Spanish Greetings & Farewells for All Occasions

Spanish greetings are often the very first thing you say when starting a conversation. Since salutations are a crucial part of learning Spanish, in this article, you’ll learn some common greetings you can apply to different situations. 

Here is a quick overview of what we’ll cover:

In addition to these phrases, I’ve also included some recordings so you know how to pronounce these salutations correctly. 

Basic Greetings in Spanish

The most basic greetings in Spanish are: 

  • Hola – Hi / Hello
  • ¿Bueno? / ¿Diga? / Aló – Hello? (for phone calls only)
  • Buenos días – Good morning
  • Buen día – Good day
  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches – Good night / Good evening

Hola is slightly more informal than the rest of these greetings. As a result, you should use it in casual situations. You can also add the following basic phrases to your greeting: 

  • ¿Cómo está? / ¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
  • ¿Cómo andas? – How are you? (informal)
  • ¿Cómo ha estado? / ¿Cómo has estado? – How have you been? 

Take Note: Although they share the same translation, ¿cómo está? and ¿cómo estás? are used to address people formally or informally. These phrases are an example of what is known as formal and informal ‘you’ in Spanish.  

Informal Spanish Greetings

If you are greeting friends or acquaintances, you can use any of the following informal greetings: 

  • ¿Cómo andas? – How are you?
  • ¡Qué onda! – What’s up? / How are things? 
  • ¿Qué tal? – How is it going?
  • Quiubo – How is it going? (Latin American Spanish)
  • ¿Cómo te ha ido? – How’s everything going?
  • ¿Cómo te va? – How is it going?
  • ¡Qué milagro! – Long-time no see
  • ¿Qué bolá, asere? – What’s up, buddy? (Cuba)
  • ¿Qué cuentas? – What’s up?

Business Greetings

Below are some formal greetings in Spanish that you can use in work environments. 

  • Bienvenido* – Welcome
  • ¿Qué tal se encuentra? How are you?
  • Gusto en verlo* – Nice to see you 
  • Encantado de conocerlo* – Nice to meet you

*Note: these salutations must agree with the number and gender of the people you’re addressing. Encantada de conocerla, Jessica – for example. 

If you must talk to people through a written channel, you can use any of these Spanish greetings for letters and emails: 

  • Apreciado(a): Dear/Appreciated 
  • A quien corresponda: To whom it may concern
  • Estimado(a): Dear/Esteemed

Tip: On top of greetings, other basic elements can help you improve your letters and emails, such as writing the date correctly and using appropriate connecting words. If you want to learn more about writing letters or emails, you can check my article on how to write a letter in Spanish

Christmas Greetings in Spanish

While it’s only one calendar day out of the whole year, let’s face it… we all love to wish others well throughout the month of December. Here are a few season’s greetings you can use:

  • Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas.
  • Felices fiestas – Happy Holidays.
  • Que tengas una muy feliz Navidad – Have a Merry Christmas.
  • Te deseo una feliz Navidad y un próspero Año Nuevo – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
  • Feliz Nochebuena – Merry Christmas Eve.
  • Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Take Note: Feliz and felicidades are basic words to congratulate someone in Spanish

Birthday Greetings

Some basic birthday greetings and wishes you can use in Spanish include: 

  • Feliz cumpleaños – Happy birthday
  • ¡Felicidades! – Congratulations
  • ¡Que tengas un feliz cumpleaños! – Have a happy birthday
  • Espero que te la pases bien – I hope you have a nice time 
  • Te deseo lo mejor – I wish you the best
  • Feliz cumple – Happy birthday (informal)
  • ¡Muchas felicidades! – Congratulations
  • Felicidades en tu día – Congratulations on your day

If you have a fellow Spanish speaker’s birthday party or celebration to attend in the near future, I’ve gone into more depth on ways to wish someone a happy birthday. Feel free to check it out.

Common Farewells in Spanish

Now that you know some basic greetings, here are some different ways to say goodbye in Spanish that will make you sound more natural and expand your vocabulary:

  • Adiós – Bye
  • Hasta luego / Hasta pronto – See you later / See you soon
  • Nos vemos / Ahí nos vemos – Later / See you 
  • ¡Que tengas buen día! – Have a good day!
  • ¡Que te vaya bien! – Take care! / See you! 
  • Cuídate / Con cuidado – Take care
  • Hasta mañana* – See you tomorrow
  • Me saludas a… – Say hi to…
  • Nos estamos viendo – See you around

Tip: In the phrase hasta mañana, you can replace the word ‘mañana’ with a day of the week or a noun to express when you’re seeing that person again. For example, hasta el lunes (see you on Monday) is a common Spanish farewell for coworkers and classmates. 

The previous expressions can also be used to say goodbye informally in a letter or email. Some examples of formal farewells you can use in written communications include: 

  • Atentamente – Sincerely 
  • Quedo a sus órdenes – I remain at your service 
  • Un saludo cordial – Kindest regards
  • Le agradezco de antemano – Thank you in advance

Bonus: How to Reply to Greetings

The way you respond to a greeting in Spanish depends very much on the expression the other person uses. With that in mind, here is a list of common responses: 

  • Bien, ¿y tú? – Good and you?
  • Bien, gracias – Good, thank you
  • Muy bien y ¿tú qué tal? – Very good, what about you?
  • No mucho – Not much
  • ¡Muchas gracias por tus palabras! – Thank you so much for your words! 
  • El gusto es mío – The pleasure is mine
  • Igualmente – Likewise / You too
  • Tú también / Usted también – You too
  • Gracias por tus deseos – Thank you for your wishes
  • Feliz Navidad para ti también – Merry Christmas to you too

Here are some examples: 

Que tenga buen día.Have a good day. 
Gracias, usted también.Thank you, you too! 

In many cases, the easiest way to reply to a greeting or farewell in Spanish is by reciprocating with a salutation. 

¡Hola, chicos!Hi guys!
¡Qué onda, Debbie! ¿Cómo andas?What’s up, Debbie? How are you?

Download the Spanish Greetings & Farewells PDF

To get the most out of greetings and farewells, you’ll need to practice them over time. Study at your own pace by downloading the PDF with all the greetings and farewells included above.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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