Spanish Conversation: An Intro To Small Talk

Spanish conversation

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Spanish conversation is the DNA of BaseLang.

We named our core program “BaseLang Real World” because it emphasizes teaching students to become conversational, so that they can speak Spanish in real life situations – as opposed to most traditional methods which tend to overwhelm you with a bunch of theory and stuff that isn’t necessary until a more advanced stage.

Of course, whatever language you speak, it’s important to be able to muster up some small talk, be it as simple as greeting someone, expressing gratitude or showing interest in the person who you are speaking to.


This post will give you a little intro on some useful words and expressions that you should know for general Spanish conversation, including

  1. Greetings and Goodbyes
  2. Thankful phrases
  3. Getting to know people
  4. Talking about love and relationships
  5. Daily and common expressions
  6. How to change the conversation

1) Greetings and Goodbyes

You can use these phrases with a friend or acquaintance to initiate a chit-chat.

  • What’s new ? – ¿Qué hay de nuevo?
  • What’s new? – ¿Qué cuentas de nuevo?
  • How is it going? – ¿Cómo te ha ido?
  • It’s been ages since I last saw you – Cuánto tiempo sin vernos
  • What’s up? – ¿Qué tal?
  • What’s up? – ¿Qué más?

And now, for goodbyes.

  • See you later – Nos vemos más tarde
  • See you in a while – Nos vemos ahora
  • See you on Monday – Nos vemos el lunes
  • See you tonight – Te veo esta noche
  • Talk to you later –  Hablamos luego
  • Take care! – ¡Cuídate!


  • Hey! What’s new? –  ¡Hey!, ¿Qué hay de nuevo?
  • How have you been? Something new to tell me? – ¿Cómo has estado? ¿Qué cuentas de nuevo?
  • What´s up? How is it going?  – ¿Qué tal? ¿Como te ha ido?
  • I’m really late, I talk to you later! –  Voy muy tarde. Hablamos luego
  • Perfect, then I see you later – Perfecto, entonces nos vemos ahora
  • It’s been so long, Look how big you are!  – ¡Cuanto tiempo sin verte, mira que grande estás!

(we wrote a more in-depth post on Spanish greetings and goodbyes here)

2) Thankful phrases

It’s important to be able to express some gratitude, big or small.

  • Thanks for your help – Gracias por tu ayuda
  • I´m very grateful – Estoy muy agradecido/agradecida
  • You are very kind – Eres muy amable
  • Thanks for helping me – Gracias por ayudarme
  • I thank you guys  very much – Les agradezco mucho
  • Thanks to you – Gracias a ti

And when someone expresses gratitude towards you, there are several ways to say  “you’re welcome” in Spanish, some of which you’ll eventually notice are more common than others in specific Spanish speaking countries.

The most common one that you may already know is “de nada”, which directly translates as “of nothing”, but is one way to say “you’re welcome”.

Other alternatives include:

  • Any time – Cuando quieras
  • You’re welcome – A la orden
  • It’s nothing – No hay de que
  • It’s a pleasure – Es un placer
  • With pleasure – Con gusto


  • I’m calling to thank you for your help, I’m really grateful – Te llamo para darte las gracias por tu ayuda, de verdad estoy muy agradecida
  • It was a pleasure for me  to help you. Any time, you can ask me for help again. – Para mí fue un placer ayudarte. Así que cuando quieras, me puedes pedir ayuda de nuevo
  • Thank you very much for picking me up at the airport. It was a pleasure for us –

Les agradezco mucho que me hayan buscado al aeropuerto. Para nosotros fue un placer

3) Getting to know people

We can call these the “cocktail party” phrases, as these are useful to know when you meet somebody for the first or second time, and want to seem interested in them or to find out more about them.

  • Tell me more about you – Cuéntame mas de ti
  • What do you do? – ¿Qué haces?
  • What do you do for a living? – ¿A qué te dedicas?
  • Where are you from? – ¿De dónde eres?
  • Where you come from? – ¿De dónde vienes?
  • What do you do for fun? –  ¿Qué haces para divertirte?
  • How did you sleep? – ¿Cómo dormiste?


