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The 7 Spanish Question Words & How to Use Them

spanish question wordsReady to learn the question words in Spanish? One of the best ways to advance your Spanish skills is to converse with fluent or native speakers. But how do you break the ice? 

Start by mastering the new vocabulary in this guide, and then practice some of the most commonly asked questions.

People love being asked questions! It shows you’re interested in their opinions and experiences.

After reading this article, you’ll feel more comfortable meeting new people and making friends in Spanish. 

The 7 Spanish Question Words

Let’s go over some of the most important question words in Spanish. Memorize this vocabulary so you can be ready to strike up a conversation when the opportunity arises!

1. ¿Cómo?

Cómo literally translates to “how,” but it can also mean “what” when used in isolation. You should also know that como – without the accent over the O – means “like” or “I eat.”

This is a lot of different meanings, so be sure to pay attention to the context of the conversation for clues to the word’s definition. Here are some common questions you might ask using cómo:

  • ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
  • ¿Cómo te sientes? (How are you feeling?)
  • ¿Cómo te fue? (How did it go?)
  • ¿Cómo lo hiciste? (How did you do that?)

If you look closely at the sentence structure of these questions, you’ll see that in Spanish, you don’t need to add a word for “do.” For example, “How do you make that?” would literally be translated into Spanish as: ¿Cómo lo haces? (How you make that?).

It sounds funny when translated literally, doesn’t it? This is one example of a basic language translation fact: we translate ideas, not words.

2. ¿Quién?

Quién means “who” in English. When using it in writing, remember to apply the accent mark over the E. A few common questions using the word quién are:

  • ¿Quién es? (Who is it?) Note: Use when answering a phone or door.
  • ¿Quién sabe? (Who knows?)
  • ¿Quién es? (Who is that?)
  • ¿Quiénes son? (Who are they?)
  • ¿Con quién vas? (Who are you going with?)

As you can see in the last example, sentences in Spanish often begin with the word con, meaning “with.” This is a key difference from English, where sentences and questions rarely start with the word “with.” You wouldn’t say, “With whom are you going?”

Another thing you’ll notice is that when quién is used plurally, referring to more than one person, it becomes quiénes.

3. ¿Qué?

Qué means “what.” Like with quién, remember to apply an accent mark over the E. This is important because without the accent over the E, que means “that.” Here are some questions you’ll use regularly with the word qué:

  • ¿Qué es? (What is it?) 
  • ¿Qué significa? (What does that mean?)
  • ¿Qué hiciste? (What did you do?)
  • ¿Qué? (What?)

Be aware that when used in isolation, “¿Cómo?” means the same thing as “¿Qué?”  You’ll hear Spanish speakers using both of these phrases.

4. ¿Dónde?

Dónde means “where.” Just like the other Spanish question words, remember to apply the necessary accent mark. Common questions with dónde include:

  • ¿A dónde vas? (Where are you going?) Note: “A” means “to.”
  • ¿Dónde está? (Where is it?)
  • ¿Dónde vives? (Where do you live?)
  • ¿De dónde eres? (Where are you from?)

In the last example sentence, De means “of,” so the question literally  translates to: “Of where are you?”

5. ¿Cuándo?

Cuándo means “when.” Remember to apply the accent mark over the A. Here are some questions you’ll hear frequently using this question word:

  • ¿Cuándo es? (When is it?) Note: Use for social events or appointments.
  • ¿Cuándo vienes? (When are you coming?)
  • ¿Cuándo nos vemos? (When will we see each other?)
  • ¿Cuándo es la junta? (When is the meeting?)

Sentence structure for questions isn’t too different from English. The basic structure for all of these starts with the question word and is followed by the conjugated verb in the appropriate tense.

6. ¿Cuál?

Cuál means “which,” and as you can see, it also requires an accent mark over the vowel. Practice these sentences using the word cuál:

  • ¿Cuál es tu nombre? (What is your name?)
  • ¿Cuál es tu favorito? (What’s your favorite?)
  • ¿Cuál escoges? (Which do you choose?)
  • ¿Cuáles son tuyos? (Which are yours?)

