Common Spanish phrases

Common Spanish phrases

Here is a quick reference guide for common Spanish phrases in Spain

You can also read the article ‘How To Learn Spanish As Fast As Possible.’

One tip that Louisa and I learned from a Salamanca bartender was that speaking politely will make you stand out as a foreigner. In our first trip to Spain, while Louisa was ordering,  the bartender corrected her and told her that she shouldn’t say, “podemos tener…” (can we have…). He said that ‘podemos tener’ is similar to saying, “oh, would I please be able to..would it be okay to have.” He told us to be more bossy and just say “da me…” (give me) and just directly say what it is that you want. You can read the full anecdote here.

There is also a really fantastic blog from an American girl that has lived in Spain for a long time (she’s now married to a Spaniard). She has an article that explains all of the rules of Spaniard mannerisms. It’s a great read – and it also has some general tips for living in Spain. Anyway, in this blog she talks about requesting things at bars via “da me.”

Below we have categorized the Spanish phrases into a few categories, you can click on them to jump around the page. For the most part the list is very basic and only has a few key phrases. We’ll probably build them each as we go.

catedral vieja


Finding an apartment
Getting a phone/phone minutes


Common Spanish colloquial phrases and idioms

No pasa nada:   No worries
Mujer de gamba: Butter face
Corrí en mis pantelones:  I c*me in my pants (saw this in movie made us laugh)
Por amor de Dios:  For the love of God
Vollo: boring person/thing
Coñazo: similar to coño but nicer
Estar cachas: nice muscles (sexy)
Esta cuadrado: He/she’s not skinny but not fat; not ugly nor beautiful. Just plain.
Parece un armario: fatty
Tablete de chocolate: six pack abs/washboard abs

Here’s a link that has a list of great Spanish phrases using the word “por”



Spanish phrases for finding an apartment:

For a complete article with tips on how to find an apartment in Spain, please read our article titled, ‘How to Find an Apartment in Salamanca


Alquilan:  Rent
Piso:  Flat aka apartment
Amueblado:  Furnished
Compartido:   Shared
Lavadora: Washer machine
C/ (stands for Calle): Street
Habitaciones or Nº hab.:  # of how many rooms are in the apartment, or how many rooms available
Todos los gastos incluidos:  Utilities included
Calefacción: Heating
Las zonas comunes: Common area
Reformado: Renovated
Ascensor: Elevator
Mascotas: Pets



Spanish phrases for bars:

Borracho: Drunk
Cuando estoy borracho, hablo español perfectamente. Es porque yo siempre bebiendo
Chupito: shots
Quiería [algo]: I would like [something] (replace ‘algo’ with what you want to order)
Resaca: Hungover



Spanish phrases for shopping

IVA incluído: Tax included
Me gustaría probarse: I’d like to try this
Talla: Size
Efectivo: Cash
Card: Tarjeta
Rebajas: Sales



Spanish phrases for restaurants or tapas bars:

Pincho y caña menu: This is the menu with beer and tapa included in the price
Gustaría agua por favor: I would like water please
IVA incluído: Tax included
Antojo: Craving
Nos cobras: We would like change from you
— when I had drinks with my Spanish teacher and it was time to leave, she called to the water only saying the phrase, “nos cobras.” Usually when Kyle and I were ready to leave we’d just ask for the “cuenta.” It’ll be nice to have a new closing out phrase. Except when I looked up the translation Google says this means, “we’re cobras.” Maybe hold off on using this until we can verify this is the correct saying. HAHA!