¡Hola! Meeting and greeting in Spanish

Conversational Spanish

In our next few blog articles, we’re going to be looking at some very common words and phrases which will help you to improve the Spanish you use on a day-to-day basis, making you sound more natural. Each blog article will look at a different area of conversation, so make sure you read each one to build up your vocabulary to ensure that you have the right words and phrases at hand, no matter the situation!

Meeting and greeting

Creating a good first impression is important, so you’ll want to be able to say hello to people properly. It’s not just about what you say, though, it’s making sure you are familiar with the correct etiquette when meeting people.

Spanish people usually shake hands upon meeting and parting in formal meetings, although friends and relatives will normally greet each other with a kiss on each cheek.
You can simply use hola (hello or hi) on its own. You can also use buenos días (good morning), buenas tardes (good afternoon or good evening – provided it’s still light) and buenas noches (good evening – once it’s dark). Spanish speakers often use both together, as in hola, buenos días and hola, buenas tardes.

Buenas noches means both good evening and good night. So you use it both when arriving at and leaving somewhere in the evening. When saying goodbye to someone you know you’ll see tomorrow, such as a colleague, you say hasta mañana (see you tomorrow).

When you pass friends and acquaintances in the street and don’t stop to talk, rather than saying hola you say hasta luego or adiós.

When you’re introduced to someone, you need to know what to say. The traditional encantado de conocerte and mucho gusto are only used in formal or business situations these days, and very often people just say encantado or even ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?.

Remember to use encantada rather than encantado if you’re female!

Now you’ve overcome the first steps, come back for the next blog post to help you continue with the conversation!

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