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20 Easy Spanish Phrases for Striking Up a Conversation

October 11, 2022

20 Easy Spanish Phrases for Striking Up a Conversation

Spanish phrases for conversations

Knowing how to carry a conversation in Spanish can be helpful in many ways. Maybe you want to make friends with the Spanish speakers in your community, or perhaps you want to strike up conversations with locals when visiting a Spanish-speaking country. Wherever you are, you should start with some of the most common Spanish phrases, which can help you introduce yourself, ask questions, and keep the conversation going. 

Casual conversations with Spanish speakers are a fun and easy way to practice your language skills! When you’re learning Spanish, having a few topics and simple, go-to Spanish phrases up your sleeve will impress your new friends. Here you’ll find four easy greetings and 20 common Spanish sentences to know when practicing your conversational Spanish skills with another Spanish speaker. 

4 Easy Spanish Phrases to Know

You don’t have to be fluent in the language to experiment with these easy basic Spanish phrases. Begin by getting comfortable using some of these common Spanish words as greetings. Just remember, you will want to consider the time of the day when using some of these common Spanish phrases, just as you would in English. For example, you will use “buenos dias” when greeting someone in the morning and “buenos tardes” if you’re saying hello in the evening. But if you’re ever unsure what phrase to use, you can’t go wrong with using a friendly, “hola.”

1. ¡Hola! (Hello!)

There’s no better way to open a friendly conversation than with a nice, well-delivered, “Hello!” It is easily one of the most common Spanish words you’ll hear. 

2. ¡Buenos días! (Good morning!)

When you want to learn easy Spanish phrases, it’s not a bad idea to start with this one. This common greeting is a go-to conversation-starter over a hearty breakfast and a fresh cup of coffee. 

3. ¡Buenas tardes! (Good evening!)

This phrase may be just as common a phrase as the one above and probably is used just as much. Whether you use it at the beginning of your night, at the end, or both, it’s a must-know phrase. Just like you would use “good evening” in English, use this phrase when greeting someone later in the day or night. 

4. ¡Bienvenido! (Welcome!)

If you’re in a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll find this greeting on nearly every sign in nearly every new town you explore. This is one of those easy Spanish phrases that feels just as good to hear as it is to say.

20 Phrases and Questions for Conversation in Spanish to Practice

When it comes to the Spanish translation, these common phrases include both the informal (tu) and formal (usted) versions. You will use the tu form when addressing someone you already know, like a friend or acquaintance, and the usted form when speaking with a stranger or someone of a higher status. When in doubt, use the usted form as it can be a sign of respect. 

1. ¿Cómo te llamas?/¿Cómo se llama usted? (What’s your name?)

These common Spanish words are important to know. This simple phrase is a must-have for when you’re meeting someone new. It can be used in virtually any situation, from a party to a job interview!

2. ¿De dónde eres?/¿De dónde es usted? (Where are you from?)

There are many Spanish questions you can use to strike up a conversation, but asking about someone’s birthplace can provide a lot of insight into their country and culture. You never know where it will lead! If someone asks you this question, you can reply by saying, “Soy de los Estados Unidos,” (or wherever else you are from). 

3. ¿Tienes hermanos?/¿Tiene hermanos? (Do you have brothers and sisters?)

Expressing an interest in someone’s family can get them talking, and before you know it, you’ll be conversing like old friends.

4. ¿Qué te gusta hacer?/¿Qué le gusta hacer? (What do you like to do?)

This is one of the best Spanish phrases to learn and know because you might discover you have a lot in common, or you might learn about a new and interesting activity you’ve never done before. Asking a question like this may even provide you with an opportunity to learn more about Spanish culture, such as local activities, events, or holidays. 

5. ¿Qué deportes te gusta ver?/¿Qué deportes le gusta ver? (What sports do you like to watch?)

If you have a favorite sport or sports team in common, you’re sure to start a lively conversation about the next match, your favorite players, and more. This is a great way to break the ice when meeting someone new. 

6. ¿Cuál es tu restaurante favorito?/¿Cuál es su restaurante favorito? (What’s your favorite restaurant?)

People love talking about their favorite foods, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And if your basic Spanish conversation goes well, you might just be invited to your next chat at the restaurant of your new friend’s choice! What’s more, you might receive a long list of new restaurants to try where you can put your Spanish dining vocabulary and etiquette to good use. 

7. ¿Qué libro acabas de leer ?/¿Qué libro acaba de leer? (What book did you just finish reading?)

Literary interests can start a fascinating conversation. You may also get some suggestions for authors in Spanish literature to look out for.

