
    “You are very pretty.”
  • Estás muy bonita hoy.
    “You are very pretty today.”
  • Te ves muy guapa.
    “You look beautiful.”
  • Qué guapa, ¿no?
    “How pretty, aren’t you?”

You can find out more about adjectives and how they work in our complete guide to Spanish Adjectives on SpanishPod101, or our related vocabulary list.

Now, here are some Spanish compliments to a man:

  • Qué guapo.
    “How handsome.”
  • Qué bonito.
    “How handsome.”
  • Te ves muy guapo hoy.
    “You look handsome today.”

There are some adjectives that can be used for both men and women.

  • Tienes unos ojos muy hermosos.
    “You have beautiful eyes.”
  • Tienes una sonrisa muy bonita.
    “You have a beautiful smile.”
  • Qué elegante.
    “Looking elegant.”
  • Te ves muy bien.
    “Looking very good.”
  • Haces que quiera ser una mejor persona.
    “You make me want to be a better person.”
  • Tienes un cabello muy bonito.
    “You have beautiful hair.”
  • Tienes unas manos muy bonitas.
    “You have beautiful hands.”
  • Me encanta tu vestido.
    “I love your dress.”
  • Te quedan muy bien esas gafas.
    “You look good with those glasses.”

Looking for some cute Spanish compliments? Here’s how you can praise a lovely couple:

  • Qué linda pareja.
    “What a beautiful couple.”

If you want to compliment on someone’s clothes, such as a jacket, tie, or blouse, you can say something like:

  • Qué lindo/a______.
    “What a beautiful______.”
  • Qué linda chaqueta.
    “What a beautiful jacket.”
  • Qué chula tu chaqueta.
    “Your jacket looks cool.”
  • Esa camiseta te queda muy bien.
    “That shirt looks very good on you.”

2. Compliments in Spanish for Someone’s Work

A Different Type of Jobs

If you’re learning Spanish because you’re planning to move to a Spanish-speaking country for work, this section is for you. Learn some compliments in Spanish to praise someone for their work.

Or perhaps you want to know how well you’re doing your job. We all like to get some compliments sometimes, so you should understand a compliment in Spanish if you get one.

  • Buen trabajo.
    “Good job.”
  • Lo has hecho muy bien.
    “You did very well.”
  • Me ha encantado la presentación.
    “I loved your presentation.”
  • Qué idea tan genial.
    “What a great idea.”
  • La manera en que has solucionado el problema fue genial.
    “The way you approached the issue was amazing.”
  • Solo has estado estudiando español tres meses, pero hablas muy bien.
    “You have only been studying Spanish for three months, but you speak very well.”
  • Tu curriculum es impresionante.
    “Your CV is impressive.”

For more good Spanish compliments for the workplace, study our vocabulary list of the Top 15 Compliments in Spanish that you always want to hear.

3. Compliments in Spanish About Someone’s Personality or Lifestyle

Sport Person on the Top.

It’s always awesome to hear compliments from friends and family because it reinforces the way they see us. If you want to praise someone in Spanish on an aspect of their personality, this section is for you. Make them feel good with these compliments in Spanish.

  • Juan es muy buena persona.
    “Juan is a very good person.”
  • María es muy trabajadora. (female)
    “María is a hard worker.”
  • Pedro es muy trabajador. (male)
    “Pedro is a hard worker.”

The following adjectives can be used for both men and women. Remember that you have to change the last letter of the adjective depending on the subject’s gender: -o for masculine and -a for feminine.

  • Eres un aventurero(a).
    “You are adventurous.”
  • Luis is muy cariñoso.
    “Luis is very affectionate.”
  • Estás siempre alegre.
    “You are always cheerful.”
  • Pareces muy seguro (a).
    “You look very confident.”
  • Marta es muy coqueto.
    “Marta is very flirtatious.”
  • Manuel es muy simpático.
    “Manuel is very friendly.”
  • Eres muy divertido (a).
    “You are funny.”
  • Eres muy gracioso (a).
    “You are very funny.”
  • Estás en buena forma.
    “You are in good shape.”
  • Abigail es una mujer Independiente.
    “Abigail is an independent woman.”
  • José es muy inteligente.
    “José is very smart.”
  • Martha es muy interesante.
    “Martha is very interesting.”
  • Manuel es muy tranquilo (a).
    “Manuel is very laid back.”
  • Mary es muy amable.
    “Mary is very nice.”
  • Jorge is muy abierto (a).
    “Jorge is very open-minded.”
  • Santiago es muy romántico (a).
    “Santiago is very romantic.”
  • Lucía es muy sexy.
    “Lucía is very sexy.”
  • Esther es muy dulce.
    “Esther is very sweet.”

4. Compliments in Spanish on Someone’s Skills

Chef Presenting His Meal.

You can also compliment someone in Spanish about their skills by following this formula. Fill in the blank with the verb or action you want to reinforce:

  • Tú _____ muy bien. Ex: Tú cocinas muy bien.
    “You ____ well.” Ex: “You cook very well.”

In Spanish, you can use the pronoun if you want. Let’s check some examples:

  • Tú cantas muy bien.
    Cantas muy bien.
    “You sing well.”
  • Tú escribes muy bien.
    Escribes muy bien.
    “You write well.”
  • Tú cocinas muy bien.
    Cocinas muy bien.
    “You cook well.”
  • Juegas al fútbol muy bien.
    “You play football very well.”
  • Pintas muy bien.
    “You paint very well.”
  • Hablas muy bien español.
    “You speak Spanish very well.”

When you’re complimenting a thing, you’re also indirectly praising the person with (or responsible for) that thing as well. For example, if you say that a song is beautiful, you’re praising the singer; if you’re amazed by how a dish tastes, you’re praising the cook.

Let’s see how to praise in Spanish:

  • Esta comida está deliciosa.
    “This food is delicious.”
  • La película es muy divertida.
    “The movie is very funny.”
  • La fotografía era espectacular.
    “The picture was spectacular.”
  • La comida huele muy bien.
    “The food smells very nice.”
  • Qué buena pinta tiene la comida.
    “The food looks amazing.”

5. How to Make Your Compliment in Spanish More Sincere

Woman Hiding Something

In this section, you’ll learn how to say a compliment in Spanish and sound sincere.

When you’re complimenting someone in Spanish, you should look them in the eyes; sometimes you can touch the other person on the shoulder or even give them a hug (really!). Yes, you will know when and to whom. Remember that in Spain and Latin America, it’s okay to touch each other.

Smile while delivering the compliment, and don’t expect anything in return (although you may get a sincere thank you or a compliment from the person).

These are some things you should not do when complimenting someone in Spanish (and actions to watch out for in others):

  • You should not over-compliment someone in Spanish. Sometimes when people compliment for the sake of it, the compliment loses value.
  • Sometimes people compliment you because they want something in return. Well, you should not do that to someone, and you need to know when someone is doing it to you. How can you know?

Well, they usually won’t look you in your eyes, and they’ll have a fake smile. Sometimes you can sense it, but just because Spanish isn’t your first language, you may get confused.

You can find these types of people outside of the touristic sites in Spain. They’ll tell you something nice, expecting you to buy something in return.

When you’re being complimented, be humble and try to offer the person a compliment in return. You can also just say: Gracias muy amable. (“Thanks, you are very kind.” )

6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments in Spanish

Positive Feelings

When you’re complimenting someone in Spanish, you should always say thank you (even if you don’t really agree). Otherwise, you may come across as rude.

In the Spanish-speaking world, you’ll get compliments on anything you do. So here are some tips on how to reply when you get a compliment in Spanish.

  • Gracias, eres muy amable.
    “Thanks, you are very kind.”
  • Gracias por el cumplido.
    “Thanks for the compliment.”

How a person feels after receiving a compliment depends on the person’s personality. You may encounter someone who feels very comfortable with the compliment, and simply thanks you for it.

On the other hand, some people may be very shy and uncomfortable, and don’t say anything at all. Don’t take it personally.

You may also compliment someone who’s very humble, in which case you may get a reply such as:

  • Gracias por el cumplido, pero cualquier persona puede hacerlo.
    “Thanks for the compliment, but anyone could do it.”
  • Gracias, pero podría haberlo hecho mejor.
    “Thanks, but I could have done it better.”
  • Gracias, pero no creo que lo haya hecho tan bien.
    “Thanks, but I don’t think I have done well enough.”

Either way, you should always express your gratitude when getting a compliment:

¡Gracias!

7. Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned the most common Spanish compliments, how to compliment a girl or a boy, how to thank the cook after a delicious meal, plus some praising words in Spanish. Would you like to know more about compliments in Spanish? Do you feel ready to express gratitude and praise someone in Spanish?

SpanishPod101 has many resources, from vocabulary lists, audio recordings, and more free content to boost your learning and keep it entertaining and fun.

Good luck!

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

Learn Gender in Spanish: Spanish Gender Rules

Thumbnail

The gender of nouns in Spanish is part of a noun’s identity. We won’t be able to use a noun correctly without its corresponding article. If English (or another language with genderless nouns) is your first language, you probably freaked out when you found out that nouns have gender in Spanish. We admit that it does sound a little scary at first.

But hey, if it makes you feel better, at least Spanish isn’t like German, which has three genders, or like Polish, which has a few more than that. Or Swedish, which has two genders that aren’t feminine or masculine. There are many languages that use genders.

Fortunately, we only have two genders, and we plan on keeping them. They might not always make sense to a foreigner (I mean, why would a chair be feminine?), but they do make sense to us and it would sound really funny if someone didn’t use them right. This is why we’re about to teach you all you need to know about gender in Spanish.

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

  1. Spanish Language Gender Rules: How Does it Work?
  2. How to Make a Good Guess on the Gender of a Word
  3. How to Memorize the Gender of a Word
  4. Animals
  5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. Spanish Language Gender Rules: How Does it Work?

Let’s start with something simple: the word for “gender” in Spanish is género, and our two genders are femenino (“feminine” ) and masculino (“masculine” ). That’s easy; everyone knows these two genders.

Now, how is the Spanish language affected by gender? As we mentioned previously, this topic mostly revolves around nouns. That means that every noun has one gender or the other, and that the words around it (which are articles, adjectives, and sometimes, pronouns) must match that gender.

However, we’re going to be mostly focusing on the gender of Spanish nouns, and will help you a little bit with adjectives and articles. The reason we won’t be talking about pronouns is because we’ll be publishing an article about pronouns soon, so keep your eyes peeled! If you can’t wait, check out our list of the most useful Spanish pronouns.

Feminine and Maculine

1 – Articles

The most common structure for nouns in Spanish is (article) + noun + (adjective), so we’re going to follow this structure and talk about Spanish article gender rules first.