Remember how quién became quiénes? You’ll also notice that when cuál is used in the plural form, it becomes cuáles.

In the first two examples, take note that Spanish uses the word for “which,” rather than “what” as we’re used to in English.

7. ¿Por qué?

Por qué means “why,” but be careful! It can also mean “because” when there’s no space between the words and no accent mark present. Here are a few questions you can ask using por qué:

  • ¿Por qué hiciste esto? (Why did you do that?)
  • ¿Por qué llegaste tarde? (Why are you late?)
  • ¿Por qué no te sientes bien? (Why don’t you feel good?)
  • ¿Por qué no está Juan? (Why isn’t John here?)

It’s vital to learn these seven words, because you can’t ask questions in Spanish without them! Study these essential Spanish question words to really take your conversation skills to the next level.

Need more help forming questions in Spanish? Check out the video below from one of our online Spanish classes.


You can also take private lessons with a Spanish teacher, online or locally. You’ll get hands-on instruction and instant feedback on your grammar and pronunciation. Buena suerte!

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are language lessons worth it

How to Stop Wasting Your Money & Time on Language Lessons

are language lessons worth it

Are language lessons worth the money, or should you learn another way? French tutor Jinky B.  shares her tips here… 

 

Thinking about taking a language class or working individually with a language tutor for French, Spanish, or another language? With so many resources available these days, it can be a daunting task to pick the right way to learn. And it’s no secret that signing up for private language tutoring is usually one of the pricier options.

Aspiring learners often ask, “Are language lessons worth it, or are they a waste of money? Do they even work?”

Here’s the thing: while private lessons can be more expensive than using a free app online, the benefits of individual lessons can pay back tenfold.

Yes, those language lessons can be a waste of money — if you’re not taking learning seriously.

Language lessons and classes work — if you put in the effort.

In order to reach your language learning goals, here are five things you can do to better maximize your progress and not waste your money.

1. Determine your objectives and goals.

Let’s take a French student, for example. Why do you want to learn French? Do you have an upcoming ski trip to the French Alps? Are you moving to the south of France for graduate school? Do you want to perfect the French accent?

Decide the reason for your language lessons. Saying that you want to become fluent is too broad of an objective. Narrow down the specifics. When you’re on the ski trip, would you like to be able to talk to the ski instructors about une piste (a ski trail)? For your move for graduate school, would you like to be able to carry on a 30-minute conversation with a colleague about the lesson?

With your final objective in mind, this is why private lessons are so much more effective than other learning methods. Together with your tutor, you can break your objective down into manageable (and measurable) goals. Then, he or she will know exactly how to organize your time together. Reaching your goals and seeing the direct outcome of the money you’ve spent will help you understand that your lessons were worth it!

2. Practice every day.

Most students take language lessons once a week, but you’ll also need to commit to practicing on your own — every day. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to take up a ton of time, and you can even incorporate it into your daily life. If you like to drink a cup of coffee every morning, for example, use that 15 to 20 minutes while drinking your coffee to go over any new words or phrases that your teacher introduced that week.

If you’re not setting aside this time each day, you risk forgetting the information you’ve learned, which can set you back. Make the most of your money by committing yourself to at least 15 minutes every day. At your next lesson, your tutor will review your progress — and you’ll get direct feedback and corrections so you stay on track.

3. Make that practice time efficient.

Many students balance language lessons with work and other responsibilities — so the trick is to make sure the time you are spending on practice is efficient! For vocabulary in particular, the best way to learn is through rote memorization. Flashcards are a great way to do this: each week, create new flashcards using the new vocabulary words you’ve learned, with a picture on one side and the word on the other side. With this method, it’s best to not write out the English translation on the card, so that you’re training yourself to recognize your target language. Here’s an example for a French vocabulary word:

Apple Flashcard - French vocab

4. Talk out loud.

Another one of the biggest benefits to working with a tutor is having someone to talk to in your target language, who can also correct any mistakes you’re making. Staring at vocabulary words alone isn’t going to make you fluent. Instead, you need real-time conversation practice, and that’s what your language lessons and classes are for.