8. ¿Qué película viste recientemente?/¿Qué película vio recientemente? (What’s the most recent film you’ve seen?)

Spanish-language films reveal a lot about the culture. Take this chance to learn about new films that are popular in the Spanish-speaking world.

9. ¿Cuándo empezaste a aprender español?/¿Cuándo empezó a aprender español? (When did you start to learn Spanish?)

This is a great way to get some basic Spanish conversation practice with another Spanish learner. Ask for any insights or tips they might be willing to offer.

SEE ALSO: 46 Spanish Adjectives to Describe All Your Friends

10. ¿Qué otros idiomas hablas?/¿Qué otros idiomas habla? (What other languages do you speak?)

Chances are, you’re not the only one who is bilingual! It’s always fun to see how many languages people know how to speak.

11. ¿Te gusta bailar?/¿Le gusta bailar? (Do you like to dance?)

Of all the Spanish questions you could ask, this one is probably the most daring. Whether you’re at a wedding, party, or club this question comes in handy on a variety of occasions. Salsa dancing, anyone?

12. ¿Adónde has viajado recientemente?/¿Adónde ha viajado recientemente? (Where have you traveled recently?)

Travel is a passion that knows no borders, and people love talking about their interests. Ask your new friend if they’ve been to any Spanish-speaking countries lately, and if they have, which ones would they recommend and which ones were their favorites.

13. ¿En qué trabajas?/¿En qué trabaja? (What is your profession?)

This question will strike up a conversation easily. It also opens the door to future networking opportunities if you’re interested in the same field!

14. ¿Qué música prefieres?/¿Qué música prefiere? (What is your favorite music?)

If you both like music with Spanish-language lyrics, you’ve just found an excellent way to practice your Spanish, as you listen, discuss, and decode the music.

15. ¿Qué pasa en las noticias de hoy? (What’s in the news today?)

The daily events of the world always offer something new to talk about. This question will likely help you learn some new vocabulary words and get some much needed Spanish conversation practice in.

16. ¿Qué hiciste este fin de semana?/¿Qué hizo este fin de semana? (What did you do this weekend?)

Use this question to practice using the preterite tense to talk about things that occurred in the past. This is one of our favorite go-to Spanish questions, ideal for use on Mondays. As you explore your conversation partner’s interests and hobbies, you’ll usually learn something new about him or her and possibly pick up new words and phrases to use in the future. 

17. En tu opinión/su opinión, ¿cuál es la solución a los problemas del medio ambiente? (What do you think is the solution to environmental problems?)

Sharing ideas about the most vexing problems of today is an easy way to share ideas and learn from one another. It’s also a great way to learn more about the world around you and add new vocabulary words to your repertoire. 

18. ¿Trabajas como voluntario -a?/¿Trabaja como voluntario -a? (Do you volunteer?)

Find out if your new friend volunteers and you’ll often discover a window into what matters most to them. Meaningful conversations create lasting friendships! Better yet, maybe you’ll find a volunteer opportunity to get involved with, too. 

19. ¿Vas/va al gimnasio o participas/participa en otras actividades para hacer ejercicio? (Do you go to the gym or do other activities as exercise?)

Exercising together is a fun activity that can really break the ice among new friends. See if your conversation partner enjoys playing soccer, taking walks, or riding bikes.

20. ¿Tienes mascota/tiene mascota? (Do you have a pet?)

Everyone loves talking about their pets! Spanish questions about our most beloved companions are guaranteed to start a long and fun conversation. Dig deeper and ask about the animal’s name, breed, size, etc.

20 Conversational Spanish phrases and questions

With any of these easy and basic Spanish phrases and questions, you can easily get some Spanish conversation practice time in. Don’t be shy – people love it when you make an effort to speak in their native language. But if you ever get stuck or lost mid-conversation, try these Spanish language conversation hacks. Remember, the more you practice having conversations with others in a second language, the more comfortable and proficient you will be.

If you’re looking for additional ways to improve your Spanish prase skills, turn to in-person or online lessons. A private tutor dedicated to your progress can help you achieve your Spanish-speaking skills in no time.

Want to start forming some of your own unique questions? Check out this quick video lesson about how to structure questions in Spanish.

Starting daily conversations with these questions will help you learn easy Spanish phrases even faster. So go ahead and start getting to know someone, en español. Good luck!

Joan BannaPost Author: Joan B.
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian, and also spent time living in Spain. Learn more about Joan here!

Photo by Eddy Van 3000

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Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian, and spent time living in Spain. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.

Joan B.