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Top Ten Most Common Spanish Words or Phrases that You Will Hear on a Daily Basis

Here's a compilation of a bunch of useful words and phrases and their explanations that are said each and every day in Spain!

1) Vale. - Pronounced bah-ley. Which means "okay". This word is used during a conversation when you want to express to someone that you agree with or understand what he or she is saying. For example: ¨Sigue todo recto y la tienda está a la derecha.” “Vale.” (“Continue straight and the store is on the right.” “Okay.”)

2) No pasa nada. - It literally means, ¨Nothing happens.” But it also means, ¨Don´t worry (about it)”. After bumping into someone on the metro, you can say ¨Perdóname.¨ And the response could be ¨No pasa nada.¨

3) Qué ganas tengo. -  Which means, "I’m excited"; "I’m looking forward to it"; "Can’t wait". This is an expression you say to a friend that has invited you to a party or an event and you want to express your interest in going. ¨¡Qué ganas tengo de ir a la fiesta esta noche! (“I´m excited to go to the party tonight!")

4) …que lo pases bien / …que te lo pases bien. - This expression is used at the end of a conversation to wish someone to have fun at some event. “No puedo quedar esta noche. Voy a una competición de baile de mi hija.” “ ¡Que lo pases bien!” (“I can’t meet tonight. I’m going to my daughter’s dance competition.” “Alright. Enjoy!”)

5) ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas aquí en España? - This literally translates to ¨How much time do you carry here in Spain?” But what it means is ¨For how long have you been in Spain?” You could respond by saying, ¨Desde Agosto.” (“Since August.”)

6) Encantado - The most common way to greet someone you just met. Encantado (when the speaker is a boy) and encantada (when the speaker is a girl). It is the past participle of the verb encantar which means "to delight". Saying encantado/a translates to “Delighted/I´m delighted to meet you.”

7) Buen provecho / Que aproveche - Spanish people love food and a majority of their culture is focused around food. So if you are about to dive into a big lunch you´ll definitely hear someone say,¡Buen Provecho!” or “¡Que Aproveche!” (“Bon Appetite.” “Enjoy your meal.”)

8) Tío / Tía - These words literally mean uncle and aunt, but they are also a way to refer to someone as "dude".’ “¿Qué dices tío?” (“Dude, what are you saying?”) However, these are only used in Madrid. Other parts of Spain have their own slang words for ‘dude.’ For example, in Valencia, the locals say, “Nano”; in Barcelona, they say, “Nen"; and in Andalucía, it’s “Killo.”

9) (Qué) guay / Cómo mola – These expressions are the most common way to say “(How) cool.” “Gané un par de entradas al partido de Real Madrid.” “¡Guay!” (“I won a pair of tickets to the Real Madrid game.” “Cool!”) / “¡Cómo mola tu Nuevo móvil!” (Your new phone is cool!”)

10) Coger – This word has several different meanings in Castellano (Spanish). It means “to take” ; “to pick up”; and “to grab”.

  • For example, “Coge mi abrigo, por favor.” (Grab/Pick up my coat, please.")
  • ¿Puedo coger un rollo de papel?” “(Can I take a roll of toilet paper?")
  • Cogí un taxi para ir al trabajo hoy.” (“I took a taxi to work today.”)

 *However, be careful using coger in certain Latin American countries because it means “to have sex”.

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