Questions about the verbal interchanges between people at meeting, greeting, departing, answering the telephone, etc.

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31
votes
3answers
4k views

Why “buenas noches” when it's only one night?

Why are buenas noches and buenas tardes said when they refer to only one night/afternoon? ¿Por qué se dice "buenas noches" y "buenas tardes" cuando solo se refieren solo a una noche o tarde?
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why isn't “good morning” “buenas mañanas”?

"Good afternoon" is "buenas tardes", and "Good night/evening" is "buenas noches". Then why isn't "good morning" "buenas mañanas" instead of "buenos días"?
11
votes
5answers
111k views

Why is “De nada” used as a response to “Gracias”?

De means "of", and nada means "nothing", so why, when put together are they used in response to "Gracias"?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Bueno as hello or greeting?

In the US State I live in, I sometimes hear Spanish speakers greet one another by simply staying "Bueno". I didn't hear this when I was recently in Mexico, although I realize I may just have not ...
10
votes
2answers
634 views

Is it bad to address a young male as “señor”?

I was recently in Mallorca, at a restaurant I address the waiter as "señor". He was probably in his early 30's, he said that I should not use señor, but another word (which I unfortunately don't ...
9
votes
2answers
923 views

What is the most common way to answer the phone?

What is the most universally-used greeting when answering the phone (i.e. way to say, "Hello?")? Are there any circumstances where the greeting would be different (for example, when answering a phone ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Translation of “Welcome back!”

In English, if someone has been gone for a while and has recently returned, it's common to greet them by saying, "Welcome back!" (or "Welcome back from your trip!", etc). What is the most natural way ...
8
votes
3answers
832 views

¿Qué significa 'va' en “Nos vemos después, ¿va?”

Hoy, por chat, una amiga (de México) dijo: Nos vemos depués, ¿va? Entiendo "Nos vemos después", pero qué significa "va" en este contexto?
8
votes
2answers
17k views

When is it appropriate to say “buenos días”?

It looks like "buenos días" is most commonly translated as "good morning," although apparently it can mean "good day" as well (like a literal translation would suggest). Is it appropriate to greet ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

¡Buenas! greeting in morning

Another question brings up the fact that in many countries, ¡Buenas! is used as a greeting (as an abbreviation of Buenas tardes or Buenas noches). In regions where this is the case, what should be ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

What does “que lo que” means?

Whenever I talk to a friend (Dominican I believe) via chat like Gtalk, he always starts the conversation with: klk I did some research about that and found that, in fact, it comes from the ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

What do Mexicans always mutter to me after I say, “Feliz año”?

When I say, "Feliz año" to Mexicans, they usually mutter something and trail off. Is this a standard response to my holiday valediction, am I being dissed, or am I being neurotic?
4
votes
3answers
448 views

Proper response to ¿Qué onda?

In parts of the Spanish-speaking world, "¿Qué onda?" is used to ask something along the lines of "What's up?". What are the possible responses to this question? Should it be answered with a bien/mal, ...
3
votes
6answers
283 views

How to Say “Nice to see you again”?

If a doctor was seeing a patient again and wanted to say Nice to see you again! how would he say so in Spanish. Thanks in advance.
3
votes
2answers
4k views

¿Cómo se dice, “How's it going”?

En inglés, se puede utilizar la expresión, "How's it going?" como una manera de preguntar cómo está alguien. La frase es informal y tiene un significado similar al "¿Cómo estás?" Sin embargo, cuando ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

How to respond to ¿Cómo estás? [closed]

What are the standard responses to ¿Cómo estás?? The only ones I know of are: Bien. and Muy bien. Which both are for when you are well, how do you say ok? or not so good?
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Greetings for presents and cards

What phrases and greetings can you use for christmas presents / cards? Are there "general purpose" phrases which can be used for presents which are used the whole year, like an iPod? For example: ...
2
votes
3answers
291 views

Alternatives to “ya me voy”

"Ya me voy" is sometimes heard often; for example at the end of the workday. What alternative phrases convey a similar meaning? "Me marcho" comes to mind, but it seems to connote walking in formation. ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Neither official nor sweet salutation in letter

I know a woman in Spain which is much older than me, I respect her, however our relationship is very informal. Yes, sí la trato de usted, but otherwise our relationship is very informal and friendly - ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

¿Qué significa “nariz de bola”?

Hoy en chat, una amiga me saludó con: Hola hola nariz de bola! La pregunté que quería decir, y solo me dijo que es un saludo agredable. Pero todavía quiero saber que significa. ¿Es una frase ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Equivalent of “To whom it may concern:”

When writing formal letters in English where there is no named recipient (for example, a job application sent to a Human Resources department, or a letter sent to an organization in general as opposed ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Translation of “What have you been up to lately?”

In English, when meeting someone you haven't seen for a while, you might ask, "What have you been up to lately?" What is the equivalent question in Spanish?