  • Tell me, what do people do here to have fun? – Y dime, ¿Qué hacen aquí para divertirse?
  • I heard you work with animals, what do you do? Are you a veterinarian? – Oí que trabajas con animales, ¿A qué te dedicas? ¿Eres veterinario?
  • You have a different accent, where are you from? – Tienes un acento diferente, ¿De dónde eres?
  • Good morning, you look better today. How did you sleep? – Buenos días, hoy te ves mejor. ¿Cómo dormiste?

4) Talking about love and relationships

Essential Spanish vocabulary for speaking about your (or somebody else’s) relationship status.

  • Boyfriend  – Novio
  • Girlfriend – Novia
  • Couple (not married) – Novios
  • Married couple – Esposos
  • Married – Casado, Casada
  • Divorced – Divorciado/divorciada
  • Widow / widower – Viuda /viudo
  • Single – Soltera/soltero
  • Friends with benefits – Amigos con derechos
  • Lovers – Amantes

And now, some relationship phrases that you may use with a partner (or a partner in the making).

  • I’m in love with – Estoy enamorado / a de…
  • I invite you to – Te invito a
  • Can I invite you to..? – ¿Puedo invitarte a..?
  • Can I hug you? – ¿Te puedo abrazar?
  • Can I kiss you? – ¿Te puedo besar?
  • Every day I love you more – Cada día te quiero más
  • Do you know if he/she is dating someone? – ¿Sabes si esta saliendo con alguien?
  • We are a couple – Somos novios / pareja
  • We are married – Somos esposos


  • Did you find out if she’s dating someone? I really like her, and I want to invite her out – ¿Averiguaste si ella está saliendo con alguien? Realmente me gusta, y quiero invitarla a salir
  • So, are you a couple now?. No, we’re just friends with benefits – Entonces,¿Ya son novios? No, solo somos amigos con beneficios
  • No, my parents are not married anymore. They have been divorced for 20 years. – No, mis padres ya no están casados. Ellos están divorciados desde hace 20 años.

5) Daily Expressions

These words or expressions are used on a daily basis, and are extremely useful when it comes to connecting your ideas or reacting to something that you are hearing.

  • So – O sea
  • Ok!, Fine! – ¡Vale!
  • Let’s see – ¡A ver!
  • A question – Una pregunta
  • Tell me something – Dime algo
  • Really? / For real? – ¿De verdad?
  • I have no idea – No tengo ni idea
  • Take care! – ¡Cuídate!
  • Bon appetit! – ¡Buen provecho!
  • Are you kidding me? – ¿Estás bromeando?
  • Are you serious? – ¿Es en serio?
  • Do not play me for a fool – No me tomes por tonto/idiota


  • So, are you telling me that nobody can help us? – O sea, ¿me estás diciendo que nadie puede ayudarnos?
  • One question, what time is the rehearsal tomorrow?  – Una pregunta, ¿a qué hora es el ensayo mañana?
  • I have no idea. Let’s ask her to see if she knows – No tengo idea. Vamos a preguntarle a ella a ver si sabe

6) Phrases to change the topic

Not only to avoid a conversation that you do not want to have at that moment, but if you suddenly remember something that you don’t want to forget, you can interrupt the conversation, or change the topic quickly using any of these go-to phrases

  • As I was saying – Como te iba diciendo
  • Well, changing topic – Bueno, cambiando de tema
  • That reminds me of – Eso me recuerda a
  • Talking about that – Hablando de eso
  • Let me tell you something – Déjame decirte algo
  • Talking like crazy people (I’m totally changing the topic now) – Y hablando como los locos
  • Now that you mention it – Ahora que lo dices

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This blog is presented by BaseLang: Unlimited Spanish Tutoring for $179 a Month. Learn more here.