Check out the Spanish basics!
Have you just arrived to Valencia and you feel unsure about your Spanish? Whether you are a beginner in Spanish or you are more advanced, we’ve created this blog with some tips on the Spanish basics to help you in your first phase of adaption to your new everyday life. Learn these words and expressions and you will feel more than confident to start making new friends and make the most of your stay in Valencia!
¡Buenos días! / ¡Buenas tardes! / ¡Buenas noches! – Good morning!/Good afternoon!/Good night!
In Spanish there’s no time limit to differentiate between saying buenos días and buenas tardes. In general, most people usually say buenas tardes after 12pm but actually there is no set rule on this. A lot of people even say buenos días all the way up til lunchtime, that’s around 2pm-3pm in Spain!
The same is true when choosing between buenas tardes and buenas noches in the evening. While in English saying good night is only used when somebody is going to sleep, in Spanish we change to buenas noches usually when it gets dark around 8pm/9pm.
¡Hola! ¿Que tal? – Hello! How are you?
The common way of Spanish people to greet each other is simply by saying Buenas or Hola. It’s not associated with time so it doesn’t matter if you say it in the morning, afternoon or evening. A good solution if you’re unsure of which «Buenas…» one to use!
These are other words/expressions that you will be surely using in your new routine:
¡Adiós! – Bye!
¡Muchas gracias! – Thank you very much!
De nada – You’re welcome
Perdón – I’m sorry
¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
Getting to know new people
When you meet a new person, the common thing is to say: ¡Hola! ¿Que tal?. You already know the meaning of this one – Hello! How are you?. These are some basic questions to ask new friends, as follows:
¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
¿A qué te dedicas? – What do you do?
¿Cuántos años tienes? – How old are you?
¿Dónde vives? – Where do you live?
In a bar or restaurant
When you are in a bar or restaurant, these are the basics you need to know:
¿Tienes una mesa para 2 personas, por favor? – Do you have a table for 2 people, please?
¿Me podría traer la carta? – Could you bring me the menu?
Me gustaría comer…/Me gustaría beber… – I would like to eat/drink…
La cuenta, por favor – The bill, please
¿Cuanto cuesta? – How much is it?
As we are talking about restaurants, have you heard the Spanish expression Ir de tapas before? If you are in Valencia, you must have! Spain is famous for its Tapas. It is not a specific kind of food or a traditional dish, it is more a way of eating for Spanish people.
How does it work? It’s just ordering a lot of smaller dishes to share around the table. Doing this, everybody gets to taste all different kinds of food that are served. Depending on the region you are in, you can find different tapas but some of the most typical ones are bravas, morro de cerdo, calamares, tortilla de patatas, sepia, gambas, ensaladilla, jamón y queso. Have you ever tasted them?
Also, one of the most ordered drinks in Spanish bars and restaurants is beer. But how should you order it? Easy. Normally people ask the waiter or waitress for a cerveza or “birra” which is the colloquial way to say beer in Spain.
Next you need to choose between cerveza de barril (o tirador) and botellín. If you choose from the barrel, you can ask for a caña, doble or tanque, depending on the size of the glass you want (examples are from smallest to biggest).