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Lesson 17: Greetings and Polite Things to Say

From the La Cucaracha Grammar Chapter

When traveling to new places you always want to make sure to be polite, so learning how to use greetings, please and thank you, I'm sorry, etc. - is muy importante! If you wander around a Spanish speaking market one of the first things you'll hear is "con permiso" - which is similar to "excuse me" in English. Find a friend and practice using the expressions below. You might like to try acting out situations where you would need to say things - for example, "lo siento", "se puede" or "salud." It is much easier to remember words when you've experienced the meaning of the word, rather than just memorized it!

I remember one time in Italy I went to a hotel late at night, and they had no rooms. The apologetic manager kept saying "mi dispiace! mi dispiace!" - which if your Italian isn't too good, sounds like they are telling you they don't like something. In reality it means "I'm sorry." I certainly never forgot the word, or how to use it. The process of interpretation and attaching meaning while in a situation is key to adding words to your vocabulary permanently, rather than just long enough to fill out a quiz sheet.

polite words in Spanish

hear audio mp3Click above to hear an mp3 of some polite Spanish words

mucho gusto
el gusto es mío
me llamo
¿cómo se llama?
¿cómo te llamas?
te presento

nice to meet you
my pleasure

my name is
what is your name? (formal)
what is your name?
let me introduce...

buenos días
buenas tardes
buenas noches

good morning
good afternoon
good night

hear audio mp3
Click to hear mp3

¿cómo está Ud.?
¿cómo estás? (tú)
¿cómo le va?
estoy bien
¿qué pasa?
¡nos vemos!
hasta luego
hasta pronto

how are you? (formal)
how are you?
how is it going?
I am fine
what's happenin’?
be seeing you!
see you later
see you soon

Activity/Worksheet: Greetings & Polite Words

Quiz: Greetings & Polite Words

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Spanish Practice Idea:

Try to read at least one Spanish news article a day. Since you're already familiar with the themes (assuming you keep up on current events...) it will help you to understand more of the vocabulary, even if the words are new to you. Here are some sites you may want to use: cien = 100 doscientos = 200 quinientos = 500 mil = 1,000 cien mil - 100,000 un millon = 1,000,000 click to hear numbers hear Spanish pronunciation for numbers 1 through 10 hear numbers 11 through 20

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