Greeting in Spanish: Essential Phrases for Authentic Interactions

The greeting in spanish commonly taught in most academies is “Hola, ¿Cómo estás?” However, realistically, this greeting is seldom heard on the streets. That’s why today, we bring you the most common ways to greet in Spanish, allowing you to integrate more easily into the culture. Let’s get started!

Greetings in spanish common

In Spanish, there are various forms of greetings that can be used based on the context, time of day, or the person you want to greet. Let’s explore some of the most common ones:


This is a universal Spanish greeting suitable for any time of the day and any context.

Example: “Hola, tanto tiempo sin verte” – “Hello, it ‘s been so long since I last saw you.”

“Buenos días”

Meaning “Good morning,” this phrase is used only in the early hours of the day (until noon) and fits almost any situation.

Example: “Buenos días, un placer compartir esta mañana con ustedes” – “Good morning, a pleasure to share this morning with you all.”

“Buenas tardes”

Similar to the previous phrase, it can be used in any context but only from noon until seven in the evening.

Example: “Buenas tardes, un placer compartir esta tarde con ustedes” – “Good afternoon, a pleasure to share this evening with you all.”

“Buenas noches”

Used from sunset until morning.

Example: “Buenas noches, que descanses” – “Good night, rest well.”


A colloquial greeting widely used in Colombia and Latin America, abbreviated from the typical “Buenos días.” It can be used to greet a group when arriving at a place or room.

Example: ¡Buenas! Espero que todos se encuentren bien. – “Hello! I hope everyone is doing well.”

“¿Cómo andas?”

A colloquial Spanish greeting used among friends and acquaintances. Literally, it means “How do you walk?” and is equivalent to “How is it going?”

Example: “Maria, ¡Cuánto tiempo! ¿Cómo andas?” – “Maria, long time no see! How is it going?”

“¿Qué me cuentas?”

Used when you want to continue the conversation. It literally means “What do you tell me?” and can be translated as “What’s up? What’s new?”

Example: “¿Qué ha sido de tu vida? ¿Qué me cuentas?” – “What has been going on in your life? What can you tell me?”

“¿Cómo te va?”

Used when a significant amount of time has passed since the last encounter with the person.

Example: “¿Cómo te va? ¿Sigues estudiando español?” – “How are you doing? Are you still studying Spanish?”

Other Variations of Spanish Greetings

“Hey, ¿Qué pasa, parce?”

The most colloquial phrase in Colombia, where “parce” is used to refer to a person, similar to buddy.

Example: Hola, ¿Qué pasa, parce? ¿Cómo te va?” – “Hello, what’s up, buddy? How are you doing?”

“¿Qué onda?”

A colloquial greeting used in various Latin American countries. It’s more casual and used among friends or people you are familiar with.

Example: “¿Qué onda? ¿Qué tal todo?” – “What’s up? How’s everything?”

“¿Qué hubo, parce?”

Very common in Colombia, especially among young people. Sometimes, “que hubo” is fused to create the term “Quiubo.”

Example: “¿Quiubo, parce? ¿Qué hace?” – “What’s up, buddy? What are you up to?”

Greetings in spanish: Kisses, and Hugs

In Latin American culture, it’s common to greet with cheek kisses (a light cheek-to-cheek contact). Therefore, if you want to blend in with the locals and make the greeting more relaxed and casual, you can add that touch of closeness. However, for a first encounter or greeting, it’s also acceptable to extend a hand for a handshake.

Greetings in Spanish for Parties or Special Occasions (Christmas, New Year, or Traditional Celebrations)

  • “Les deseamos una feliz navidad” – “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”
  • “Feliz año nuevo – Próspero año nuevo” – “Happy New Year – Prosperous New Year.”
  • “Felices fiestas” – “Happy holidays.”
  • “Felices fiestas patrias” – “Happy national holidays.”
  • “Feliz día de la madre” – “Happy Mother’s Day.”
  • “Feliz día del padre” – “Happy Father’s Day.”
  • “Quisiera desearles unas bonitas fiestas” – “I would like to wish you a beautiful holiday season.”

Greetings to Wish Good Luck

  • “¡Qué te vaya bien!” – “May it go well for you!” or “Wishing you the best!”
  • “¡Que tengas suerte!” – “Good luck.”
  • “Te deseamos lo mejor…” – “We wish you the best…”
  • “Te deseamos mucha suerte con…” – “We wish you the best of luck with…”

Greetings in Spanish for Someone Who Is Sick

  • “Le deseo una pronta recuperación” (formal) – “I wish you a swift recovery.”
  • “Que te mejores pronto” – “Get well soon.”
  • “Que te recuperes pronto” – “Wishing you a speedy recovery.”

Greetings for a Birthday

  • “Quisiera desearte muchas felicidades en tu día” – “I would like to wish you many congratulations on your day.”
  • “Que tengas un muy feliz cumpleaños” – “May you have a very happy birthday.”
  • “Te deseo lo mejor en este día” – “I wish you the best on this day.”

Greetings in Spanish to Start a Letter

  • “Hola amigo/a” – “Hello friend.”
  • “Estimado señor/a” – “Dear sir/madam.”
  • “Querido amigo/a” – “Dear friend.”

Greetings in spanish are as diverse as the culture itself. There are many ways to greet and start a conversation; just remember to consider the context of the situation, the time, and who you are greeting. See you in the next post.”


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