In English, there are two articles, which are “the” and “a(n),” but Spanish has a few more. Don’t let this frighten you, but we have a total of eight articles. Yes, eight. The reason we have so many is because they change according to both gender and number.

Definite articles (“the” ) → “the kid” or “the kids”

  • Masculine, singular: el → el niño
  • Feminine, singular: la → la niña
  • Masculine, plural: los → los niños
  • Feminine, plural: las → las niñas

Indefinite articles (“a,” “an,” “some” ) → “a kid” or “some kids”

  • Masculine, singular: un → un niño
  • Feminine, singular: una → una niña
  • Masculine, plural: unos → unos niños
  • Feminine, plural: unas → unas niñas

Children Wearing Costumes

2 – Nouns

As you know, when talking about genders in Spanish, nouns are the most important. Basically, each noun has been assigned to be masculine or feminine. We don’t really get a say in this; we’ve all learned that this is the way Spanish works and we’ve accepted it.

Spanish mostly comes from Latin, which also has genders (three, actually), so a lot of these genders have just been passed on from Latin or other languages that have influenced Spanish over the centuries.

We could say some of these genders make more sense than others. For example, la mujer (“the woman” ) is obviously feminine, but un brazo (“an arm” ) is masculine and una pierna (“a leg” ) is feminine. We can’t really explain why, other than the ending of these words.

3 – Adjectives

Adjectives, just like articles, need to “agree” in number and gender with the noun they’re modifying. All adjectives change when it comes to number, so when the noun next to it is in the plural form, the adjective will need an -s at the end (or -es sometimes).

However, gender is a little bit different. In this sense, there are different kinds of adjectives. Whenever an adjective ends in -o in its masculine form, it has a masculine and a feminine form. For example: blanco / blanca (“white” ). This is the most common type of adjective.

Some other adjectives, however, don’t change. These are all adjectives that end in -e, in consonants, or some trickier ones to see, in -ista. Here are some examples: grande (“big” ), gris (“gray” ), and realista (“realistic” ).

There are some exceptions to Spanish gender rules for adjectives ending in consonants, which are the following endings: -or, -ón, -ol, -án, -ín, and -és. For example: alemán / alemana (“German” ) and francés / francesa (“French” ).

For more information, you might want to check out our article on adjectives. You might also be interested in this list of adjectives that describe personalities.

2. How to Make a Good Guess on the Gender of a Word

Let’s focus on nouns properly this time. How do you know if a Spanish word is masculine or feminine?

As we’ve mentioned, nouns dictate the gender of everything that surrounds them, so we need to know what gender a noun is before we know what article or adjective we want to use next to it.

Something that you should always remember is that when talking about a group of people or animals that includes both males and females, we always use the masculine form of the noun. For example:

Tengo cuatro perros: dos machos y dos hembras.
“I have four dogs: two males and two females.”

  • Words that end in -o or -a

There are two things that you need to keep in mind to know if a word is feminine or masculine.

The first thing is that words that end in -o are most likely masculine. Examples: un zapato (“a shoe” ) and un vaso (“a glass” ).

The second thing is that words that end in -a are most likely feminine. Examples: una taza (“a cup” ) and una casa (“a house” ).

But of course, there are exceptions to this rule: una mano (“a hand” ), un mapa (“a map” ), un día (“a day” )…There are also words like moto and foto, which are feminine words but aren’t really exceptions, because they actually come from motocicleta (“motorbike” ) and fotografía (“photography” ) respectively.

  • Other masculine words

There are some other exceptions that also follow rules. For example, words that end in -ma are masculine words, such as un problema (“a problem” ) and el alma (“the soul” ).

Other masculine words that don’t end in -o are those that end in -or, such as el color (“the color” ) or el humor (“the humor” ). However, as always, there are exceptions to the exception. A common example of this is la flor, which is a feminine word that means “the flower.”

  • Other feminine words

Words that end in -sión, -ción, -dad or -tad, -tud, or -umbre are always feminine words. Examples: una presión (“a pressure” ), una transformación (“a transformation” ), una cantidad (“a quantity” ), la libertad (“the freedom” ), una solicitud (“a request” ), la servidumbre (“the servitude” ), etc.

  • Other exceptions to gender rules in Spanish

There are some words that have random endings. Thankfully, there aren’t that many, but we should still consider them. For example, un lápiz, which means “a pencil,” has an unusual ending, -z.

3. How to Memorize the Gender of a Word

Man Memorizing Something

When learning a noun, it might be useful to learn it together with its corresponding article, especially when it’s not a typical word with an -o or -a ending.

There are some nouns that refer to animals and people that might have two different forms, such as the example we gave you when we listed the different articles there are in Spanish: niño means “kid,” but depending on whether it ends in -o or -a, it will refer to a boy or a girl respectively.

When it comes to professions, some nouns have the same form whether they’re masculine or feminine, and some change their ending. For example, artista means “artist” and it refers to both men and women. But if you want to talk about the person who delivers your mail, you’ll talk about a cartero or a cartera, depending on his or her gender.

The main Spanish dictionary, Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE), always indicates the gender of the noun (m. or f.). For example, the world cumpleaños, which means “birthday,” has the letter m. for masculine. In the case of adjectives, it always shows first the masculine form, and then the ending of the feminine form. One example is the adjective rojo, which means “red.” As you can see, it appears as rojo, ja, to show you both endings. If the adjective only has one form, it doesn’t give you any more information.

There are many activities and games you could try to help you memorize the gender of a noun, such as quizzes or flashcards that include an article or an adjective in the correct gender of the nouns you want to learn.

Our vocabulary lists also state what the gender of a noun is. For example, you can see it in this list of the 50 most common nouns in Mexican Spanish, or in this list of the 100 core Spanish words.

4. Animals

When it comes to animals, Spanish can be a little strange, we admit. Some words for animals are masculine, and some are feminine. Others, as mentioned before, can have a different ending—or even be completely different words. Just like with other nouns, it might not always make sense for an animal to be masculine or feminine, but it’s still important.

Before we get started with this, there’s a joke about animals and Spanish genders that might help you understand this whole thing:

A British man and a Spanish man are fishing when the British man sees a fly and says: “Look, un mosca.” The Spanish man corrects him: “No, it’s una mosca.” The British man responds: “Wow, you Spaniards have really good eyesight.”

Obviously, you understand that this is not about eyesight, but of knowing that the words we use to name animals have genders that might not be the same as their actual gender.

Dogs, Cat, Bird, Snake and Mouse

Feminine animals

  • Una cebra (“a zebra” )
  • Una mosca (“a fly” )
  • Una oveja (“a sheep” )
  • Una cabra (“a goat” )
  • Una vaca (“a cow” )
  • Una araña (“a spider” )

Masculine animals

  • Un elefante (“an elephant” )
  • Un caracol (“a snail” )
  • Un loro (“a parrot” )
  • Un pez (“a fish” )
  • Un pavo (“a turkey” )
  • Un pájaro (“a bird” )

Different endings

  • Un perro/una perra (“a dog” )
  • Un gato/una gata (“a cat” )
  • Un cerdo/una cerda (“a pig” )
  • Un león/una leona (“a lion” )
  • Un oso/una osa (“a bear” )

Different words

  • Un caballo (“a horse” ) / una yegua (“a mare” )
  • Un gallo (“a rooster” ) / una gallina (“a hen” )

Two Horses

When talking about an animal that might have different word endings depending on its gender, we normally use the masculine form first if we don’t know the actual gender of the animal.

For a few more examples of animals in Spanish, take a look at this vocabulary list of animal names.

5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

We know that learning gender in Spanish isn’t easy, but it’s very important. You must keep in mind that it’s all about getting used to the genders; once you do, you won’t even have to think about them. They’ll just come to you. So give it a chance and you’ll see it’s not that difficult!

At SpanishPod101.com, you’ll find everything you need to learn Spanish. In this article, we mostly talked about nouns, but we’ve also mentioned articles and adjectives, so this could be a good time to read about adverbs too. You might be interested in learning how to get around in Spanish, or maybe you would like to improve your pronunciation.

Did we talk about anything in this article that you’re still uncertain about? Or do you feel much more confident with Spanish noun genders? Let us know in the comments; we look forward to hearing from you!

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

How to be Angry in Spanish: 2020 Guide to 20+ Angry Phrases

Thumbnail

Trying to express your feelings is very important, especially if you’re learning a new language. I still remember how frustrating it was when I was trying to express myself in a new language. Sometimes I couldn’t find the words so it was easier just to give up.

Well, that’s why we want to put this article out there for you, even if you’re one of those people who never (or almost never) gets angry. There will be a time when you need to express that you are angry in Spanish.

Learn how to say “angry” in Spanish, how to express your feelings and when, and most importantly, how to spot when someone is being angry in Spanish toward you.

Spanish is a romance language not only because it comes from Latin, but because you can express so many emotions, feelings, and meanings with it—not only with words, but also with gestures, body language, and physical touch.

It’s normal to find a gap between your feelings, how you should express them, and what they can mean. In Spanish, you can express your emotions by learning the local expressions.

Learn the most common Spanish angry phrases with some specific vocabulary and colloquial words with SpanishPod101. You can start expressing yourself no matter your level!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish
Table of Contents

  1. How Do You Say “Angry” in Spanish?
  2. Angry Imperatives
  3. Angry Warnings
  4. Angry Blames
  5. How to Tell Someone to Calm Down
  6. Conclusion

1. How Do You Say “Angry” in Spanish?

Negative Feelings

To express that you feel angry in Spanish, you need to know the verb “to be”: Ser or Estar.

These verbs can both be used with adjectives. However, when it comes to expressing your emotions in Spanish, it’s easy—you just need to use the verb estar.

Formula

The verb “to be” in the present tense: Estoy + Adjective.

Examples of the Spanish word for “angry”:

There are a few different words for “angry” in Spanish. The most common ones are:

  • Enojado(-a) (Latin American Spanish)
  • Enfadado(-a)
  • Molesto(-a)

Saying “I am upset” or “I am angry” in Spanish:

  • Estoy enojado(-a).
  • Estoy enfadado(-a).
  • Estoy molesto(-a).

Once you know these, you can start really using the Spanish word for “angry.” In addition, you should know the local angry phrases in Spanish to help you express your emotions.

2. Angry Imperatives

1- ¡Para ya!

Literal Translation:
“Stop it right now!”

Meaning:
You use this phrase when someone is really annoying you, and you’re starting to feel that anger inside of you, running through each inch of your body. To get that person to stop doing what they’re doing, you say ¡Para ya!

