Basic Greetings in Spanish: Greeting Others & Introducing Yourself

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  • 0:06 Welcome to Spanish
  • 0:16 Saying Hello
  • 1:09 How Are You?
  • 2:27 What Is Your Name?
  • 3:22 Where Are You From?
  • 4:03 Let's Review
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Warren
This video introduces students to the various ways of saying 'hello,' asking for basic information ('What is your name,' 'How are you feeling,' 'Where are you from'), and how to answer those questions.

Welcome to Spanish

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Spanish! In this first lesson, we will learn some basic phrases for greeting another person and introducing yourself.

Saying Hello

We have several different ways of saying 'hello' in Spanish, depending on who you're talking to and what time of day it is. We use Hola in a less formal situation.

If you are in a more formal situation, perhaps when in a store or with your coworkers, you would use one of the following:

  • Buenos días literally means 'Good day,' but it is really only used in the morning, so it is best translated as 'Good morning.'
  • Buenas tardes is used in the afternoon or early evening.
  • Buenas noches is used at night, either as a greeting or a goodbye.

It is important to note that we have buenos días, but buenas tardes and buenas noches. You will learn more about noun gender later, which will explain the difference. For now, you will want to memorize the phrases.

How Are You?

Asking how someone is doing is just as important in Spanish as it is in English! We use ¿Cómo estás? to ask how someone is feeling. This is informal, so you would use this form to ask a friend or someone you are comfortable with how they are doing. Later, you will learn more about formal vs. informal language, and you will learn how to ask someone in a more formal situation how he is doing.

Also, notice that in Spanish, questions have question marks on both sides of the sentence, with the first one being upside down. The same occurs with exclamation points.

Depending on how you are feeling, there are a variety of ways you might answer the question, ¿Cómo estás? The most basic are the following: if you are doing well, you might answer estoy bien. If you are not doing very well, you might use estoy mal. For both of these, you can insert muy, which means 'very,' for emphasis. So, estoy muy bien means 'I'm doing very well' and estoy muy mal means 'I'm doing very badly.' If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, you can use the phrase así-así, which means 'so-so.'

What is Your Name?

Now we will learn how to ask for someone's name and how you might respond to that question. Once again, we will learn the informal way of asking for a person's name. You might use this when speaking to someone who is of a similar age and position or with a child. We say ¿Cómo te llamas? to ask for a person's name. Literally, we are asking 'what do you call yourself?'

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