Are you wondering how to say Hello in Spanish? One of the most common greetings in Spanish is Hola, but it’s important to remember that this word is only used in certain situations. In fact, if you want to greet someone in Spanish properly, there are some factors you need to take into consideration:
- The time of Day/Night
- The situation (formal or informal)
- The difference between Greetings and Goodbyes
How to say Hello in Spanish and other greetings
As we have mentioned above, one of the most common ways to greet someone in Spanish is HOLA. This term is used to greet family, friends, colleagues and people we treat with familiarity in informal situations. Hola can be used at any time of the day or night and just when we meet somebody.
Remember that the h is silent in Spanish, so the correct pronunciation of Hola is without the h (ola).
When the situation is more formal, hola is replaced by other words which change depending on the time of the day or night:
- BUENOS DÍAS – Good morning
- BUENAS TARDES – Good afternoon
- BUENAS NOCHES* – Good evening
*Keep in mind that Buenas noches can be used to greet someone in a formal situation, but it is also the translation for Good night.
One curious detail is that Buenos días, Buenas tardes and Buenas noches are formal ways to greet in Spanish, but when Spaniards want to greet friends or family in an informal way, they just say Buenas as an alternative to Hola.
How to say “How are you” in Spanish
After saying Hello, it is customary to then ask people “How are you?”. In Spanish you can say ¿CÓMO ESTÁS? or ¿QUÉ TAL?
¿Qué tal? is the most common way to ask somebody how they are in Spanish and can be used in formal and informal situations.
How to say Goodbye in Spanish
If you want to say goodbye in Spanish, you can use ADIÓS or HASTA LUEGO, but as with English, there are also many other ways to say goodbye, for example:
- HASTA PRONTO – See you soon
- HASTA AHORA – See you later
- HASTA MAÑANA – See you tomorrow
- HASTA EL LUNES – See you on Monday (and the same with the other days of the week)
- HASTA LA PRÓXIMA – See you next time
If you have enjoyed this post about How to say Hello in Spanish and are eager to discover more about the Spanish language, remember that we offer Spanish lessons online with native and qualified tutors. Contact us and we will be very happy to help you learn Spanish with ease.