Example Situation:
A mom is with her child in the shopping center, and the child is running around and being rambunctious. This is making the mother feel nervous, so she yells ¡Para ya! to tell her child to stop.

Usage in a Sentence:
Por favor Antonio, ¡para ya!
“Please Antonio, stop it right now!”

2- Como quieras.

Literal Translation:
“Whatever.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you feel angry in Spanish for something and you want to end the conversation.

Couple After an Argument

Example Situation:
Your partner wants to visit his/her parents for the holidays, and wants you to agree with that decision. You, of course, want to visit your own parents, but your partner is getting very angry because he/she wants you to give in. You finally give up and say Como quieras or “whatever,” showing that you cede—but you’re not feeling happy about it.

Usage in a Sentence:
Como quieras, igual a ti te gusta tener siempre la razón.
“Whatever, you like to always be right anyway.”

3- ¿Y qué?

Literal Translation:
“So what?”

Meaning:
This is one of the best angry Spanish sayings to show indifference about something and to tell the other person you don’t really care.

Example Situation:
Someone is judging you for something, so you use this expression to emphasize that you don’t care about their opinions.

Usage in a Sentence:
Sí, tengo 40 años, ¿y qué?
“Yes, I’m 40 years old, so what?”

3. Angry Warnings

1- Estoy hasta los huevos/las narices/el moño.

Literal Translation:
“I am up to my balls/nose/bun.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re very tired or upset about something or with someone. The equivalent in English can be something like “I’ve had enough of my job.”

Example Situation:
If you work in a bar and there’s an angry Spanish man there, you can say Estoy hasta las narices de este tío, or “I’ve had enough of this man.”

Usage in a Sentence:
Estos hasta las narices de mi trabajo.
“I’ve had enough of my job.”

2- Vete a freír espárragos.

Literal Translation:
“Go to fry asparagus.”

Meaning:
This expression is often used to be angry in Spanish because it basically means “go to hell” but more politely, without using bad words.

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and you want to end the conversation, you send them to fry asparagus.

Usage in a Sentence:
Si no te gusta, vete a freír espárragos.
“If you don’t like it, go to hell.”

3- No me busques porque me encuentras. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“Do not look for me, because you will find me.”

Meaning:
If you want to argue, bring it on.

Example Situation:
You can use this when you encounter someone who wants to argue, even though you don’t want to. So you tell them: No me busques porque me encuentras. In English, this would be like saying “Don’t push your luck.” This is one of the most common angry Spanish phrases in Mexico.

Usage in a Sentence:
No quiero discutir, así que no me busques porque me encuentras.
“I do not want to argue, so don’t push your luck.”

4- Te voy a decir por donde sale el sol. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“I will tell you where the sun rises.”

Meaning:
This expression means “I am angry” in Spanish, and that you need to talk with that person.

Example Situation:
Your partner is late again and you’re not happy about it. Use this phrase to let him/her know you want to talk about it.

Usage in a Sentence:
Esta vez le voy a decir por donde sale el sol.
“This time I will tell her from where the sun rises.”

5- Que te den.

Literal Translation:
“F*ck off.”

Bald Man Shouting at Someone

Meaning:
This is an extremely offensive expression, and it’s used to tell someone to go away when you’re angry with them.

Example Situation:
A mother is arguing with her teenage son about tidying up his room. When her son refuses to do so, the mother punishes him by not allowing him to go out with his friends for a week. He says: Que te den.

Usage in a Sentence:
Si no te gusta que te den.
“If you do not like it, f*ck off.”

6- Estoy que echo chispas.

Literal Translation:
“I am about to give off sparks.”

Meaning:
This expression means that you’re very angry in Spanish. It’s a warning to the other person not to come any closer because you’re about to explode.

Example Situation:
You’re arguing with someone, and another person comes along. You can tell them: Estoy que echo chispas, or “I am about to explode.”

Usage in a Sentence:
No te metas conmigo que estoy que echo chispas.
“Do not come any closer because I am about to explode.”

7- Estoy de una mala uva/leche/hostia.

Literal Translation:
“I am of such a bad grape/milk/communion bread.”

Meaning:
Yes! This is one of the most common Spanish phrases when angry, especially in Spain. However, in Latin American Spanish, you’ll never hear this. This expression means that you’re in a bad mood.

Angry Man in a Dark Room

Example Situation:
This one is used in a variety of everyday situations when you just want to explain yourself to someone.

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy de una mala leche mi jefe no me ha dejado salir temprano hoy.
“I am in such a bad mood today; my boss did not let me leave early.”

8- Me estoy calentando.

Literal Translation:
“I am getting hot.”

Meaning:
This means “I am angry” in Spanish. The equivalent English translation is something like “You’re getting on my nerves.”

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and the conversation doesn’t look like it’ll stop anytime soon, you can say Me estoy calentando.

Usage in a Sentence:
Basta ya que me estoy calentando.
“Stop it already, I am getting angry.”

9- El horno no está para bollos.

Literal Translation:
“The oven is not open for buns.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re not in a good mood, and you don’t want to hear anything else that makes the situation worse.

Example Situation:
You’re already angry, and then someone wants to tell you that they’ve lost your favorite book. Well, you can tell them El horno no está para bollos.

Usage in a Sentence:
Acabo de chocar el coche así que no me digas nada que el horno no está para bollos.
“I just crashed the car, so do not tell me anything else.”

10- Te voy a cantar las cuarenta.

Literal Translation:
“I will sing the forty to you.”

Meaning:
Do you need to let someone know you’re angry in Spanish? This expression is the best way to do this. If someone says this to you, you’re in trouble, especially if you’ve done something to upset that person. This phrase is used to initiate a serious talk.

Example Situation:
If you’re talking to someone about how angry you are at someone else, you can use this expression to be angry in Spanish. Mothers also commonly use this phrase with their children when there’s something that needs to be talked about at home.

Usage in a Sentence:

Le voy a cantar las cuarenta a mi hermano.
“I am angry with my brother, I will talk to him.”

Te voy a cantar las cuarenta cuando lleguemos a casa.
“We will talk about it when we get home.”

11- Qué morro/cara tienes.

Literal Translation:
“You have such a big snout/face.”

Meaning:
You can use this expression to say that you’re angry in Spanish. In particular, this is one of the best Spanish phrases for angry people to use if someone is taking advantage of them, someone else, or a situation.

Example Situation:
If your brother is always asking you for favors and he never does anything for you in return, you can say Qué morro tienes.

Usage in a Sentence:
Mi hermano siempre me devuelve el coche sin gasolina, qué morro tiene.
“My brother always brings back my car without fuel, he has such a big snout.”

12- Te estás pasando.

Literal Translation:
“You are going too far now.”

Meaning:
You should stop now because you’re taking the situation too far.

Example Situation:
Sometimes when you’re angry, you may bring other subjects into the conversation or situation. In this case, the other person may say Te estas pasando so you can understand you’re going too far with it.

Usage in a Sentence:
No hay necesidad de hacer ese comentario, te estás pasando.
“There is no need to say that, you are going too far now.”

4. Angry Blames

1- A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“You were dropped on the floor when you were a kid.”

Meaning:
If you’re talking to someone and you don’t get the messages they’re trying to send, they’ll tell you A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño. This is basically a way of calling someone dumb.

Example Situation:
This expression can be a subtle way to say “you’re dumb” to someone, especially in Latin American Spanish.

Usage in a Sentence:
¿Cómo que no entiendes lo que pasa? A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño, ¿verdad?
“What do you mean you don’t get it, are you dumb or what?”

2- Más tonto y no naces.

Literal Translation:
“If you were dumber, you would not have been born.”

Meaning:
This expression is another way to tell someone how dumb they are for not understanding the situation.

Example Situation:
In a situation where an angry Spanish woman is trying to explain herself, if you don’t get it, she’ll give up and say Más tonto y no naces.

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy de mala leche, ¿no lo entiendes? Es que más tonto y no naces.
“Can you see I am angry? Should I spell it out for you?”

3- No te metas donde no te llaman.

Literal Translation:
“Do not be nosey.”

Meaning:
This expression means not to argue or say anything about a certain situation if it has nothing to do with you.

Tiger in the Shade

Example Situation:
If two people are arguing and you want to say or add something to their conversation, one of them can tell you No te metas donde no te llaman. In other words, “mind your own business.”

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy hablando con mi madre en privado, no te metas donde no te llaman.
“I’m talking with my mom in private; please, mind your own business.”

4- Te voy a bajar los humos.

Literal Translation:
“Take down the wind of somebody’s sail.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re angry because someone is behaving with superiority. The equivalent in English could be “Do not patronize me.”

Example Situation:
You can use this when you’re with a colleague and they talk to you like she or he is your boss.

Usage in a Sentence:
Baja un poco los humos y deja de gritarme, que tú no eres mi jefe.
“Do not patronize me, you are not my boss.”

5- Me estás buscando las cosquillas.

Literal Translation:
“You are looking for my tickling.”

Meaning:
This means that someone wants to argue with you, and is intentionally doing things to start a fight.

Example Situation:
If your partner is teasing you in order to start a fight, you can tell him/her this.

Usage in a Sentence:
Me estás buscando las cosquillas.
“You are looking for troubles and I won’t laugh.”

Girl Being Scolded by Parent

6- Te voy a poner los puntos sobre las íes.

Literal Translation:
“I will put the dots over the letter ‘i’.”

Meaning:
This expression is very common when you’re letting someone know you’re angry in Spanish. It means that you’re angry, and no matter what their excuse is, they’re going to hear what you have to say.

Example Situation:
Imagine your friend is late and you’ve been waiting for a long time. She or he is on the phone with you, so you make it clear during the call that you have something to say.

Usage in a Sentence:
Siempre me hace lo mismo, le voy a poner los puntos sobre las íes.
“It’s always like that, (s)he will hear what I have to say about it.”

5. How to Tell Someone to Calm Down

Common Feelings

1- Relájate / Cálmate

Literal Translation:
“Relax” or “Calm down”

Meaning:
This word in Spanish is used to tell someone to chill out.

Example Situation:
This word is more informal than saying “calm down” in Spanish. You can use this with your friends and family, because if you use it with other people, it may make the situation worse.

Usage in a Sentence:

Relájate, que te puede dar un infarto.
“Chill out, you may get a heart attack.”

Cálmate, que no es para tanto.
“Calm down, there is no need to be like that.”

2- No pasa nada.

Literal Translation:
“Nothing is happening.”

Meaning:
This expression is used to ease or stop the situation.

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and that person realizes that they were wrong, you can say No pasa nada, or “It’s okay, no worries!”

Usage in a Sentence:

A: Creo que me pasé con el comentario.
B: ¡No pasa nada!