However, you should also be talking out loud when you’re practicing on your own. Pronounce each word as you review your flashcards, and with longer words, tap each syllable out. The more you actually speak the language, the better progress you’ll make.

Also, try to start conversations in your target language when you’re out and about! Here are 20 conversational Spanish phrases, and 25 conversational French phrases to get you started. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also find a local or online language learning group to practice with!

5. Review and prepare for your lessons.

Lastly, to really make the most of your language lessons, make a habit of properly preparing for them. During the week as you’re reviewing what you’ve learned, note items that you have difficulty mastering (pronunciation, grammar rules, translations, etc.). This way, you’ll have a list handy to go over with your tutor during the next lesson — which is exactly what they’re there for!

Your tutor will prepare lesson plans with your objectives and goals in mind, however, it’s important to communicate any obstacles that may be hindering the learning process. In the end, you’re the one in charge.


So there you have it: five tips for NOT wasting your time and money on language lessons. And in the future when you’re speaking in your target language with others — whether you’re on vacation, at your job, or meeting with new friends and family — you’ll realize that was money well-spent!

Make the move and commit to learning with a trained and experienced tutor who not only speaks another language, but wants to share their love for languages. Good luck!

Photo by Luka Knezevic – Strika

Post Author: Jinky B.
Jinky B. teaches French and ESL in Jacksonville, FL. She has her Bachelor’s of Arts in French, French Literature and Psychology from Florida State University and has over five years of teaching experience. Learn more about Jinky B. here!

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11 Tips for Improving Your Conversational Spanish 720x300 (1)

11 Tips for Improving Your Conversational Spanish [Infographic]

conversational Spanish lessons + tips

Whether you’re learning Spanish for business or just for fun, your end goal is most likely to communicate with others — not just stare at a textbook! And to do this, you’ll need to practice listening and talking with real people. Here, Spanish tutor Joan B. shares some tips, and where to find conversational Spanish lessons… 


Ready to start speaking in Spanish with confidence? The following tips include creative ways to practice your Spanish in social settings and in your community, with native and non-native speakers.

If you’ve been studying Spanish but feel your conversational skills are lagging behind your understanding of grammar or your reading abilities, use these tips to make rapid, consistent progress while simultaneously having fun!

Note: These tips work for any language you’re learning. From Spanish to Japanese to French, conversation practice is key.

11 Tips for Improving Your Conversational Spanish

1. Attend social events geared toward Spanish speakers.
This could be a cultural event, a local gallery opening of Latin American art, or a community meeting regarding an issue affecting the local Spanish-speaking community.

2. Listen to material that is casual and conversation-based.
It’s great to listen to newscasts, but if you’d like to converse in Spanish, you can improve your comprehension of spoken Spanish by listening to podcasts and other recordings that reflect common usage of Spanish, rather than formal spoken Spanish. (Our Spanish podcast picks here!)

3. Combine your passions.
It can be hard to find time to improve your language skills when you’re balancing work or school, friends, and other hobbies. So, why not combine them?

If you like traveling, consider choosing a Spanish-speaking country, where you can practice your conversational skills and gain new ones. You could also consider doing volunteer or paid work in your field that would expose you to Spanish speakers. If you enjoy dining out, go out with a few friends who speak your target language — and try to go the entire meal speaking in Spanish!

4. Find a language exchange partner and work with a tutor.
Language exchanges are an excellent way to practice conversation, make a new friend, and learn all about the cultural aspects of speaking Spanish. This is a unique way to challenge your conversational skills, as language exchange partners are usually fluent, native speakers.

Keep in mind, though, if you’re making grammatical mistakes, your partner may not provide corrections. Because of this, it’s smart to balance your study by also working with a private Spanish tutor. Don’t let the word “tutor” scare you off — the great thing about private lessons is that you can set your own specific goals! If you’d prefer to spend the majority of the time practicing conversations, just let your tutor know! Many teachers specialize in conversational Spanish lessons.

5. Chat with a friend who is also learning the same language. 
If you’re more comfortable with someone familiar, try chatting with a friend who is also learning the same language! Even better, take a class together. Even if you don’t live in the same city, online group classes are a great way to learn together and get structured conversation practice with others.

