Can You Translate These Basic Spanish Phrases?

Isadora Teich

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you think you know enough basic Spanish to ace this quiz? Let's find out.

Learning a foreign language is hard. But even if you don't have Rosetta Stone, you've probably picked up a few words of other languages here and there. Words and phrases from other languages naturally make their way into English as people from other countries immigrate to ours. This is a great way to learn to communicate with people from other countries. And, assuming that you'd like to travel one day, knowing even a few basic phrases in the language that's common in the country you plan to visit is not only polite; it's smart.

Common Spanish words and phrases that have made their way into common use include "por favor," which means "please;" "de nada," which means "you're welcome," but which, literally translated, means "it is nothing;" "te amo," which means "I love you" (the word "te" is pronounced "tay"), and "hasta luego," which means see you later, gater... well, not really, but it is a way to say "goodbye" in Spanish.

How well do you think you know these basic Spanish words and phrases? Could you communicate in Spanish?

Take this quiz to find out how much you know.



¡Feliz Navidad!

There is a reason that "Navidad" sounds like "nativity." This phrase is the perfect way to wish any Spanish speaker a very merry Christmas.

Yo no comprendo.

For those learning the ropes when it comes to Spanish, this is a must. It means "I don't understand."

¿Habla inglés?

This phrase is important for beginner Spanish speakers who travel. Finding others who can understand English can be vital.

¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

"Happy birthday" in Spanish can be quite a mouthful for some English speakers. It is important to pronounce the tilde, or the little squiggle on top of the accented ñ, which adds a y sound after the n.

Hola, me llamo...

"Hola, me llamo..." is Spanish for "Hello, my name is..." For example: "Hola, me llamo Anna."

Buenas tardes.

"Buenas tardes" is Spanish for "good afternoon." Night owls who get up late may never hear a greeting meant for an earlier time than this.

Quiero agua.

"Quiero" is the conjugated form of the verb "querer," which means "to want." This phrase can come in handy at restaurants and bars.

Sí.

"Sí" is Spanish for "yes." "No," however, is the same in both English and Spanish.

Te amo.

Spanish is one of the world's romance languages. "Te amo" and "Te quiero" are two romantic ways to express love in Spanish.

Me gustas mucho.

This easy Spanish phrase is a great way to be cute and romantic at the same time. It's a little lighter than "Te amo," which means "I love you."

¿Dónde está…?

For travelers with a bad sense of direction, this is another must. Fill in the blank with a destination.

¿Dónde está el baño?

One of the most important questions to know how to ask in any language is "Where is the bathroom?" "¿Dónde está el baño?" gets the job done in Spanish.

Lo siento.

"Lo siento" is Spanish for "I'm sorry." When you're ambling around a Spanish-speaking country without knowing much Spanish, this one can come in handy.

Hasta luego.

There are ways to say goodbye in Spanish, other than the famous "adiós." You can say "hasta luego," and even "chau" or "chao."

¡Salud!

"¡Salud!' can be used to mean "bless you" after someone has sneezed. It also is used as a toast, in place of "cheers!" in many Spanish-speaking countries.

¿Qué hora es?

"¿Qué hora es?" is the way to ask for the time in Spanish. Have this phrase on hand, and being too early or late is impossible - if you also understand numbers in Spanish, of course!

¡Felicitaciones!

Congratulate Spanish speakers with this phrase. It makes well wishes roll right off the tongue!

¿Por qué?

"¿Por qué?" is Spanish for "why." There are neat Spanish equivalents for many English question words.

Buenos días.

"Buenos días" means "good morning" in Spanish. This is a common greeting in the early hours.

¿Cómo te llamas?

This is the informal version of the phrase. If talking to a stranger or older person, ask "¿Cómo te llama usted?" to show respect.

Necesito ayuda.

This is an important phrase to keep in mind, especially for avid travelers. Knowing how to ask for help can get people out of sticky situations.

Por favor.

"Por favor" is Spanish for "please." Regardless of where a person happens to be in the world, politeness is always important!

No lo sé.

All travelers find out just how much they don't know as they travel. This can be an important phrase.

De nada.

"De nada" is used to mean "You're welcome." It literally means that there is nothing to thank the other person for.

¿Cómo se dice...?

This phrase can help to vastly expand the vocabulary of any beginning Spanish speaker. Learning new words is the key to mastering any language.

Derecho

When you ask for directions, if someone replies "derecho," you are on the right track. Whatever you are looking for is straight ahead.

¡Perdón!

This is a far milder apology than "lo siento." Both are important for speaking politely.

Tarjeta de crédito

This phrase makes it easy to find out if a restaurant or shop will accept credit cards. This information can be vital for travelers.

Buenas noches.

This common greeting is used after nightfall in many Spanish speaking countries. Unlike in English, good night does not necessarily mean goodbye in Spanish.

¿Cómo está usted?

This is the formal way to ask strangers, elders and those in positions of authority how they are. The informal way, which is used with loved ones and friends, is "¿cómo estás?"

¿Cómo te va?

This easy phrase lets people ask how others are doing in a snap. It's a casual hello, meant for friends.

¿Cuánto cuesta?

This Spanish phrase is a must know for shopaholics. "¿Cuánto cuesta?" means "How much does it cost?"

Estoy enfermo(a).

When people are ill, this phrase is how they express it. Whether medical attention is needed or just some rest, these words certainly get the point across.

Estoy perdido.

Travelers with bad internal compasses find themselves using this phrase a lot in Spanish-speaking countries. It means "I'm lost."

En la esquina

When you're asking for directions, this phrase means your destination can be found at the corner. Pay attention to the street names given.

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