A: “I think I went too far with my comment.”
B: “It’s nothing, no worries!”

6. Conclusion

It’s very common to want to express our feelings and emotions. The first words we usually learn for this are curse words, but it’s important to learn how to express your anger in Spanish without them. It’s a process, and SpanishPod101 is here to help you learn more about how to express your feelings in Spanish.

Do you feel more confident about expressing your anger in Spanish now? Drop us a comment to let us know, and be sure to continue practicing the phrases in this article (but not too much!). We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish

Día del Trabajo: Celebrating Labor Day in Mexico

Thumbnail

On Labor Day, Mexico both commemorates the events leading up to the implementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and takes a day off from the same-old-same-old of work. In this article, you’ll learn more about the origins of this holiday, how to celebrate Labor Day in Mexico, and some useful vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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

1. What is Labor Day?

A Laborer Carrying Something Heavy

On the Labor Day holiday, Mexico reflects on the history of labor in the country and celebrates the 1917 Constitution that allowed for better workers’ rights.

For many years (particularly in the late nineteenth century), Mexican workers faced the plight of poor working conditions, lower wages than their American counterparts, a lack of respect, and the inability to advance their careers based on skill or merit.

This eventually led to a revolt called the Cananea Strike, which took place in the June of 1906. In this huelga (“strike”), which took place in the mining town of Cananea, Sonora, Mexican workers made several basic demands (such as fair wages and respectful treatment from superiors)—none of which were met before they were forced to continue working. Twenty-three people were killed during the strike, which came under martial law from Arizona Rangers.

In 1907, another strike occurred at the Rio Blanco textile store. Workers complained about poor working conditions and a corrupt system. This led to many more deaths, with the Rio Blanco store being burned and several protesters shot dead or imprisoned by the Mexican Federal troops.

Not long after, the Mexican Revolution took place, and the Mexican Constitution was put into place in 1917. The first official Labor Day celebration was in 1923.

    → Study our Jobs vocabulary list to learn the name of several different occupations in Mexican Spanish!

2. When is Labor Day in Mexico?

A Calendar Page that Shows May 1

Each year, Mexicans celebrate Labor Day on 1 de mayo (“May 1” ) with the rest of the world (except the U.S., which celebrates on the first Monday of September).

3. How Does Mexico Celebrate Labor Day?

A Group of Workers Going on Strike

Because Labor Day is a public holiday, schools and the majority of businesses are closed.

The Labor Day holiday in Mexico is an opportunity for workers to take time off from their empleo (“job” ) and spend time with loved ones. Many people enjoy going out and doing things, such as seeing a movie, eating out at a nice restaurant, or shopping. There are also many parades and similar festivities that people can take part in. In addition, some people put on a manifestación (“demonstration” ) to protest for more workers’ rights or better work conditions.

Depending on when May 1 takes place, there may be an entire Labor Day weekend in Mexico. Of course, this gives workers even more time away from work and with their family or friends. It’s a great opportunity to go on a weekend trip away from home!

On Labor Day, Mexico City, in particular, is likely to be filled with activity, and it’s a great place to find a variety of delicious restaurants and interesting shops. For Mexico City, Labor Day weekend is a good opportunity to help boost the economy. 😉

4. Modern-Day Strikes

In Mexico, strikes still happen pretty frequently.

According to Mexican labor law, employees have every right to go on strike; during a so-called “legal strike,” the business affected isn’t allowed to hire replacement workers or continue business as usual.

However, this same labor law allows the Board to make the call on whether or not a strike is technically happening. In many cases, the Board decides there’s no actual strike and so allows the affected business to continue running with replacement workers.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in Mexico

A Wallet with Money Sticking Out

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day in Mexico!

  • Salario — “Salary” [n. masc]
  • Trabajador — “Worker” [n. masc]
  • Día del Trabajo — “Labor Day” [masc]
  • Huelga — “Strike” [n. fem]
  • Trabajo — “Work” [n. masc]
  • Empleo — “Job” [n. masc]
  • Jornada laboral — “Working time” [fem]
  • 1 de mayo — “May 1”
  • Manifestación — “Demonstration” [n. fem]
  • Obrero — “Laborer” [n. masc]

To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Labor Day in Mexico vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Labor Day in Mexico with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country? If so, how do your traditions and history compare to those of Mexico? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you want to learn even more about Mexican culture and the Spanish language, you may enjoy the following pages on SpanishPod101.com:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For even more fantastic Spanish-learning content, create your free lifetime account on SpanishPod101.com today. You can also upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans, which give you access to exclusive content and features to learn Spanish faster!

Happy Labor Day, and good luck learning! 🙂

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

Life Event Messages: Learn Happy Birthday in Spanish & More

Thumbnail

We love sharing life event messages on our social media and through instant messages, right? Life events are very significant moments, and many of them are like rituals to us. Take birthdays, weddings, and funerals for example.

If you’re learning Spanish and want to say happy birthday in Spanish to your loved ones, or perhaps share your best wishes for the holidays in Spanish with your friends, it’s important to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.

These types of Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions are normally language-specific words which shouldn’t be literally translated. So when you’re trying to say Merry Christmas in Spanish and Happy New Year in Spanish, instead of translating them, you should learn the proper way to do so. This will ensure that you say the right thing at the right time, and avoid confusion.

Let’s learn the best Spanish congratulations and best wishes for any life event, and how to use them.

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

Table of Contents

  1. How Do You Say Happy Birthday in Spanish?
  2. Best Wishes & Greetings in Spanish for the Holidays
  3. Spanish Congratulations: Weddings & Engagements
  4. Spanish Congratulations: Pregnancy, Baby Shower, and New Baby
  5. Congratulations in Spanish for Graduations
  6. Spanish Congratulations Phrases for Promotions & New Jobs
  7. Spanish Congratulations Messages for Retirement
  8. Condolences in Spanish: Death & Funerals
  9. What to Say About Bad News
  10. What to Say When Someone’s Injured or Sick
  11. Conclusion

1. How Do You Say Happy Birthday in Spanish?

Happy Birthday

We all want to celebrate, congratulate, and be congratulated on our special day. Celebrations are a big part of any Spanish-speaking country. We celebrate everything, yes everything! That’s why we have so many bank holidays, even for saint days.

Send the perfect message on your friend’s birthday and make them feel special!

Celebrating Birthday

Feliz cumpleaños, which means Happy Birthday in Spanish, is the most common way to congratulate them right and simple. In Spain, we give two kisses (one on each cheek) or a hug, but in some Latin American countries, one kiss is enough.

If you don’t get to see them, text them! A quick message on their social media will make their day. Let’s answer the question “How do you say Happy Birthday in Spanish?” with some examples you can use:

  • ¡Que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad!
    “May all your wishes come true!”
  • ¡Felicidades!
    “Congratulations!”
  • ¡Que cumplas muchos años más!
    “I hope you enjoy many more years!”
  • ¡Que tengas un maravilloso día!
    “Have a wonderful day!”
  • ¡Mis mejores deseos en este día tan especial para ti!
    “I wish you all the best on your special day!”
  • ¡Enhorabuena!
    “Congratulations!”

And there are some special phrases, such as:

  • Si es tu cumpleaños, ¿por qué el regalo lo tengo yo? Gracias por regalarme otro año de vida a tu lado.
    “If it is your birthday, why do I have your present? Thanks for giving me another year next to you.”
  • Que el nuevo año que empiezas esté tan lleno de alegría y felicidad como te deseo. ¡Que cumplas muchos más!
    “I hope this new year can be as full of joy and happiness as I wish you. I hope you have much more!”

2. Best Wishes & Greetings in Spanish for the Holidays

Basic Questions

The holiday season is the most exciting time for Spanish people. Why? Because it’s when we all get to share quality time with our families. Although there may be many ways to say Merry Christmas in English, there’s one phrase in Spanish that encapsulates the meaning.

¡Felices fiestas! literally means “Happy holidays” in Spanish, and is the most common way to give best wishes for the holidays in Spanish.

Receiving A Christmas Card

As you may know by now, Spanish-speaking countries are all about parties, which explains the phrase Felices Fiestas.

Feliz Navidad is another way to say “Merry Christmas,” and may be the best translation of it.

You should reply: Igualmente, which means “You too.”

If you want to add more love and affection to your Merry Christmas in Spanish, you should say con mucho cariño, meaning “with all my love.”

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are also part of the holiday season in Spain. Although “happy holidays” in Spanish is Felices Fiestas, Happy New Year in Spanish is expressed in many different ways.

  • ¡Feliz año nuevo!
    “Happy New Year!”
  • ¡Feliz año!
    “Happy year!”

New Year's Eve Party

You can send your best wishes for the holidays in Spanish for the new year by saying something like: Que tengas un próspero año nuevo, or “I hope you have a prosperous new year.”

This message is the best choice if you want to wish a Happy New Year in Spanish on a Christmas card, send a text message, or email it to someone special.

  • Feliz próspero año nuevo.
    “Happy prosperous new year.”
  • Que el próximo año esté lleno de bendiciones.
    “May next year be full of blessings.”
  • Año nuevo, vida nueva.
    “New year, new life.”

Other important days in Spanish-speaking countries are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We all want to tell our parents how important they are and how much they mean to us, making it important to know how to wish them a happy Mother’s Day in Spanish (or Father’s Day).

If you have a Spanish partner, it’s possible that you have a mother-in-law or father-in-law who cares about you a lot. This is the perfect chance to show them your love and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day in Spanish.

Kissing Mother in Mother's Day

  • ¡Feliz día de la madre!
    “Happy Mother’s Day!”
  • ¡Feliz día del padre!
    “Happy Father’s Day”
  • Gracias por todo lo que has hecho.
    “Thanks for all you’ve done for me.”
  • Estoy agradecido/agradecida por todo tu trabajo.
    “I’m thankful for all your work.”
  • Eres la mejor mamá del mundo.
    “You’re the best mom in the world.”
  • Eres el mejor padre del mundo.
    “You’re the best dad in the world.”
  • Mamá, te amo or Te quiero mamá.
    “I love you, mom.”

These are some messages you can send to wish a Happy Mother’s Day in Spanish on their social media, in a postcard, or in person.

3. Spanish Congratulations: Weddings & Engagements

Marriage Proposal

A wedding is a special day that most people want to share with their family and friends with a big party. Perhaps this year you’re lucky enough to be invited to one in a Spanish-speaking country!

Perfect! Learn how to express all your best wishes in Spanish here.

What do you write in a Spanish wedding card? How can you express your happiness for the couple? Whether you want to congratulate the married couple, have received an invitation to a wedding, want to add a message to your gift card, or just want to leave your best wishes in Spanish on their wedding book, these are useful phrases you can use.