6. Use online forums and communities to your advantage.
The internet is full of helpful resources for language learners! The TakeLessons Blog, for example, features articles and guides from professional language tutors like myself. You can also check out forums, like WordReference.com. If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can post it and get answers from native speakers and other in-the-know Spanish speakers.

7. Set specific goals or niches you’d like to focus on.
Is there a certain topic that you would like to excel in conversationally? Identify what interest you, then look for resources (or ask your tutor) to help you build a specific set of vocabulary.

For example, if you like to discuss politics, you could read the newspaper in Spanish, follow Spanish and Latin American politicians on Twitter, or join a community political activist group where Spanish speakers are active. Soon you’ll find yourself conversing easily on a variety of topics in your niche interest!

8. Supplement real-time conversations with language-learning apps.
Language-learning apps are great to use on your own and during your downtime. Some apps focus on pronunciation and conversational skills. Others include fun games that can drill vocabulary and grammar rules that you’ve worked on with your tutor.

Here are some of our favorite apps for supplementing your conversational Spanish lessons:

9. Watch films and telenovelas. 
Watch classic films or catch up on your latest telenovela to hear how Spanish sounds, what vocabulary is used, and how people express themselves. Try watching with subtitles to add another layer of reinforcement and understanding!

10. Get out in the community.
Volunteer to help Spanish speakers learn English, and you’ll learn about Spanish sentence structure and expressions by observing the ways in which they try to express themselves in English. Your knowledge of Spanish will also help when they are searching for an expression in English, but haven’t learned it yet.

This is just one of many ways to offer your skills as a volunteer and simultaneously improve your conversational skills. There are many opportunities for volunteering in the fields of law, social justice, nutrition, and more!

11. Host an exchange student or rent a room to a student.
If you have some extra room in your apartment or house, why not host an exchange student or rent a room to a Spanish-speaking student? In addition to making some extra money, you’ll get an enriching experience as you interact with your guest, learn various social customs, and engage in both Spanish and English. Your guest will appreciate your effort to learn his or her language, and you could also request that your guest does a weekly conversation hour with you in Spanish. It’s a win-win!

To recap…

How to Improve Your Conversational Spanish - lessons

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Conversational Spanish can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding activities for language learners. Start with one or two of these tips, and then continue through the list as you improve. Most of all, enjoy the journey as you increase your knowledge, make new friends, and have new experiences.

Want some extra help? Search for a local or online Spanish tutor to get started!

Joan BPost 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 spent time living in Spain. Learn more about Joan here!

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5 Hacks For When You’re Totally Lost in a Spanish Conversation

5 Hacks For When You’re Totally Lost in a Spanish Conversation

As you practice speaking, listening, and having real-time Spanish conversations, don’t fret if you start feeling lost. Get back on track with these tips from tutor Simion G.

Have you ever been chatting with someone in your non-native language, when suddenly you find yourself struggling to keep up? It happens to us all, from beginner language learners to fluent speakers and everyone in between.

Even I, as a Spanish tutor, still have moments when I completely lose track of what is being discussed.

But if (and when) it happens to you, don’t feel embarrassed. Take a deep breath, regroup, and get yourself back on track. Not sure how to do that? Here are my tips…

1) Acknowledge your Position

Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself you’re feeling lost. Sure, it can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been studying Spanish for a long time. But don’t allow this to destroy your confidence. As a matter of fact, realizing you’re lost will get you one step closer to learning something new!

2) Inform your Conversation Partner

Next, make sure you let the other person know! It’s better for the other person to know you’re struggling rather than think you understand. Don’t be embarrassed! Here are some phrases you can use during your Spanish conversation practice:

If you think you know, but the conversation is moving too fast:
“Perdón, no entiendo. ¿Podrías repitir?” (Excuse me/Sorry, I don’t understand. Could you repeat?)

If you’re certain you don’t know the word or phrase:
“Lo siento, no sé la palabra/la frase. ¿Qué significa?” (I’m sorry, I don’t know the word/phrase. What does it mean?)

