Greetings and goodbyes in Spanish

¡Hola! ¡Buenos días! ¡Buenas tardes! ¡Felicidades! ¿Which one should you use?

Learn how to say hello and goodbye on formal and informal occasions.


Have you ever come across a native Spanish speaker and run out of words? Learning how to say hello and goodbye is the first thing you need to know in order to communicate with anybody. So, if you are a beginner and want to give your first steps towards fluid conversations in Spanish, or if you are looking for different ways of congratulating someone, his article is for you.


  • Saludar (saying hi)

The most common way of saying hi is “hola”. This word is for informal contexts and can be used any time of the day. If you are in a formal situation, you can use any of these:


  • Buenos días (Good morning) (From 1:00 am to 12:00 pm)
  • Buenas tardes (Good evening) (From 12:00 pm  to 7:00 pm)
  • Buenas noches (Good afternoon) (From 7:00 pm to 12:00 am)


Some less common ways are:

  • Que tengas buenos días (Informal) (Have a good day)
  • Que tenga usted buenos días (Formal) (Have a good day)
  • Qué gusto verte (Informal) (Nice to see you)
  • Qué gusto verlo/a (Formal) (Nice to see you)
  • ¡Tanto tiempo sin verte! (So long no see!)


  • Preguntar cómo está (Asking someone how she/he is)

Here we have quite a few options:

  • ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
  • ¿Qué tal? (Whats up?)
  • ¿Cómo has estado? (How have you been?)
  • ¿Cómo te ha ido? (How are you doing?)
  • ¿Cómo te va? (How are you doing?)
  • ¿Qué has hecho? (what have you done lately?)
  • ¿Qué hay de nuevo? (What’s new?)


  • Respuestas (Answers)

So, if someone asks you one of those questions, you do not want to freeze, right? You can say any of these phrases:

  • Estoy bien gracias ¿y tú? (I´m fine, and you?)
  • Todo bien (Everything is fine)
  • No me siento muy bien (I don’t feel so good)
  • Las cosas van mal (Things are bad)
  • No hay nada nuevo (There is nothing new)


  • Asking about somebody else

Well, if you want to follow the conversation, you may also like to ask about other people, such as family members. Here is how to do it: 

  • ¿Cómo está tu _____ (person)? (How is your ___?) 
  • Persons you may ask about: mamá (mother), papá (father), hermana (sister), hermano (brother), novio (boyfriend), novia (girlfriend), vecino (neighbor)


  • Cuando algo bueno pasa (When something good happens)

If you ask your friend “how are you?” and they say something good, you can congratulate them or express your happiness with this phrases:

  • ¡Felicitaciones! (Congratulations!)
  • Me alegro mucho por ti (I’m very happy for you)
  • ¡Qué bueno/bien! (That’s good!)


  • Cuando algo malo pasa (When something bad is happening)

Now, when the person tells you something bad or sad, you would like to say something nice and warm. Here, look at this examples:

  • Lo siento mucho (I am so sorry)
  • Espero que todo mejore (I hope everything gets better)


  • Despedidas (Goodbyes)

They say “Saying goodbye is always difficult”, but believe us, with these simple phrases is not going to be difficult in Spanish anymore!

  • Chao (informal) (bye)
  • Adiós (formal) (bye)
  • Hasta luego (formal) (see you later)
  • Hasta pronto (formal) (see you soon)
  • Hasta mañana (see you tomorrow)
  • Cuídate (take care)


  • Cumpleaños (Birthdays)

Do you have latin/spanish friends and want to congratulate them for their birthday? No problem! Check this out: 

  • ¡Feliz cumpleaños! (Happy Birthday!)
  • ¡Muchas felicidades en tu cumpleaños! (Congratulations on your birthday!)
  • ¡Te deseo lo mejor en este día! (I wish you the best on this day!)


  • Ocasiones especiales (special occasions)

Are you traveling to Latin America for christmas and new year? Great! Now you can practice any of this greetings with the friends you are gonna make:

  • ¡Feliz navidad! (Merry Christmas!)
  • ¡Te deseo una feliz navidad! (I wish you a merry Christmas!) 
  • ¡Feliz año nuevo! (Happy new year!)
  • Próspero año nuevo (Prosperous new year)
  • Te deseo felices fiestas (I wish you happy holidays)


  • Felicitaciones (Congratulations)

What if one of those new friends tells you they are going to a job interview or is going to take an important exam? You sure are going to wish them luck, right? Well, you can do it with these expressions:

  • ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
  • ¡Que te vaya bien! (I hope you do well!)
  • ¡Te deseo lo mejor! (I wish you the best!)


That was a lot of information and we know you will like to see it those phrases in action, so we created a couple of examples so everything is clear:


  1. – Hola, Adriana ¿Cómo estás?

– ¡Hola, Sofía! Muy bien ¿Y tú?

– Bien ¿Qué hay de nuevo?

– No hay nada nuevo, estoy en el trabajo ¿Y a ti? ¿Cómo te ha ido?

– Bien, estoy contenta ¿Cómo está tu mamá?

– No está muy bien, está enferma

– ¡Lo siento! ¡Espero que todo mejore!

– Gracias. Debo ir a trabajar.

– Vale, adiós

– ¡Chao!


  1. – Buenas tardes, Sra. Marta.

– Buenas tardes ¿Cómo está?

– Bien, gracias.


  1. – ¡Hola, Sandra! ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
  • Muchas gracias, Andrea
  • ¡Te deseo lo mejor!

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