Learn The Most Common Spanish Words

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Learn The Most Common Spanish Words


A basic understanding of Spanish vocabulary is essential for almost any conversation in Spanish, except for maybe non-verbal communication. Nevertheless, you are likely to use basic Spanish nouns, adjectives, verbs, and interrogative words in your daily interactions with neighbors, friends, and coworkers. 

Learning the most common vocabulary first is key to fluency in any language. Research has shown that 92% of spoken Spanish is made up of 2500 words. 82% of all Spanish text you will ever encounter is made up out of the top 2500 Spanish words. This is remarkable, because there are currently around 150,000 words in modern use. Learning by frequency is an excellent method to quickly increase your knowledge of common words in Spanish.

Learning common Spanish words can open doors and facilitate communication fast. Even if you’re not considered fluent yet by a long shot regarding grammar and verb conjugation, you can still “get by” if you just know enough words. If you have a broad enough vocabulary, it is easier for you to understand, read, speak and write Spanish. You’ll be no Pulitzer Prize winner, but are able to go about your daily life well enough. 

Knowing the common words in any language is essential for forming a strong foundational vocabulary. First learn the common words, then expand your vocabulary to more unique terms that are relevant to your situation. Example: Going to spend some time surfing in Spain? First get your base vocabulary up, and then find or create a vocabulary list that teaches you specific surfing related vocabulary. 

The MostUsedWords Lists of Common Spanish Words

To help you learn Spanish vocabulary fast, we create frequency dictionaries. Our Spanish series gives you a neatly organized list of the most common words in Spanish. You can get them as e-books from our website, or as paperbacks from Amazon. If you’re not convinced that learning the most common Spanish words first is a good way of learning Spanish, check out what our customers have to say in our Spanish Frequency Dictionary reviews.

Our books are organized by a general frequency list, as frequency as part of speech, and by alphabet. Each entry has IPA phonetic spelling, so you know how to pronounce the Spanish word right. Because you learn vocabulary in chunks, all entries come with a Spanish to English sample sentence.

Below are the links to the paperbacks on Amazon. They are affiliate links. That means we might get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links. 

Get the most out of your Spanish studies by purchasing two sets of our Spanish Frequency Dictionaries, available on our website. With 5000 common words, you can communicate confidently in various situations.

Common Spanish Words


Spanish Words for Beginners

To help you get started learning Spanish, here are some of the most common Spanish words and sentences. These are a great method to get your basic Spanish vocab started. 

You can also download an e-book with the 100 most common Spanish words for free from our website. This core vocabulary alone accounts for about 50% of all Spanish language already.

Common Spanish Greetings

It is impossible to communicate with small groups of people without knowing Spanish greetings first. Here are some:

“Buenos días” which means “Good morning”

“Buenas tardes” which means “Good afternoon”

“Buenas noches” which means “Good evening” or “Good night”

“¿Cómo está usted?” which means “How are you?” in formal

“¿Cómo estás?” which also means “How are you?” but in a casual way

“¿Qué tal?” which means “What’s up?”, and can also mean “How are you” (informal)

“¿Cómo te va?” which means “How’s it going?”

“¿Qué haces?” which means “What are you doing?”

“¿Qué pasa?” which means “What’s happening?”

You can use these following conversational Spanish phrases as a reply if someone asks you those questions:

“Bien, gracias”, meaning: Good, thank you

“Muy bien”, meaning: Very well

“Así, así”, meaning: So, so

“Como siempre”, meaning: As always

“¿Y tú?”, meaning: And you?

How to Introduce Yourself in Spanish

You can say these to introduce yourself:

“Me llamo” - My name is

“Mi nombre es” - My name is

“Soy” - I am

You can ask for the name of the person you are talking to by saying:

“¿Cómo te llamas?” - What is your name?

And you can answer them by saying:

“Mucho gusto”, which means “pleasure” or “nice to meet you”

Common Polite Words and Expressions in Spanish

These Spanish phrases are sure to come in handy to avoid offending anyone during a conversation. Being polite can take you anywhere! Try it by saying:

“¡Gracias!” - Thank you!

