A handy dandy Spanish phrase sheet

A traveler's cheat sheet on how to say the basics and ask important questions in Spanish

Basics | Transport | Lodging | Dining | Time/Numbers | [pronunciation notes]


English = Ingles (een-GLAYS) Spanish = Español (eh-spa-NYOL)
Thank you Gracias (GRAH-thee-yahs)
Please Por favor (por fah-BOHR)
Yes (see)
No No (no)
Do you speak English? Habla ingles usted? (AH-blah een-GLAIS oo-STED)
I don't understand No comprendo (nohn cohm-PREN-doh)
I'm sorry Lo siento (lo see-YEN-toh)
Good day Buenos días (BWAY-nohs DEE-hahs)
Good evening Buenos tardes (BWAY-nohs TAR-days)
Good night Buenas noches (BWAY-nohs NOH-chays)
Goodbye Adiós (ah-dee-YOHS)
Excuse me (to get attention) Perdóneme? (pair-DOHN-eh-meh)
Where is? Dónde está? (DOHN-day eh-STAH)
...the bathroom el servicio (el sair-BEE-thee-yo) [or] el baño (el BAHN-yoh)
How much is it? Cuánto cuesta? (KWAN-toh KWAY-stah)
That's too much Eso es demasiado caro (AYS-oh day-mahs-SYAN-doh KAR-roh)


Where is? Dónde está? (DOHN-day eh-STAH)
...the train station la estación (lah es-tah-thee-YON)
...the subway (metro) el metro (el MAY-tro)
...the bus el bus (el BOOS)
...the tram el tranvía (el trahn-VEE-yah)
to the right a la derecha (ah lah deh-RAY-chah)
to the left a la izquierda (ah lah eeth-KYAIR-dah)
straight ahead siga derecho (SEE-gah deh-RAY-cho)
ticket un billete (oon beel-YAY-tay)
first class primera classe (pree-MAIR-ah KLAH-say)
second class segunda classe (seh-GOO-dah KLAH-say)
one way ida (EE-dah)
round trip (return) ida y vuelta (EE-dah ee BWEL-tah)
Just the supplement Sólo el suplemento (SOH-loh el soo-play-MEYN-toh)
Just a seat reservation sólo una reserva (SOH-loh OO-nah ree-SAIR-bah)
I have a Eurailpass Yo tengo el Eurailpass (yo TAIN-go hel YOO-rail-pas)
sleeping couchette una litera (OON-ah lee-TAIR-ah)
berth in a sleeping car una litera en el coche cama (OON-ah lee-TAIR-ah en el COH-chay KAH-mah)
track el andén (el ahn-DAYN)


hotel un hotel (oon oh-TEL)
B&B / rental room cama y desayuno (KAH-mah ee des-ah-YOO-noh)
apartment / flat apartamento (ah-par-tah-MEN-toh)
hostel hostal (oh-STAHL)
single room una habitación sencilla (OO-nah ah-bee-ta-thee-YOHN sen-THEE-yah)
double room with two beds una habitación doble con dos camas (OO-nah ah-bee-ta-thee-YOHN DOH-blay kohn dohs CAH-mas)
double room with one bed una habitación doble con una cama matrimo-nial (OO-nah ah-bee-ta-thee-YOHN DOH-blay kohn OO-nah CAH-mah mah-tree-maon-YAAL)
for one night por una noche (poar OO-nah NOH-chay)
for two nights por dos noches (poar dohs NOH-chays)
with bath / without bath con baño (cohn BAH-nyoh) / sin baño (seen BAH-nyoh)
Is breakfast included? Está incluido el desayuno? (eh-STAH een-kloo-WEE-doh el des-ah-YOO-noh)
May I see the room? Se puede ver la habitación? (say PWEH-day bear lah ah-bee-tah-thee-YOHN)