If you’re lucky, you may get to give a public speech on this special day. Surprise your audience with your Spanish skills. Here’s how:

  • Espero que seáis muy felices.
    “I wish you both happiness.”
  • ¡Felicidades por esta nueva etapa!
    “Congratulations on your new life together!”
  • ¡Felicidades a los futuros esposos!
    “Congratulations to the future spouses!”
  • ¡Felicidades a los novios!
    “Congratulations to the bride and the groom!”

Celebrating Newlyweds

If the couple has been married for a very long time and you want to congratulate them for all the time they‘ve been together, this is how:

  • ¡Felicidades por sus bodas de plata!
    “Congratulations on your silver wedding anniversary.”
  • Felicidades por sus bodas de oro.
    “Congratulations on your golden wedding anniversary.”
  • Felicidades por sus bodas de diamante.
    “Congratulations on your diamond wedding anniversary.”

4. Spanish Congratulations: Pregnancy, Baby Shower, and New Baby

New life! A new member of the family has arrived, and you want to take the time to congratulate the new parents. Here are some Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions like these.

Newborn in Mother's Arms

  • ¡Felicidades por el nuevo integrante de la familia!
    “Congratulations on the new arrival in your family.”
  • ¡Felicidades por el nacimiento de su niño/niña!
    “Congratulations on the arrival of your boy/girl.”
  • Nos alegra mucho saber que ya ha nacido.
    “We are so happy to hear he/she has already been born.”
  • Enhorabuena.
    “Congratulations.”

5. Congratulations in Spanish for Graduations

Hats in Graduation Day

We all want to share with others what we accomplish in life. Tell the new graduates how happy you are for their academic accomplishment in Spanish. And why not surprise them with your Spanish skills while you’re at it!

  • ¡Felicidades por tu graduación!
    “Congratulations on your graduation.”
  • ¡Buen trabajo!
    “Well done.” or “Good job.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tus buenas calificaciones!
    “Congratulations on your good grades.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu master!
    “Congratulations on getting your Master’s degree.”
  • ¡Felicidades por entrar en la universidad!
    “Well done on getting into the university.”
  • ¡Felicidades por pasar el examen!
    “Congratulations on passing your exam.”

6. Spanish Congratulations Phrases for Promotions & New Jobs

Two Men Shaking Hands

Did someone just share their success? A new job, moving to a new country, or something else? Celebrate with them by saying something in Spanish. Here’s how:

  • ¡Felicidades! or Enhorabuena.
    “Congratulations.”
  • ¡Bien hecho!
    “Well done!”
  • Sabíamos que lo lograrías.
    “We knew you would get it.”
  • Estamos orgullosos de ti.
    “We are so proud of you.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu nuevo empleo!
    “Congratulations on your new job!”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu ascenso!
    “Congratulations on the promotion!”
  • ¡Mucha suerte en tu nueva etapa!
    “Best of luck on your next step.”
  • ¡Suerte en tu primer día de trabajo!
    “Good luck on your first day of work!”

7. Spanish Congratulations Messages for Retirement

Age

Now the fun begins: Your father-in-law or mother-in-law has retired, and you want to share your best wishes in Spanish. They may come to your place more often now, so keep your Spanish skills sharp with these Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions such as this one.

  • Enhorabuena, ahora empieza la diversión.
    “Congratulations, now the fun begins.”
  • Mis mejores deseos en la nueva etapa de tu vida.
    “Best wishes on your new chapter in life.”
  • Deseándote a ti y a tu familia lo mejor en la nueva etapa de vida. Que disfrutes del tiempo extra que pasarás con ellos.
    “Wishing you and your family the best on your new chapter in your life. I hope you enjoy spending more time with them.”

8. Condolences in Spanish: Death & Funerals

We all want to express our sympathy when someone has lost a loved one. Sometimes it’s hard to express, especially if it’s not in your native language.

Funeral Talk in Cementery

Here are some Spanish phrases of condolences to help you:

  • Lo siento mucho.
    “I am sorry to hear that.”
  • Estamos con ustedes.
    “We are with you.”
  • Mis condolencias para la familia.
    “I offer my condolences to your family.”
  • Mi más sentido pésame.
    “My deepest condolences.”
  • Que descanse en paz or Descanse en paz.
    “Rest in peace.”

9. What to Say About Bad News

What should you say when you receive bad news? We all have difficult moments in life, and words may not always bring a solution. But when we share them with meaning and from the heart, they can go a long ways toward comforting someone.

Receiving Bad News by the Phone

Here are some phrases that you can use to express your feelings in Spanish when someone is having a bad day!

  • Lo siento mucho.
    “I’m sorry to hear that.”
  • Estoy contigo.
    “I’m here for you.”
  • Te envío un beso y un abrazo.
    “Sending you all my love.”
  • Cuenta conmigo.
    “You can lean on me.”
  • Cuidate mucho.
    “Take care of yourself.”

10. What to Say When Someone’s Injured or Sick

What if you have a Spanish-speaking friend or colleague who’s sick, and you want to cheer them up?

Sick with Fever

Wish them a quick recovery, and ask them to get well soon in Spanish:

  • Recupérate pronto.
    “Wishing you a speedy recovery.”
  • ¡Que te mejores!
    “Get well!”
  • Alíviate pronto.
    “I hope you get well soon.”
  • Espero que te sientas mejor.
    “I hope you feel better soon.”

11. Conclusion

Apart from receiving compliments for those significant life events, we should all learn how to thank them for their kind words in Spanish. We can help you learn more Spanish at SpanishPod101.

  • Gracias.
    “Thank you.”
  • Se agradece.
    “It’s appreciated.”
  • Mil gracias.
    “Many thanks.”
  • No sé cómo podría agradecértelo.
    “I don’t know how to thank you.”
  • Estamos muy agradecidos.
    “We are very grateful.”
  • Qué amable de su parte.
    “Very kind of you.”
  • Gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón.
    “Thanks from the bottom of my heart.”

“How do you say happy birthday in Spanish?” Well, with this simple list, now you know! Learn more about life event messages in Spanish and much more at SpanishPod101.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Spanish life events and life event messages you want to know about! We look forward to hearing from you, and will help out the best we can!

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

Semana Santa: Celebrating Holy Week in Spain

Semana Santa, or Holy Week in Spain, is a Christian holiday season widely celebrated throughout the country. This holiday has a long history in Spain, and traditions today are a mix of the old and new.

In this article, you’ll learn what the most important holy days of this week represent, how the Spanish celebrate Holy Week as a whole, and more facts about Spanish Holy Week.

Let’s get started!

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

1. What is Holy Week?

In Spain, Holy Week is a major celebration period that starts on Palm Sunday and ends the day before Easter. Thus, this week is composed of six very important days for Christian Catholics in the country. However, four of these days tend to be more fervently celebrated than the others:

  • Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos). This holy day is observed in celebration of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem a week before his Resurrection from the dead (Easter).
  • Holy Wednesday (Miercoles Santo). People observe this holy day in commemoration of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
  • Good Friday (Viernes Santo). On this holy day, people in Spain commemorate the passion and death of Jesus.
  • Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua). This is the day on which Jesus is said to have been resurrected.

Later in this article, we’ll go over what Holy Week traditions in Spain look like for each of these holy days.

2. When is Holy Week in Spain?

A Silhouette of a Man Kneeling and Praying in Front of a Cross

The start and end dates for Holy Week vary from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a table of this holiday’s start and end dates for the next ten years.

Start Date End Date
2020 April 5 April 11
2021 March 28 April 3
2022 April 10 April 16
2023 April 2 April 8
2024 March 24 March 30
2025 April 13 April 19
2026 March 29 April 4
2027 March 21 March 27
2028 April 9 April 15
2029 March 25 March 31

3. How is Holy Week Celebrated in Spain?

A Large Easter Sunday Meal

The Four Most Important Days and Traditions

As mentioned earlier, there are four days during the week which are considered the most important. Thus, most of the major celebrations take place on these days.

On Palm Sunday, people bring palm or olive branches to the church to be blessed in commemoration of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem. Because Holy Wednesday commemorates Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, citizens in some parts of Spain wear black robes and hoods, carrying percussion instruments to fill the day and night with the sound of drums. On Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ passion and death, people put on representations of the Vía Crucis, or “Stations of the Cross.” Further, meat consumption is forbidden on this day.

The most important of these holy days is that of Easter, or Pascua. In some regions of Spain, people paint colorful eggs, while others perform more traditional rituals such as burning straw dolls.

Food and Cuisine for Holy Week

For Holy Week in Spain, traditions often involve food. The traditional Holy Week cuisine is known for its austerity, though there are a few common dishes such as garlic soup or salted cod. Cod is used to make croquettes, doughnuts, and fritters; another popular dessert is the Easter cake.

Holy Week Parades and Processions

Perhaps the most spectacular celebrations for Holy Week take place in southern Spain. This is where massive, well-funded parades are put on by the brotherhoods for all to see. If you happen to watch one of these parades, the big conical-shaped hats may get your attention right away. These are called capirotes, and they originated in the Inquisition. The Catholic Church used to put a similar type of hat on the condemned during the Middle Ages, except it had paintings on it that denoted a person’s crime or punishment.

Another thing you can expect to see is a Spanish Holy Week procession. During such a procession, Nazarenes, bearers, and penitents go forth. The Nazarenes are believers who wear robes that denote the color of their brotherhood, the bearers are those who carry the heavy figures on their shoulders and neck, and the penitents are believers who mortify themselves in some way in order to remove themselves from guilt or to ask favor.

4. Good Luck

For Holy Week, Spain has a fascinating trick for getting good luck. Do you know what it is?

Wear something new! This is a very well-known custom, and there’s even a proverb that says: “On Palm Sunday, he who does not wear something new, does not have hands.”

It doesn’t matter so much what type of clothing you wear, as long as it’s new.

5. Essential Holy Week Vocabulary

A Procession for Holy Week

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important Spanish words and phrases for Holy Week!

  • Viernes Santo — “Good Friday”
  • Pascua — “Easter”
  • Semana Santa — “Holy Week”
  • Procesión — “Procession”
  • Vía Crucis — “Stations of the Cross”
  • Resurrección — “Resurrection”
  • Domingo de Ramos — “Palm Sunday”
  • Jueves Santo — “Holy Thursday”
  • Sábado Santo — “Holy Saturday”
  • Domingo de Pascua — “Easter Sunday”
  • Crucifixión — “Crucifixion”
  • Palmón — “Palm”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Spanish Holy Week vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Spain’s Holy Week with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information.