If everything is scrambled eggs and you just want it over-easy:
“No comprendo nada. Estoy perdido.” (I don’t understand anything. I’m lost.)
“¿Puedes ayudarme a entender?” (Can you help me understand?)

3) Recall the Tense

Are you hearing words that sound familiar, but aren’t quite what you remember? Chances are the tense of the conversation has shifted.

Conjugation indicates the differences between what happened in the past, what’s happening today, what will happen in the future, and what could hypothetically or possibly occur. It can also indicate who the verb refers to (he/she/we/etc.).

The only way to combat this is to study the different tenses and conjugations in Spanish, so I recommend finding a well-structured conjugation chart to have on hand. Or, create your own! Writing the charts out with pen and paper was the best method for me when I was first learning Spanish. The process of making the chart yourself will engrave it in your mind, forever making you a conjugation wizard.

4) Don’t Panic. Focus.

If you’ve followed the previous steps and still feel lost, don’t sweat it. Take a deep breath (or three) and relax. When trying to convey a word or phrase that you can’t remember (or don’t know), or making sense of what someone has said to you, the solution is simple: resort to the basics. You may want to memorize a few conversational Spanish phrases that can help you understand or describe what you mean, even if you can’t remember the exact words.

For example:

When describing what you know:
“Significa la materia verde encima de la tierra.” (= “Césped”)
(It means the green stuff above the soil = Grass)

When figuring out what someone else has said:
“¿Es significa al amigo mejor de los humanos, un animal domesticado?” (= “Los Perros”)
(Does it mean human’s best friend, a domesticated animal? = Dogs)

Other Spanish phrases:
“¿Estás hablando sobre…?” (Are you speaking about…)
Es en relación a… (It’s in relation to…)

5) Speak with Confidence

You know the saying, right? “Assumptions, they need to be made.” Well, sort of.

This should never be the first option when trying to pull yourself back to the light of a conversation, but there are situations when it’s beneficial. This route can actually provide a subconscious alternative to learning.

Assume what you’re about to say is right and say it with confidence, even if you know you may be wrong. There’s a high chance of someone providing a correction, or just make a mental note and look into it in the near future. Either way, this will provide an experience that’s more likely to stick in your head.

Conclusion

I suggest practicing these tips whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Practice them not only in face-to-face conversation, but also while watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book.

As my 7th grade science teacher and cross country coach would say when I forgot my homework or cramped up in a race, “Proper planning prevents pitiful performances.” It sounds harsh, but it’s a saying that’s maintained truth throughout my life. Learn these tips before you get stuck, and you’ll know just what to do!

Want more Spanish conversation practice? Check out our free Spanish classes to chat with a tutor and other learners in our live, online classroom!

Post Author: Simion G.
Simion G. teaches Spanish, guitar, and music theory in Seattle, WA and online. From beginners to higher education students, Simion is able to teach all levels of Spanish speakers. Learn more about Simion here!

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20 Easy Spanish Phrases for Striking Up a Conversation

Spanish phrases for conversations

Casual conversations with Spanish-speakers are a fun and easy way to practice your language skills! Here, you’ll find 20 phrases that will come in handy for Spanish conversation practice.

When you’re learning Spanish, it’s useful to have a few topics of conversation in mind so you can practice your conversational Spanish skills with another Spanish speaker. If and when the opportunity arises, use any of the following Spanish questions and phrases to put all you’ve learned into practice! Try them with a friend or Spanish tutor.

20 Spanish Phrases and Questions for Conversation Practice

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

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!

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 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. Either way, this question is a great way to get some Spanish conversation practice.

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.

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

People love talking about their favorite foods. And if your conversation goes well, you might just be able to have your next chat at the restaurant of your new friend’s choice!

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 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.

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?)

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.

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.

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!

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?)

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 Spanish phrases and questions, you’ll be able to 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.

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 Spanish 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!

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Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Eddy Van 3000

20 Engaging Conversation Ideas to Practice Your Spanish

20 Things to Talk About With Your Spanish Language Exchange PartnerAs you’re learning Spanish, it’s important to find a partner to engage in Spanish conversations with, so you can put all of your knowledge to practical use! The benefits of a conversation partner include an increased grasp of listening comprehension, and a better understanding of the language and the vocabulary. Below, we’ve created a list of possible topics that you can talk about to get you started with your Spanish conversation practice. Try with a friend or a private Spanish tutor.


