Informal Spanish Greetings
In addition to the web version, you can download the lesson as a PDF, found at the bottom of the page.
Be sure to listen and practice with the audio throughout the lesson.
Lesson 2: Informal Spanish Greetings
Many versions exist for every Spanish-speaking country. The ones below are some of the common.
Best translated as, “What’s up?”
Widely understood across all Spanish-speaking countries
¿Qué tal? is unique as it can also be translated as, How’re you?
Onda translates to wave; nevertheless, it’s used to ask what’s up.
Translates to: What is happening?
Like the past tense version, it can be used as a greeting, but depending on context, it’s also used to ask someone what’s wrong.
Literally means, What happened?
It depends on context, as this can also be used to ask about a past situation.
It means, What is there?
But the expression comes from, ¿Qué hay de nuevo?, which is closer to, What’s new?
¿Qué me cuentas?
Translates to: What do you tell me?
Best translated as, “How’re you?” or, “How’s it going?”
Literally it means, What more? or What else?
Normally the sound gets squished together and would sound in English like, “cue-bo”.
Translates to: How are you walking/ going?
¿Cómo te va?
What do you tell me?
¿Cómo va todo?
Best translation: How’s everything going?
¿Cómo te ha ido?
Best translation: How have you been?
The point of this lesson is to get you familiar with some greetings you may hear. Usage varies a lot based on country.
One of the most universally understood way of saying both, “What’s up?” and “How’re you?”, is by using “¿Qué tal?”
Although its usage is more informal than the Lesson 1 phrases, it has the added benefit of asking two questions at the same time.