Spanish Vocabulary for Money & Payment

Spanish Vocabulary for Money & Payment
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  • 0:04 Everyday Transactions
  • 0:38 Questions About Price
  • 1:13 Forms of Payment
  • 2:19 Other Basic Words
  • 3:26 A Conversation
  • 4:44 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

Many of our daily activities involve using money to pay for goods and services. This Spanish vocabulary lesson gives you basic phrases you need for money and payment, along with pronunciation guides that show the most stressed syllable in capital letters.

Everyday Transactions

Almost on a daily basis, our interactions with people involve money. Today, we're going to visit a nice store in a neighborhood in Antigua, a cute town in Guatemala. Many tourists visit the store to buy handicrafts to take home. However, many customers get stuck because María the owner does not speak any other language than Spanish. Let's begin with basic questions about prices then learn how to navigate forms of payment and other useful vocabulary words. Finally, we'll eavesdrop on a conversation to put it all together.

Questions About Price

Let's go over the basic questions we need to learn to ask for prices:

  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? (koo-AHN-toh koo-EHS-tah) means 'How much does it cost?'
  • ¿Cuánto cuestan? (koo-AHN-toh koo-EHS-tahn) means 'How much do these cost?'
  • ¿Incluye impuestos? (een-KLOO-yeh eem-poo-EHS-tohs) means 'Does it include taxes?'
  • ¿Cuál es la tasa de cambio? (kooahl ehs lah TAH-sah deh KAHM-beeoh) means 'What is the exchange rate?'

As a note, generally speaking, when you ask ¿Cuánto cuesta? people reply with a number and the currency they expect. For example: cinco euros, which means 'five euros.'

Forms of Payment

The two basic questions we have when it comes to payment are the following:

  • ¿Va a pagar en efectivo o con tarjeta de crédito? (bah ah pah-GAHR ehn eh-fehk-TEE-boh oh kohn tahr-HEH-tah deh CREH-dee-toh?) means 'Are you going to pay cash or with a credit card?' In Spanish, people don't ask 'how do you wish to pay?' going instead straight to the two basic forms of payment.
  • Customers might ask: ¿Puedo pagar con...? (poo-EH-doh pah-GAHR kohn...) means 'May I pay with...?'

This second question is when we have lots of options. To begin, one might want to pay with dollars since many businesses in Latin America accept US dollars instead of the local currency. But, don't assume this is the case. Instead, ask '¿Puedo pagar con dólares? (poo-EH-doh pah-GAHR kohn DOH-lah-rehs), which means 'May I pay with dollars?' Your other forms of payment include:

  • Dinero en efectivo (dee-NEH-roh ehn eh-fehk-TEE-boh) means 'cash'
  • Tarjeta de débito (tahr-HEH-tah deh DEH-bee-toh) means 'debit card'
  • Tarjeta de crédito (tahr-HEH-tah deh CREH-dee-toh) means 'credit card'

For example, if you wanted to ask 'May I pay with cash?', you would just say ¿Puedo pagar con dinero en efectivo?

Other Basic Words

If you're traveling, beware that customer service interactions can vary from country to country. For instance, Spanish speakers don't usually say 'your change is...'. Instead, they just give it to you. Same for receipts. Many shops may not issue a receipt. You can ask by using the following words and giving them a question intonation:

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