Want Spanish conversation practice in an interactive setting? For a limited time, take one of our live, online classes for free! Learn more here. 


Conversation Topics for Beginner Students:

1) The weather. What is the weather like outside? What kind of weather do you like best? This is a basic conversation topic for people just beginning to learn Spanish.

2) Hobbies. Get to know your Spanish conversation partner by discussing what kinds of things you like to do for fun. This will help build your vocabulary!

3) Your family. If you get sick of talking about yourself, tell your Spanish conversation partner about your family. Practice conjugating Spanish verbs into the third person, and make sure all of your adjectives agree with your pronouns!

4) Likes and dislikes. Be as broad or as specific as you want. Talk about your favorite colors, foods, sports, or anything else. Just remember to conjugate the verb “gustar” properly; it’s a little tricky!

5) Travel. One of the first lessons you will learn about is travel vocabulary. While speaking with your partner, focus on words and phrases that pertain to finding directions and learning the cost of items. These are some of the most basic questions that you’ll have when traveling abroad.

6) Food. This is everyone’s favorite vocabulary lesson in school; grab some pizza or “café” and talk with your language partner about your favorite foods! Feeling adventurous? Try cooking a recipe written in Spanish with your language partner.

7) Your feelings about something important in your life. Your emotions or feelings on a particular topic can be worked into your Spanish conversation practice. Remember to pay attention to your verb conjugations.

8) Your morning routine. Some of the verbs used when you discuss your morning routine are tricky, so it’s important to get used to conjugating them verbally through this type of discussion.

9) Numbers. One of the hardest parts about learning Spanish is listening to native speakers quickly rattle off numbers you aren’t used to hearing. Practice this so you know the difference between words like “cincuenta y cinco” and “cuarenta y cinco.”

10) Your friends. This is another great get-to-know-you question! Talk about your friends, their hobbies, and their likes or dislikes.

11) Clothing. Mastering the important topic of clothing will be helpful if you ever go shopping in a Spanish-speaking country. Practice your numbers by talking about cost and sizes of different clothing items.

12) Your classes. School-related vocabulary is often covered in the first year of Spanish language learning because it’s something students have in common. Talk about the different classes you are taking or the subjects you are studying.

13) Sports. Do you play a sport or watch any sports? If you do, try to discuss the latest football or hockey game in Spanish. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary words that are relevant for different cultures.

14) Your house. Tell your Spanish conversation partner all about your “casa.” How many rooms does it have? What color are the walls? Where is the kitchen located?

15) Movies. Talk about your favorite movies, actors, directors, or genres. Not a big movie person? You can talk about books, plays, or musicians. This is a great way to practice using adjectives in a sentence.

Conversation Topics for Intermediate Students:

16) Your hopes for the future. You have to use future or conditional tenses here, so practice both to master conjugating the verbs while you speak.

17) Your past vacations. Learn the difference between the preterite and imperfect past tenses by telling a story about your past travels.

18) Current events. This is a great way to strongly expand your vocabulary and discuss more complex ideas. Start with simple current events and work your way up to international news.

19) What did you do yesterday? Still struggling with the preterite and imperfect past tenses? Make things a little simpler and talk about what you did the day before.

20) Your favorite birthday. Try to put all of your conversational lessons together to talk about your favorite birthday or holiday. These subjects are fantastic because they bring together a lot of different vocabulary lists. Who did you celebrate with? What did you wear? What did you eat? What did you like or dislike about it? How did you feel? Did you travel? Remember to use the preterite and imperfect tenses!

Remember, Spanish conversation practice with a friend or family member is important, but it’s not a substitute for working with a qualified tutor. A Spanish tutor will create lesson plans based on your learning style and help you understand concepts that are difficult for you, which can go a long way as you improve your speaking and comprehension skills. In the meantime, memorize these Spanish phrases and you’ll be chatting away in no time!

Ready to get started? Find a Spanish tutor in your area now!

 

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Photo by Evan Bench