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Basic Spanish Vocabulary

Updated on June 12, 2011

Learn Spanish quickly and effectively

When you learn a foreign language you want to jump straight in and get going, you want to learn a lot quickly, and you want to feel you are getting somewhere.

So, with that in mind, here are a few common phrases which will enable you to get speaking straight away.

Note: the grammar in this guide is using the impolite only, if you were to go into a bank for example, you would need to use the polite form. As this is slowly dying out of the Spanish language, I haven't included so as not to cause unnecessary confusion.

Pronunciation

Luckily Spanish is a language that is very easy to read and speak – words are pronounced exactly as they're written. If a word contains an accent then the stress is on that syllable, otherwise it's on the penultimate syllable (the second last).

ñ – this is pronounced ny, so for example año is pronounced an-yo

j-, ge- or gi- - this is pronounced like the -ch in Scottish loch, in the throat

rr (or words beginning in R) – this is pronounced with a rolled rrr sound

ll – pronounced like ye- in yellow


Basic sentences

Hello..............................................Hola

......................................................Buenos dias

How are you?.................................¿Qué tal?

.......................................................¿Como estás?

Fine thanks, and you?....................Bien, gracias. ¿Y tu?

What is your name?........................¿Como te llamas?

My name is......................................Me llamo...

How old are you?............................¿Cuantos años tienes? ( años is pronounced an-yos)

I am 30 years old..............................Tengo treinta años

Where are you from?.......................¿De donde eres?

I'm from.............................................Soy de...

England.............................................Inglaterra

The United States..............................los Estados Unidos

France...............................................Francia

What would you like to drink?............¿Qué quieres beber?

What would you like to eat?...............¿Qué quieres comer?

What would you like?.........................¿Qué quieres tomar?

I would like..........................................Quiero...

We would like.....................................Queremos...

Where are the toilets?........................¿Dondé están los aseos?

Do you have...?.................................¿Tienes...?

Some basic vocabulary

beer................una cerveza

wine................un vino

red..................tinto

white...............blanco

rosé.................rosado

water...............una agua

sandwich.........un bocadillo

hamburger........una hamberguesa

to have..............tener

to want.............querer

to be.................ser (permanent characteristics)

........................estar (temporary)

hungry..............hambre

thirsty...............sed

hotel.................el hotel

house...............la casa


Numbers

one...................uno

two..................dos

three.................tres

four..................quatro

five...................cinco

six....................seis

seven................siete

eight.................ocho

nine..................nueve

ten...................diez


Days of the week

Monday.............lunes

Tuesday.............martes

Wednesday.........miércoles

Thursday............jueves

Friday................viernes

Saturday.............sabado

Sunday...............domingo

Please also check out my guides to Spanish grammar and how to improve your basic Spanish.

Comments

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    • profile image

      jt walters 

      7 years ago

      I was just kidding. Great Hub!!!

    • ameliejan profile imageAUTHOR

      ameliejan 

      7 years ago from Alicante, Spain

      Thanks - you're absolutely right, asking directions to the bathroom is important. Funnily enough, I included that in another hub on learning Spanish, but not this one.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Being from Florida every one speaks Spanish. It is a me multi-lingual state. You are rasied with it. I thought there are formal and informal forms of Spanish like in German there is High German, middle German and then infomral German which I like to call American.

      Speaking the European languages, i liked this article alot. It gives the reader the ability to get a few prhanses under the belt before heading out to a Spanish speaking country.

      If I have one criticism which I really don't. I would tell your read to learn,

      Donde esta Banyo? I find phrases like this to be very important especially when I am eating and drinking. You migth have to teach your reader what the responses mean as well. It is "Est moi mal" to be a in country and not know how to ask for the bathroom or to be able to ask and not understand the directions given.

      Thumbs Up! I love this article.

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