Greetings in Spanish
The Importance of a Greeting
A greeting is a basic form of courtesy in human society. It’s a simple way to show someone unfamiliar that you are friendly and/or respectful. It’s important to understand how to be able to greet someone in all types of social situations, whether they be very formal or very informal. In this article, we’ll show you different ways to greet someone in Spanish so that the next time you encounter a Spanish-speaker, you’ll be able to show off your manners.
You can use the greetings in the following list in basically any situation. Remember that in Spanish, tú , vos , usted , ustedes , and vosotros are all ways to say you. To make the list simpler, we’ll just show the Spanish greetings that use usted and ustedes (in the masculine form).
List of Formal Greetings
Remember that Spanish has formal and informal forms of you:
- Tú is used when talking to people you know, like your friends, or people the same age as you or younger.
- Usted is used when talking to someone you don’t know, someone older, or someone to whom you wish to show respect and formality.
Want to learn more about the differences between tú and usted? Check out our article on the Spanish you.
Now let’s take a look at a snippet of dialogue between two doctors that don’t know each other very well.
The greetings in this list are a little more informal. They can also be used in many social situations, from an encounter between friends to interactions with coworkers.
List of Informal Commands
Let’s take a look at a conversation between two coworkers that know each other well.
Very Informal Greetings
The greetings in the following list are very informal. Some, depending on how well you get along with the person that you’re speaking with, could result in some awkward tension if you’ve miscalculated your social standing with them.
List of Very Informal Greetings
|Oye. (When getting someone’s attention)||Hey.|
|What’s going on?|
|How's it going?|
|What're you up to?|
|How are we doing?|
|What’s up, buttercup?|
Lastly, let's take a look at a sample conversation between two friends who know each other very well.