Do you celebrate Holy Week in your country? If so, are celebrations similar or quite different from those in Spain? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you’re fascinated with Spanish culture and just can’t get enough, we recommend that you check out the following pages on SpanishPod101.com:

That should be enough to quench your thirst for cultural knowledge for a little while, but for even more great learning resources, create your free lifetime account today. SpanishPod101.com has tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level, so there’s something for everyone.

We look forward to having you! 🙂

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

Día de la Bandera: Celebrating Mexican Flag Day

D�a de la Bandera: Celebrating Mexican Flag Day

On Mexican Flag Day (Dia de la Bandera), the people of Mexico celebrate their country’s flag and the aspects of independence it depicts. This is a significant holiday in Mexico, and one draped in colorful symbolism.

In this article, you’ll learn about National Flag Day, Mexico’s gradual victory toward independence from Spain, and more fun facts about the Flag of Mexico. Let’s get started!

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

1. What is National Flag’s Day in Mexico?

In Mexico, National Flag Day is a day set aside to honor the Mexican Flag. This holiday has its origins in 1935, when a Bank of Mexico employee (Benito Ramírez) set up a special honor guard to celebrate the Flag of Mexico. Five years later, in 1940, National Flag’s Day became an official holiday at the bidding of then-President Lázaro Cárdenas.

In addition to the Flag of Mexico itself, people commemorate the events leading up to Mexico’s independence from Spain and the Plan of Three Guarantees that came along with this independence. The Mexican Flag is central to these themes, with each of its three colors representing one of the guarantees and other aspects of Mexico’s freedom. (We’ll go more into detail about Mexico’s flag later!)

2. Mexican Flag Day’s Date

Mexican Flag Waving in the Air

Each year, Mexicans honor their country’s flag on February 24, which is the date in 1821 that the Iguala Plan came into effect and the end of the War of Independence was signed.

3. The Mexican Flag Day Celebration

People Holding Hands in Unity

In Mexico, Flag Day celebrations aren’t very elaborate, and because this is not a public holiday, many people still need to go to work and school on this day. While there aren’t many Mexican Flag Day activities, some people are still able to enjoy watching the military raise a giant Mexican Flag in celebration.

If you happen to be in the country on February 24, Mexican Flag Day, expect to see the streets and buildings decorated with a sea of Mexican Flag colors.

    → Interested in learning more about celebrations and festivities in Spanish-speaking countries? Check out this lesson by SpanishPod101!

4. The Mexican Flag – Colors and Symbolism

As you probably know, the Mexican Flag colors are green, white, and red. Do you know what they stand for, though?

Well, when the flag was first created, the meanings were a little bit different than they are today.

1821 Today
Green (Verde) Independence from Spain Hope (Esperanza)
White (Blanco) Catholicism Purity (Pureza)
Red (Rojo) Unity and Equality Blood (Sangre)

The first set of color meanings directly relates to the Three Guarantees mentioned earlier. These guarantees were that Mexico would: be independent of Spain, claim Catholicism as its religion, and live in unity and equality with each other (and with the Spaniards in Mexico).

Curious about the design? The Mexican Flag’s design features an eagle standing on top of a cactus while eating a snake. It might sound pretty weird, but it’s based on a story about Aztecs who stumbled upon a similar scene and, believing it to be a sign from the gods, decided to build their empire in that very spot.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Dia de la Bandera

Mexico’s National Coat of Arms

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words for Mexican Flag Day!

  • Sangre — “Blood”
  • Águila — “Eagle”
  • Día de la Bandera — “National Flag’s Day”
  • Verde — “Green”
  • Blanco — “White”
  • Rojo — “Red”
  • Esperanza — “Hope”
  • Bandera — “Flag”
  • Escudo de armas — “National coat of arms”
  • Unidad — “Unity”
  • Símbolo — “Symbol”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Mexican National Flag’s Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Dia de la Bandera with us, and that you learned something new today. What does Flag Day look like in your country? What does your country’s flag mean? Tell us about it in the comments!

Mexican culture is colorful and unique. If you’re interested in learning even more about it, check out the following pages on SpanishPod101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Mexican culture or the Spanish language, know that SpanishPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and improve your skills. With tons of fun lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Spanish like never before.

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

Spanish Conjunctions Guide: Link Your Thoughts Together

Thumbnail

Conjunctions in Spanish are a crucial part of learning Spanish. They allow you to connect your thoughts, make comparisons, and put sentences together.

Clarity is very important when you’re learning a new language. Not only because the other person will understand what you’re saying, but also because it will build your confidence.

Do you remember when you first decided to learn Spanish? You may still remember how frustrating it was to try having a fluid conversation with a native speaker. You were trying to find the small words to express yourself properly.

We all find ourselves saying: “I have a brother. I have a sister. I have a mother. I do not have a father.”

Well, this is what Spanish conjunctions will do for you. Learning Spanish conjunctions will help you string sentences together: “I have a brother and a sister and a mother, but I do not have a father.”

In this article, you’ll find our Spanish conjunctions list that will show you what small Spanish conjunction words can do for you.

Your thoughts will come out nicely, you’ll be easily understood, and your confidence will increase much faster since you’ll sound like, at the least, an upper-intermediate Spanish learner.

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

Table of Contents

  1. Spanish Conjunctions Review: What are Spanish Conjunctions?
  2. Spanish Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts
  3. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Condition
  4. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Cause
  5. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Opposition
  6. Spanish Adverbial Conjunctions
  7. Spanish Conjunctions that Offer Alternatives
  8. Spanish Subordinating Conjunctions
  9. Spanish Conjunctions that Allow You to Give Reasons
  10. Spanish Subjunctive Conjunctions
  11. Conclusion

1. Spanish Conjunctions Review: What are Spanish Conjunctions?

The first thing we do when trying to learn a new language is to put simple sentences together: “I want a coffee.” Now, it’s time for you to learn how to put these simple sentences together: “I want a coffee and a muffin,” or “I like muffins, but I prefer a cookie.” That’s what Spanish conjunctions are, and how they can help you.

Coffee and Pastries

A conjunction in Spanish is a word that helps you create relationships between words, phrases, clauses, and sentences.

Keep in mind that some conjunctions in Spanish may not have meaning by themselves. They have a different meaning in different contexts, which is why it’s important to know what their functions are and how to use them. Throughout this article, we’ll go over some Spanish conjunctions rules to give you a better idea about their use.

So let’s see some of them in our Spanish conjunctions list!

2. Spanish Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts

This is the most important—and easy—conjunction in Spanish: y, meaning “and.” It allows you to add more than one sentence together.

We actually overdo this Spanish conjunction quite often. Take a look at what we mean:

  • Me gusta la comida española y la italiana y la francesa y la griega.
    “I like Spanish food and Italian food and French food and Greek food.”

Selection of Different Type of Foods

  • Santiago pidió de comer y pagó toda la cuenta.
    “Santiago ordered the food and paid the whole bill.”
  • El policía me pidió el carné, anotó mis datos y me puso una multa.
    “The police officer asked for my licence, wrote down my information, and I got a fine.”

This use of this Spanish conjunction has an exception where you have to use e instead of y. They mean exactly the same thing, but if your next word or sentence starts with the vowel –i-, you have to use e instead of y.

Why? Well, –i– and –y– in Spanish sound the same, so you have to use –e– to emphasize that you’re adding more information. Let’s see how:

  • María es guapa e interesante.
    “Maria is beautiful and interesting.”
  • Daniel e Isabela se acaban de conocer.
    “Daniel and Isabela just met each other.”

However, if the next word starts with –h-, although this letter has no sound in Spanish, you can use –y-.

  • He comprado agua y hielo.
    “I bought water and ice.”
  • El puente es de acero y hierro.
    “The bridge is from steel and iron.”

3. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Condition

Sentence Patterns

This is our English-Spanish conjunctions list for conjunctions that are used to express a condition. When you use these Spanish conjunctions, you’re expressing a specific condition that must be met for the rest of the sentence to be true or possible.

  • Si: “If”

Si vas a ir al supermercado, compra leche.
“If you are going to the supermarket, buy milk.”

  • En caso de que: “If”; “in case of”

This Spanish conjunction has the same meaning as the English word “if,” but in Spanish it’s used at the beginning of the sentence.

En caso de que decidas venir a la fiesta, compra más cervezas.
“If you decide to come to the party, buy more beers.”

  • Como: “If”

We included this word to our conjunctions in Spanish list because in English, you can just use “if,” but in Spanish this word has a different meaning that the phrase above. You use como if you want to warn someone about something. Let’s see how:

Como no vengas a casa temprano, no sales mañana otra vez.
“If you don’t come home early, you won’t go out again tomorrow.”

  • Siempre que: “If”; “provided”

Siempre que seas honrado todo te saldrá bien.
“Provided you are honest, everything will be fine.”

4. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Cause

Improve Listening

These should be on your Spanish conjunctions worksheets because you need them to express the results and consequences of what you’ve said or done.

  • Así que: “So”

Acabo de llegar a casa así que te llamo luego.
“I have just arrived home, so I will call you back later.”

  • Luego: “So”

This Spanish conjunction may mean the same as Así que, but it’s less common. You’ll see it more in books or literary articles than in speech.

No tengo efectivo, luego no podré comprarme un café.
“I do not have cash on me, so I can’t buy myself a coffee.”

  • De modo que: “So”; “so that”

Salgamos de casa ya, de modo que lleguemos temprano al cine.
“Let’s leave home now so we can arrive early for the movie.”

5. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Opposition

Improve Listening Part 2

This conjunction list will help you express contrast.

  • Pero: “But”

Voy a ir a tu fiesta pero primero tengo que ir a casa.
“I am going to your party, but I have to go home first.”

  • Aunque: “Although”; “even though”

Seguiré buscando trabajo aunque sea difícil
“I will carry on looking for a job, even though it’s still difficult.”

  • Sin embargo: “However”

Me gusta el helado, sin embargo prefiero el yogur cuando estoy en casa.
“I like ice cream; however, I prefer yogurt when I am home.”

  • No obstante: “However”; “nevertheless”

Nos lo pasamos bien en la primera cita, no obstante, no la volví a ver.
“We had a good time on our first date; however, I didn’t see her again.”

  • Por lo demás: “Otherwise”; “apart from that”

No creo que la conclusión esté bien; por lo demás, el ensayo está muy bien.
“I don’t think the conclusion was good; apart from the conclusion, the essay is fine.”

  • Excepto: “Except for”

Me gustan todas las verduras excepto la patatas.
“I like all vegetables except for potatoes.”

