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Greetings in Spanish: the complete guide

Greetings in Spanish the complete guide

¡Hola, cómo estás? !Buenos días! Are you ready to jump into the world of Spanish greetings? Greetings play an important role in communication in Spanish, acting as the gateway to more meaningful conversations with local Spanish speaking people. Let’s have a look at various Spanish greetings, offering valuable insights to elevate your greeting game in the Spanish language. Greetings in Spanish: the complete guide.

Greetings, more than mere words, are the keys to the heart of any language, and in the vibrant Spanish culture, greetings open doors to a warm and expressive universe. From the sun-kissed plazas of Seville to the bustling streets of Mexico City, every corner of the Spanish-speaking world brings its own unique flair to the act of greeting. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of formal and informal salutations, explore the significance of cheek kisses, and uncover the regional variations that make each “hola” a cultural treasure. Greetings in Spanish: the complete guide.

Formal Greetings in Spanish

In formal settings, conveying respect and courtesy is paramount in the Spanish speaking world. Familiarize yourself with these examples of formal greetings in Spanish:

  • Buenos días: Good morning
  • Buenas tardes: Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches: Good evening and Good night

It’s noteworthy that the use of “buenas” (meaning “good”) with “días,” “tardes,” and “noches” reflects the plural form. While ‘ tardes’ and ‘noches’ are feminine words (buenas tardes, buenas noches), día es masculine (buenos días).
Read: classic mistake number #1: saying “Buenas días” instead of Buenos días.

Informal Greetings + Slang in Spanish

In casual scenarios, Spanish speakers in both Spain and Latin America embrace a relaxed tone and employ informal greetings. Here are some lively examples:

  • Hola: Hello
  • ¿Qué tal?: What’s up?
  • ¿Cómo estás?: How are you?
  • ¿Qué onda? : What’s up (in informal language).

Hola – in slang/ street language

Of course there are also other ways of saying ‘hola’. Here is a quick overview of more informal ways to say “hello, how are you” and similar greetings in Spanish slang and street language across various Latin American countries and Spain:

How to greet in Spanish


  1. Che, ¿todo bien?: Hey, everything good?
  2. ¿Qué onda?: What’s up?
  3. Hola, ¿cómo va?: Hello, how’s it going?


  1. ¿Qué pedo?: What’s farting? (slang)
  2. ¡Hola, compa! ¿Cómo estás?:Hello, buddy! How are you?
  3. ¿Cómo andas?: How are you moving?


  1. ¡Hola tío/a! ¿Qué tal?: Hello, dude/girl! How’s it going?
  2. ¿Qué pasa?: What’s happening?
  3. Ey, ¿cómo estás?: Hey, how are you?


  1. ¿Qué más?: What else?
  2. Hola, parcer@, ¿cómo va todo?: Hello, buddy, how’s everything?
  3. ¿Cómo estás, herman@?: How are you, brother/sister?


  1. ¿Qué hubo?: What happened?
  2. ¡Hola, pata! ¿Cómo estás?: Hello, friend! How are you?
  3. ¿Cómo va?: How’s it going?


  1. ¿Qué onda?: What’s the wave?
  2. ¡Hola, weón/weona! ¿Cómo estás?: Hello, dude/dudette! How are you?
  3. ¿Cómo andai?: How are you moving?


  1. ¿Qué más?: What else?
  2. Hola, pana, ¿cómo estás?: Hello, buddy, how are you?
  3. ¿Cómo va todo?: How’s everything going?

Dominican Republic:

  1. ¿Qué lo que?: What’s up?
  2. ¡Hola, herman@! ¿Cómo tú ta’?: Hello, brother/sister! How are you?
  3. ¿Cómo tú está?: How are you?

Puerto Rico:

  1. ¿Qué pasa?: What’s happening?
  2. ¡Hola, herman@. ¿Cómo estás?: Hello, brother/sister! How are you?
  3. ¿Cómo tú ta’?: How are you?

These informal greetings capture the diverse and vibrant colloquialisms used in different Spanish-speaking regions.

Responding to Greetings

Mastering responses to greetings is equally crucial for making a good impression on your interlocutor. Here’s how to respond gracefully in Spanish:

¿Cómo estás? Estoy bien, gracias.* (How are you? I’m fine, thanks).
Tú eres (You are)
¿Qué tal? Bien, gracias.* (What’s up? Good, thanks)

In Latin American culture, it’s customary to include a kiss on the cheek or a hug when greeting close friends and family.

Goodbyes in Spanish

Bid farewell with flair, adapting your expressions based on the context and formality:

Formal Goodbyes in Spanish

In formal situations, professionalism prevails. Consider these expressions:

Adiós Goodbye
Hasta luego See you later
Hasta la vista Until we meet again
Nos vemos pronto See you soon
Que tenga un buen día/tarde/noche Have a good day/afternoon/night

Informal Goodbyes in Spanish

For more casual settings, embrace relaxed expressions:

Chao Bye
Nos vemos See you
Hasta la próxima Until next time
Cuídate Take care

Note that “chao” is a term frequently used in Latin America.

Speaking Spanish!
Greetings and goodbyes in Spanish form the foundation of communication. Whether in a formal or informal context, mastering these expressions in Spanish is key. Armed with these common Spanish phrases, you can confidently navigate conversations, leaving a positive impression on those you interact with.

Now that you’ve unlocked the secrets of saying hello and goodbye in Spanish, practice regularly to enhance your fluency. Ready to embark on your Spanish learning journey? Discover the perfect tutor for you!

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