“¡Muchas gracias!” - Thank you very much!

“¡De nada!” - You’re welcome! / No problem!

“Por favor” - Please

“¡Lo siento!” - Sorry!

“¡Perdon!” - Excuse me!

“¡Disculpe!” - Excuse me! (to say sorry in advance for being somewhat of a nuisance)

Common Question Words in Spanish

To make your conversations with people more effective, you need to be able to ask questions. Here are some Spanish question words that you can learn immediately:

“¿Qué…?” - What?

“¿Quién…?” - Who?

“¿Cuándo…?” - When?

“¿Dónde…?” - Where?

“¿Por qué…?” - Why?

“¿Cuál?” - Which?

“¿Cómo…?” - How?

Here are more useful questions you might like to know:

Saying “¿Qué hora tienes?” is how you ask what time is it

Saying “¿De dónde viene?” is how you ask where they are from

Saying “¿Dónde vives?” is how you ask where they live

Saying “¿Puede ayudarme?” is how you ask if they can help you

Saying “¿Podría ayudarle?” is how you ask if you can help them

Saying “¿Cuánto cuesta eso?” is how you ask how much it cost

Saying “¿Entiende?” is how you ask if they understand

Saying “¿Habla inglés?” is how you ask if they speak English

Saying “¿Qué significa [word]?” is how you ask what [word] means

Saying “¿Puedes hablar más despacio?” is how you ask them if they can speak slowly

Saying “¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi?” is how you ask where to find a taxi

And you should know what to answer:

“Sí” means: Yes

“No” means: No

“Tal vez” means: Maybe

“Siempre” means: Always

“Nunca” means: Never

“Claro” means: Of course

“¡Sin problema!” means: No problem!

“No entiendo” means: I don’t understand!

“No (lo) sé” means: I don’t know!

“No tengo ni idea” means: I have no idea!

“No hablo español” means: I don’t speak Spanish

“Estoy perdido” means: I’m lost

“Mi español es malo” means: My Spanish is bad

Celebrate in Spanish

Spanish has many expressions that can be used to celebrate special occasions. These phrases are ideal for events such as birthdays or parties with friends:

“¡Feliz Cumpleaños!” to say “Happy Birthday!”

“¡Felicitaciones!” to say “Congratulations!”

“¡Diviértete!” to say “Have fun!”

“¡Buen provecho!” to say “Bon appetit!”

“¡Bienvenidos! / ¡Bienvenidas!” to say “Welcome!”

“Salud!” to say “Cheers!”

Saying goodbye in Spanish

It's difficult to say goodbye, especially if you don’t know how. Here are some Spanish phrases you can use to end a conversation and leave:

“Adiós” or “Chao” means “Goodbye”

“Hasta luego” means “See you later” (most likely, today)

“Hasta mañana” means “See you tomorrow”

“Nos vemos” means “See you” 

“¡Cuídate mucho!” means “Take care!”

“¡Tenga un buen día!” means “Have a nice day!”

“¡Hasta luego!” means “See you soon!”

“¡Buen viaje!” means “Have a good trip!”

Knowing all these common Spanish words will surely help you have your first conversation with a native speaker. All you need to do is practice the phrases and vocabulary repeatedly, and your progress will lead to language fluency. Familiarize yourself, and these words will appear to you naturally in no time.

Resources for Adding More Spanish Words to Your Vocabulary

Of course, not all Spanish words can be put in just one article. If you want to really learn Spanish, you need a reliable and practical source to learn from. Our Spanish frequency dictionaries are designed specifically for learners looking to quickly improve their Spanish. They are made for each level, from complete beginners and intermediates, to advanced and near-fluent students.

MostUsedWords created these books for learners who are aiming to reach certain language fluency. 10,000 Spanish words are divided into these, so each book can accommodate learners with different Spanish language proficiency. The frequency dictionaries can either be used alone or together with other language learning programs, apps, or books. You can get them as e-books from our website, or as paperbacks from Amazon.

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