6. Spanish Adverbial Conjunctions

Spanish adverbial conjunctions are also known as conjunctive adverbs. They’re adverbs with the characteristics and functions of conjunctions. They join two or more words together, and are used when you want to express the result, purpose, or consequences of something.

Adverbial conjunctions show continuity, joined under casual or situational dependence. The most-used adverbial conjunctions in Spanish are:

  • Cuando: “When”; “if”; “as”; “whenever”

Toda la comida estaba preparada cuando tú llegaste.
“All the food was prepared when you arrived.”

  • Mientras: “While”

Puedes ir comprando palomitas mientras compro las entradas.
“You can buy the popcorn while I’m buying the tickets.”

  • Donde: “Where”

Vivo muy cerca de donde tú trabajas.
“I live pretty close to where you work.”

  • Como: “As”; “like”

Tengo el pelo rizado como tu madre.
“I have curly hair just like your mom.”

7. Spanish Conjunctions that Offer Alternatives

These conjunctions in Spanish help you choose between different alternatives.

  • O: “Or”

¿Quieres café o té?
“Would you like tea or coffee?”

  • U: “Or”

U has the same function that o does, but it’s used whenever the next word starts with –o. This is just like the –e to –y rule from earlier in this article. They sound the same, so you have to change the Spanish conjunction to hear the alternative given.

¿Quieres ir a California u Orlando?
“Do you want to go to California or to Orlando?”

California Car's Plate

¿A qué hora comienza la película, siete u ocho?
“What time does the movie start, at seven or eight?”

8. Spanish Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions in Spanish allow you to join an independent sentence with a dependent sentence.

A dependent sentence alone wouldn’t make any sense without the independent one, thus these Spanish subordinating conjunctions will help you make sense of the whole sentence, situation, or event.

  • Porque: “Because”

No voy a ir al gimnasio porque me siento muy enferma.
“I am not going to the gym because I am not feeling well.”

  • Pues: “Since”

Deberíamos ir a cine el miércoles, pues creo que es más barato que el sábado.
“We should go to the movies on Wednesday since I think it’s cheaper than Saturday.”

  • Ya que: “Since”; “seeing that”

Voy a ir al mercadillo, ya que tengo que comprar verduras.
“I am going to the street market, since I have to buy vegetables.”

There are other synonyms with the same use as the ones above: dado que, por cuanto, a causa de que, por lo cual… They would be the same translations in English: “because,” “therefore,” “since…”

9. Spanish Conjunctions that Allow You to Give Reasons

This type of conjunction in Spanish allows you to give a reason for why something happens the way it does.

These useful Spanish conjunctions can help you answer the question ¿Por qué?, or “Why?” As for the first one on the list, you’ll simply use the two words together without the accent.

  • Porque: “Because”

No voy a la fiesta porque tengo que trabajar mañana en la mañana.
“I am not going to the party because I am working tomorrow morning.”

  • Ya que; puesto que; en vista de que: “Since”; “because”

No me he comprado un coche ya que no tengo dinero.
“I did not buy myself a car because I do not have any money.”

No vamos a ir al parque puesto que está lloviendo.
“We are not going to the park because it is raining.”

En vista de que no quieres comer nada, no te daré el helado tampoco.
“Since you haven’t eaten anything, I won’t give you ice cream either.”

Ice Cream

  • Pues: “Because”; “since”; “for”

Hemos decidido vender el coche, pues nos vamos a Inglaterra.
“We have decided to sell the car because we are going to England.”

  • Como: “Since”

Es mejor que cambies de profesión, como has pensado empezar de nuevo.
“It’s better to change your profession since you’ve thought to start again.”

10. Spanish Subjunctive Conjunctions

With some Spanish conjunctions, the subjunctive is needed to express a hypothetical uncertainty as to whether an action or event will take place, or whether or not a situation will happen.

  • A menos que: “Unless”

El gato se quedará dormido a menos que el ratón salga de su escondite.
“The cat will fall asleep unless the mouse gets out of its hideaway.”

  • En caso (de) que: “In case”

Voy a dejar las llaves del coche en caso de que quieras usarlo.
“I am going to leave the car keys in case you want to use them.”

  • Antes de que: “Before”

Antes de que salgas corriendo, déjame la comida preparada.
“Before you run out, leave the food ready for me.”

  • Con tal de que: “So that”

Limpié la casa con tal de que no discutiéramos.
“I cleaned the house so that we wouldn’t fight.”

  • Para que: “So that”

Voy a ir a supermercado para que tengas pan para mañana.
“I am going to the supermarket so that you have bread for tomorrow.”

  • Sin que: “Without”

Habían pasado tres semanas sin que Juan viera a Silvia.
“It had been three weeks without Juan seeing Silvia.”

11. Conclusion

Do you want to sound like a confident Spanish speaker? After this article, and lots of practice with important Spanish conjunctions, you will! These basic Spanish conjunctions will help you link different parts of sentences together. You can use them to include ideas in your sentences, or to exclude them. You have to be very clear about that; after this post, you get it, right?

Here at SpanishPod101, you can find many resources, forums, and even a Spanish conjunctions worksheet for extra Spanish conjunctions practice to help you learn at your own speed. Why don’t you give it a try? You lose nothing and gain more knowledge about our Spanish conjunctions list.

Happy learning!

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

SpanishPod101’s Guide to Etiquette in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Thumbnail

When learning about etiquette in Spanish-speaking countries, keep in mind that every culture is different, and even neighboring countries might have very different customs from one another. Sometimes, what might seem normal or even polite to you could be interpreted as weird or rude in another country. In the same way, something you find rude might seem common to someone else. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to help you not make the same mistakes other people have made!

Maybe one of the first things you need to know here is that “etiquette” in Spanish is called protocolo or etiqueta. Even though protocolo is a bit more common, etiqueta is equally valid, so you can stick to whichever word you prefer!

Another thing you might want to do when trying to find out about Spanish etiquette is to do some online research on it, which is completely understandable. However, we did some reading too, and we want to warn you that if you do so, you might find Spanish “rules” of etiquette that are very outdated and not appropriate anymore.

For example, we read that women aren’t allowed to cross their legs or wear shorts, which is completely false nowadays. Trust us, you definitely can. Maybe not for formal occasions, but if you want to survive a Spanish summer, you might want to wear shorts when you go out with friends or family.

Here’s our practical, relevant guide on etiquette in Spanish-speaking countries. Read up and wow your hosts with your Spanish social etiquette!

Table of Contents

  1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining
  2. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing
  3. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings
  4. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House
  5. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation
  6. Do’s and Don’ts for Business
  7. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations
  8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

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

1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining

Hygiene

Eating is an important part of any culture, but dining etiquette can be really different from one country to another. This makes knowing the most basic Spanish meal time etiquette essential. Here are the most basic Spanish dining etiquette rules to keep in mind.

  • No sorbas (Don’t slurp): While in other countries such as Japan, this is considered polite, it’s rude to slurp in Spain.
  • No eructes (Don’t burp): Just like slurping your food, burping is considered rude in Spain. Some people definitely burp in public, but trust us, no one likes those people.
  • No pongas los codos encima de la mesa (Don’t rest your elbows on the table): It’s allowed for your arms to be on the table, as long as your elbows aren’t touching it.
  • No insultes la comida española (Don’t insult Spanish cuisine): While this might sound obvious, there are ways of insulting Spanish cuisine that you might not realize are offensive to Spaniards. Take this example: In 2016, Jamie Oliver made the mistake of adding chorizo to a paella and posting it online. To save you from reading the entire article, we all went mad! In case you’re wondering, chorizo doesn’t go in paella. To this day, we still haven’t forgiven him. We could give you more examples, but they’re all quite similar: someone decides to cook a Spanish recipe, but gets a little too creative and makes the entire country of Spain go berserk. Just stick to our recipes; they’re already amazing and don’t need changes!

Family Celebration

  • Deberías esperar hasta que todos estén sentados y con comida en sus platos (You should wait until everyone is seated and has food on their plates): It’s considered rude to start eating if there are people at the table who haven’t been served their food. Or, in the case of dining in someone’s house, wait until everyone, including the guest, is sitting down.
  • Siempre deberías tener las manos visibles (Your hands should always be visible): While your elbows shouldn’t be on the table, as we mentioned before, hands should be.

When you’re dining at a restaurant, there are some other specific Spanish restaurant etiquette rules you need to know. For instance, is tipping expected in Spain?

  • Dejar propina es opcional (Tipping is optional): Spain isn’t like other countries such as the USA, where tipping is compulsory even if your server didn’t do a good job—and not only that, but you actually need to know math to know how much you need to tip! Tipping in Spain is seen as a nice gesture, but people usually only do it when they feel like they need to reward their server for a good job. And when you do so, you don’t need to think of what percentage is appropriate. Rather, it’s more about just giving them a couple of coins, whatever you have in your wallet, as you see fit.

If you’re dining in someone’s house, however, this is what you should keep in mind:

  • Deberías esperar a que alguien te muestre tu asiento o a que el resto de gente empiece a sentarse (You should wait until someone shows you to your seat or until people start to sit down): The host will often let you know where you can sit.
  • Deberías ofrecer tu ayuda al anfitrión (You should offer to help the host): This is considered polite, even though most of the time they’ll tell you not to worry and ask you to take a seat.

2. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing

Bad Phrases

We don’t think we need to teach you basic Spanish protocol and etiquette when it comes to sightseeing, such as not cutting in line and respecting other people’s cultures, but some things might not be exactly the same everywhere.

For example, here’s something you should always keep in mind when you’re on an escalator. They normally have signs that explain what is prohibited, such as wearing flip-flops, but there’s one unspoken rule that’s never included on the signs but that everyone knows:

  • Siempre deberías quedarte en el lado derecho (You should always stand on the right side): Unless you’re walking, you should always stay on your right whenever you’re on an escalator. It doesn’t matter if you’re going up or down: the left side is only for walking. Don’t use an escalator like the man in the picture, he’s doing it wrong!

Man Standing on the Escalator

Another matter that can be a little bit complicated if you’re not familiar with it is visiting a church. Here are a few Spanish culture and etiquette tips you should know if you want to visit a church or cathedral in Spain:

  • No lleves pantalones cortos ni sandalias (Don’t wear shorts or sandals): This is common in most places of worship, but it’s good to remember.
  • Deberías apagar o poner en silencio el móvil (You should turn off or silence your phone): Again, this is quite normal and shouldn’t surprise you.
  • Deberías prestar atención a los carteles (You should pay attention to the posters): Churches usually have posters with signs that you should follow. For example, sometimes they’ll ask you not to take photos, or if you do, to always take them without flash.

3. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings

What is Spanish greeting etiquette? We already taught you pretty much everything you need to know about greeting someone in Spanish in different situations in our article titled How to Say “Hello” in Spanish. But we thought we should remind you of a few non-verbal gestures you should or shouldn’t do when greeting someone. (If you’re wondering about Spanish phone etiquette, though, you’ll also find this in the above-mentioned article.)

  • Deberías hacer contacto visual (You should make eye contact): Unlike in some other cultures, in Spain, eye contact is seen as a symbol of confidence. However, keep in mind that while we advise you to make eye contact, you shouldn’t make it extreme. Remember to blink and don’t have your eyes wide open like a crazy person. You want to look confident, not creepy!
  • Si no estás seguro de qué deberías hacer, espera unos segundos (If you’re unsure what you should do, wait a few seconds): We don’t want this greeting to become an awkward encounter, but waiting a few seconds until the other person starts the greeting won’t hurt anyone.

4. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House

Thank You

Etiquette when visiting a house also tends to change from country to country. Here are a few Spanish etiquette tips that you’ll find helpful when you’re invited to someone’s house:

  • No te quites los zapatos a menos que te digan lo contrario (Don’t take your shoes off unless told otherwise): In many cultures, it’s common to take off your shoes when you enter a house, and sometimes even other kinds of buildings. In Spain, this isn’t very common, but it still might be preferred in certain households. So what we recommend is that you don’t take them off unless they specifically ask you to do so. If you’re unsure, you can always ask them, just in case!
  • Deberías llevar un detalle (You should bring a small present): It’s common to bring something, such as a bottle of wine or some sort of sweets, especially if you’ve been invited for a meal. The word we used in Spanish is detalle, which literally means “detail,” and refers to something small yet thoughtful.
  • Deberías hacer un cumplido a su hogar (You should compliment their home): The classic “You have a lovely home” should do the trick. To say this in Spanish, you could go for Tienes (if you’re visiting someone who lives alone) or Tenéis (if you’re visiting someone who lives with other people) una casa preciosa.

5. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation

We think there are not that many rules when it comes to public transportation that differ from other countries, but we’ll remind you of a few of them. Here’s some practical information on Spanish taxi etiquette and how to act when on other means of transportation.

  • Deberías saludar al conductor (You should greet the driver): Either on a bus or on a taxi, it’s considered polite to greet the driver when you get in—and of course, in the case of a taxi, also when you get out. In most public buses in Spain, the exit is only through the back, so you don’t see the driver again and therefore you don’t necessarily need to say goodbye. Of course, if you’re taking the train or the metro, you won’t see the driver, so you don’t have to greet anyone.
  • Deberías ofrecer tu asiento a alguien que lo necesite más que tú (You should offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you): If you’re sitting down and someone enters who might need to sit down more than you do, you should offer them your seat. We’re referring, for example, to old people, handicapped people, pregnant women, among others. Out of politeness, they might refuse it sometimes, but it’s common and considered polite to insist a little bit more.
  • Debes comprar un billete (You must buy a ticket): We don’t think we need to say this, but just in case, don’t forget to pay for your ticket! Or the ride, if you’re taking a taxi.

6. Do’s and Don’ts for Business

Business

If you work in Spain or travel there for work, you might need a couple of tips, even though Spanish business etiquette is quite international.

  • Deberías dar la mano (You should shake their hand): This is the basic rule for greeting someone in a business environment, but there is an exception. As we explained in our article about greetings, it’s common in Spain to kiss someone twice when greeting them. While in this context a handshake would be the usual greeting, if you’re greeting a woman who’s offering you her cheek, you should kiss her on her cheeks; if you’re a woman and you’re greeting a man who looks like he’s about to kiss you, don’t shy out and offer him your cheek. If you ignore this greeting, it might look like you want to avoid them, and we’re sure you don’t want to do that.
  • No lleves ropa informal a menos que te digan lo contrario (Don’t wear casual clothes unless told otherwise): More often than not, you should wear formal yet simple clothes.

People Shaking Hands

7. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations

Often, celebrations have more rules than we wish they had. We’ll show you a few basic Spanish etiquette and customs for celebrations, but sometimes these rules depend on the specific event, so you might have to ask whoever invited you to the event. For example, whether you should wear formal or casual clothes, or whether you can bring your kids or not.

Something that’s applicable to different kinds of celebrations is the act of making a toast. In Spanish, this is called brindar, and there are a couple of ways of saying “Cheers.” One of them is ¡Salud! and another one, which people tend to find interesting, is ¡Chinchín! Many people think this is an onomatopoeia that resembles the clashing of glasses, but as it turns out, it actually isn’t; it comes from Chinese. In some families, it’s considered bad luck for people to drink water in these cases, but it’s nothing you need to worry about if you don’t feel like drinking alcohol.

Spanish Wedding Etiquette

  • Deberías comprar un regalo (You should buy a present): It’s common to get presents for the bride and groom, but remember that you’re not meant to bring it to the wedding. Sometimes, instead of getting them a present, you can transfer some money to a bank account that they will provide.
  • No vayas de blanco (Don’t wear white): The only person who’s allowed to wear white is the bride.

Bride and Groom While People Throw Petals

Spanish Etiquette for Birthdays

If it’s your birthday:

  • Invita a tus amigos a una comida (Invite your friends for a meal): Either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between, it’s common to invite your friends (and/or family) to have a meal, and to pay for all of them. This can be at a restaurant or at your place, and it doesn’t need to be fancy or a big celebration. We’ll leave this up to you.

If it’s someone else’s birthday:

  • Deberías llevar un regalo (You should bring a present): We guess this is common in most cultures, but it’s customary to bring a present for the person who’s celebrating their birthday.

Etiquette for Births

  • Deberías llevar un regalo (You should bring a present): It’s common to bring a present for the new parents, either to the hospital if they’re family or close friends, or whenever you see them. The present is normally something for the newborn, but it can be something for the parents as well.

Spanish Funeral Etiquette

  • Deberías dar el pésame (You should give your condolences): It’s common to say Lo siento (I’m sorry), but if you knew this person really well, their family might appreciate it if you said something slightly more personal, yet brief. Let them know you cared about them.
  • Deberías presentarte (You should introduce yourself): If the family of the deceased person never met you before, you should introduce yourself to them and let them know how you knew him or her.
  • No es necesario vestir de negro (It’s not necessary to wear black): Even though it’s still rather common, it’s not compulsory to wear black clothes anymore.

Something else you should know is that it’s common to bring flowers, and sometimes even flower crowns, as a group present.

For other celebrations and festivities, such as New Year’s Eve, you can check out our lesson on Spain’s New Year’s traditions, or another lesson on how to celebrate Christmas in Spain that might be interesting to know if you’re in Spain for the holidays.

8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

Keep in mind that no one will judge you if you don’t remember all of these rules we just listed. If you’re ever unsure what you can and can’t do, don’t hesitate to ask someone. They will perfectly understand that you’re foreign and not completely familiar with our traditions and customs yet. This is especially true in very specific celebrations, such as weddings, that don’t happen everyday.

Are any of the customs we went over similar to those in your country? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

At SpanishPod101.com, you can learn everything you need to know about Spain, its culture, and its language. From vocabulary lists to lessons, we have anything you might need. Join us and learn Spanish like never before!

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

Epifanía: Celebrating Epiphany Day in Spain

Epiphany Day in Spain is one of the most popular Christian holidays in the country. Each year, it’s met with an abundance of enthusiasm and many colorful traditions. In this article, you’ll learn about the Epiphany celebration in Spain as well as the stories behind the holiday.

At SpanishPod101.com, it’s our goal to ensure that every aspect of your language-learning journey is both fun and informative—starting with this article!

Ready? Let’s dive in.

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

1. What is Epiphany in Spain?

On Epiphany Day, Spain celebrates the visit of the Reyes Magos, or “Biblical Magi,” from the Orient to the newborn Baby Jesus. They brought him gold, incense, and myrrh as gifts.

Some people also celebrate Epiphany as the day on which Jesus was baptized, thus “revealing” the Holy Trinity. Hence the name “Epiphany.”

Both of these events are essential aspects of the Christian faith and gospel, making Epiphany a major religious holiday around the world. However, the Epiphany holiday in Spain does tend to focus more on the wise men.

2. Epiphany Date

Biblical Magi Figurines

Each year, the Feast of Epiphany in Spain is celebrated on January 6. The night before is called Epiphany Eve, the night when children in Spain have difficulty sleeping due to their excitement over the presents they’ll soon open!

3. How Do They Celebrate Epiphany in Spain?

A Parade

During the late evening, in many towns and cities, the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, or “Magic Kings Parade,” makes its way through the streets. These are made up of carriages where both children and adults in costumes participate. The most important carriages are always the ones in which we see the three wise men. Candy and even some small toys are thrown from all the carriages. Children and others who are not so young try to grab as much as they can.

Once the desfile, or “parade,” is over, the children return home. On that night, children go to bed early because if the three wise men see that the child is awake, they won’t leave any gifts. Before going to sleep, it’s important to prepare something to drink and some pastry or candy for the three wise men, who arrive tired after the long trip. It’s also good to leave some water for the camellos, or “camels.” And after a night where many children can barely get any sleep because of the anticipation…it’s time to open the regalos, or “presents!”

The parade of the three wise men in Granada is the oldest Epiphany parade in Spain. The tradition dates back 100 years, and a total of ten tons of candy are given out during the parade.

4. They Know if You’ve Been Bad or Good…

Do you know what children who behaved badly during the year normally get on Epiphany Eve?

It seems that Santa Claus and the three wise men agreed on this because they also give coal to children who misbehave. But receiving it doesn’t seem to bother the children. Most of the time, it tastes like candy. 🙂

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Epiphany in Spain

A Camel

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words we saw in this article? Here’s the essential Spanish vocabulary for Epiphany!

  • Regalo — “Present”
  • Familia — “Family”
  • Epifanía — “Epiphany”
  • Camello — “Camel”
  • Desfile — “Parade”
  • Paje — “Page boy”
  • Melchor — “Melchor”
  • Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos — “Magic Kings parade”
  • Tarta de Reyes — “King cake”
  • Gaspar — “Gaspar”
  • Carbón — “Carbon”
  • Baltasar — “Baltasar”
  • Reyes Magos — “Biblical Magi”

To hear each of these words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Spanish Epiphany vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Epiphany in Spain with us!

Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, are celebrations similar or very different from those in Spain? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture in Spanish-speaking countries, or if you want to learn some wintery words to get you through the next couple of months, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Spanish doesn’t have to be overwhelming or boring—with SpanishPod101.com, it can even be fun! If you’re serious about mastering the language, create your free lifetime account today.

Happy Spanish learning! 🙂

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