restaurant un restaurante (oon res-tau-RAHN-tay)
casual restaurant una tascas (oon-nah TAH-skas)
table for two una mesa para dos (oo-nah MEH-sah PA-rah dohs)
I would like Quisiera (kee-see-YAIR-ah)
...some (of) unos (de) (OO-nos (day))
...this / that éste (EH-stay) / ése (EH-seh)
and y (ee)
...a glass of... un vaso de (oon BAH-soh day)
...a bottle of... una botella de (oon boh-TAY-yah day)
...fizzy water agua con gas (AH-gwah cone gahs)
...still water agua sin gas (AH-gwah seen gahs)
...tap water agua del grifo (AH-gwah dell GREE-foh)
...red wine vino tinto (BEE-noh TEEN-toh)
...white wine vino blanco (BEE-noh BLANH-coh)
...beer una cerveza (OO-nah thair-BAY-thah)
Check, please La cuenta por favor (lah KQAIN-tah por-fah-BHOR)
Is service included? Está el servicio incluido? (eh-STAH el sair-BEE-thee-yo een-clu-WEE-doh)

Time & numbers

When is it open? Cuándo abren? (KWAN-do ah-BREN)
When does it close? Cuándo se cierra? (KWAN-do say thee-YAIR-rah)
Yesterday Ayer (ah-YAIR)
Today Hoy (oy)
Tomorrow Mañana (mah-NYAH-nah)
Monday Lunes (LOO-nays)
Tuesday Martes (MAHR-tays)
Wednesday Miércoles (MYAIR-coh-lays)
Thursday Jueves (YOO-bays)
Friday viernes (BYAIR-nays)
Saturday Sábado (SAH-bah-doh)
Sunday Domingo (doh-MEEN-goh)
1 uno (OO-noh)
2 dos (dohs)
3 tres (trays)
4 cuatro (KWAH-troh)
5 cinco (THEEN-koh)
6 seis (says)
7 siete (see-YAY-tah)
8 ocho (OH-cho)
9 nueve (NWAY-beh)
10 diez (DEE-yeth)
11 once (OHN-thay)
12 doce (DOH-thay)
13 trece (TRAY-thay)
14 catorce (cah-TORE-thay)
15 quinze (KEEN-thay)
16 diesiséis (dee-YAY-thee-SAIS)
17 diecisiete (dee-YAY-thee-see-YAY-tay)
18 dieciocho (dee-YAY-thee-OH-cho)
19 diecinueve (dee-YAY-thee-NWAY-beh)
20 veinte (BAIN-tay)
21 veinte y uno (BAIN-tay ee OO-noh)
22 veinte-dos (BAIN-tay dohs)
30 treinta (TRAIN-tah)
40 cuarenta (kwa-RAYN-tah)
50 cincuenta (theen-KWAIN-tah)
60 sesenta (say-SAYN-tah)
70 setenta (say-TAIN-tah)
80 ochenta (oh-CHAIN-tah)
90 noventa (noh-BAIN-tah)
100 ciento (thee-YEN-toh)
1,000 mil (meel)


Pronunciation notes

Spanish in Spain is very different from Spanish in Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America (which is the Spanish most North Americans are used to).

For example, Spaniards—especially Castillians—often sound as it they are lisping. It is not actually a lisp (nor, despite the false legend repeated in many guidebooks, does it have anything to do with some lisping king everyone was afraid to correct). It is the ceceo, and it just means that many c's and z's sounds like "th."

Regional dialects and languages

To make things easier, we'll stick to Castillian Spanish here—which is the "proper," common form of Spanish in Spain, the sort newscasters speak—since every Spanish region has its own distinct pronunciation or dialect.

For example, in parts of central and northern Andalusia, they pronounce "c" as an "s," not as "th."

Some regions of Spain even have their own, distinct languages. (Though just about everyone also speaks Castillian Spanish as well.)

In Catalonia, home to Barcelona—as well as in the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Majorca, etc.) and in most of Valencia—they speak Catalan, which sounds a bit like a cross between Spanish and French and is more closely related to the Languedoc, Corsican, and Provençal langauges of France. (I have a seperate Catalan phrase sheet here.)

Other languages spoken within Spain include Galician and Astruaian in the northwest, and along the northern coast there are pockets of people who speak Basque, Aragonese, and even some Occitan.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in September 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.