Ways To Say Hello In Spanish

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to greet someone in Spanish? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will explore various ways to say hello in Spanish, from the basics to more informal and formal greetings.

We will also cover greetings for different times of the day, casual greetings, greetings in different Spanish-speaking countries, and greetings for friends, family, and business settings.

With these greetings, you’ll be able to confidently engage with native Spanish speakers and make a great first impression. So, whether you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or simply want to expand your language skills, this article will provide you with the knowledge you need to greet others in Spanish with ease.

Let’s get started!

The Basics: Hola and Buenos Días

Let’s start with the basics:
¡Hola! and ¡Buenos días! are the two most common ways to say hello in Spanish.

¡Hola! is a casual and friendly greeting that can be used at any time of the day. It is similar to saying ‘hi’ in English.

On the other hand, ¡Buenos días! is specifically used in the morning and means ‘good morning.’ It is a more formal and polite way to greet someone.

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Both greetings are widely used and easily understood by Spanish speakers.

Informal Greetings: ¿Qué tal? and ¿Cómo estás?

Ready to learn some cool ways to greet your friends in Spanish? Well, you’re in luck because we’re about to dive into the informal greetings like ‘¿Qué tal?’ and ‘¿Cómo estás?’

These are common ways to say hello to your friends or peers. ‘¿Qué tal?’ is a versatile phrase that can mean ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘What’s up?’ while ‘¿Cómo estás?’ simply means ‘How are you?’

Remember to use these greetings when talking to people you’re familiar with!

Formal Greetings: Buenos días, Buenas tardes, and Buenas noches

Are you ready to learn how to impress native Spanish speakers with your formal greetings?

In Spanish, there are three common formal greetings that you can use depending on the time of day.

‘Buenos días’ is used in the morning until around noon.

‘Buenas tardes’ is used in the afternoon, typically from noon until sunset.

And ‘Buenas noches’ is used in the evening and night.

These greetings show respect and politeness when addressing someone in a formal setting.

Greetings for Different Times of the Day: Buenos días, Buenas tardes, and Buenas noches

Remember, it’s important to use the appropriate greeting for different times of the day in order to show respect and politeness in Spanish.

In Spanish, ‘Buenos días’ is used to greet someone in the morning until around noon.

‘Buenas tardes’ is used in the afternoon until the evening.

‘Buenas noches’ is used to say hello in the evening and at night.

Using these greetings correctly will help you navigate social situations with ease and show your understanding of Spanish culture.

Casual Greetings: ¿Qué pasa? and ¿Cómo va todo?

If you want to sound more relaxed and informal when greeting someone in Spanish, you can use the expressions ‘¿Qué pasa?’ and ‘¿Cómo va todo?’

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These casual greetings are commonly used among friends and acquaintances. ‘¿Qué pasa?’ translates to ‘What’s up?’ and is a way to ask how things are going.

‘¿Cómo va todo?’ means ‘How’s everything going?’ and is a more general way to inquire about someone’s well-being.

Both phrases are a great way to start a friendly conversation.

Greetings for Specific Occasions: Feliz cumpleaños and Feliz Navidad

Moving on from casual greetings, let’s talk about greetings for specific occasions.

One popular greeting is ‘Feliz cumpleaños,’ which means ‘Happy birthday.’ It’s a great way to wish someone a happy birthday in Spanish.

Another common greeting is ‘Feliz Navidad,’ which means ‘Merry Christmas.’ This greeting is commonly used during the holiday season.

These greetings show that you are acknowledging and celebrating special occasions with others.

Greetings in Different Spanish-Speaking Countries: ¡Hola! ¿Qué pasa? (Spain), ¡Buenas! ¿Cómo estás? (Argentina), ¡Qué hubo! ¿Cómo va? (Colombia)

In different Spanish-speaking countries, you can greet someone by saying:

  • ¡Hola! ¿Qué pasa? (Spain)
  • ¡Buenas! ¿Cómo estás? (Argentina)
  • ¡Qué hubo! ¿Cómo va? (Colombia)

These greetings reflect the unique language and culture of each country.

In Spain, ¡Hola! ¿Qué pasa? is a common way to say hello and ask how someone is doing.

In Argentina, ¡Buenas! ¿Cómo estás? is a friendly way to greet someone.

And in Colombia, ¡Qué hubo! ¿Cómo va? is a casual way to say hello and check in on someone’s well-being.

These greetings show the diversity and richness of the Spanish language across different countries.

Greetings for Friends and Family: ¡Hola, amigo/amiga! ¿Cómo estás?

Hey there! Want to know how to greet your friends and family in Spanish? Well, it’s as simple as saying:

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¡Hola, amigo/amiga! ¿Cómo estás?

This is a friendly and informal way to say hello to someone you know well. By using the word ‘amigo’ for a male friend or ‘amiga’ for a female friend, you’re showing them that you value their friendship. And by asking ‘¿Cómo estás?’ you’re showing that you care about how they’re doing.

It’s a great way to start a conversation with your loved ones!

Greetings for Business Settings: Buenos días, ¿cómo puedo ayudarte?

When you’re in a professional setting, starting off with a warm greeting like ‘Buenos días, ¿cómo puedo ayudarte?’ can create a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

This phrase translates to ‘Good morning, how can I help you?’ It is a polite and professional way to initiate a conversation in a business setting.

By using this greeting, you show respect and willingness to assist the person you are addressing. It sets a friendly tone and opens the door for effective communication.

Polite Greetings: Mucho gusto and Encantado/a de conocerte

Introduce yourself politely in Spanish by saying "Mucho gusto" or "Encantado/a de conocerte."

These phrases are commonly used in social settings to express pleasure in meeting someone.

"Mucho gusto" is more casual, while "Encantado/a de conocerte" is slightly more formal.

Both phrases convey a friendly and respectful tone.

Remember to accompany these greetings with a smile and a handshake.

These polite greetings will help you make a positive impression when meeting new people in Spanish-speaking countries.


In conclusion, there are various ways to say hello in Spanish, depending on the situation and the level of formality. The basics include ‘Hola’ and ‘Buenos días,’ which are commonly used in everyday conversations.

Informal greetings like ‘¿Qué tal?’ and ‘¿Cómo estás?’ are more commonly used among friends and acquaintances.

Formal greetings such as ‘Buenos días,’ ‘Buenas tardes,’ and ‘Buenas noches’ are appropriate for professional settings and different times of the day.

Casual greetings like ‘¿Qué pasa?’ and ‘¿Cómo va todo?’ are used to greet friends and family.

It’s also important to note that greetings may vary in different Spanish-speaking countries.

Lastly, in business settings, it is polite to use greetings like ‘Buenos días, ¿cómo puedo ayudarte?’ And for a more polite approach, expressions like ‘Mucho gusto’ and ‘Encantado/a de conocerte’ can be used to show politeness and respect.