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

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42
votes
3answers
11k 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?
21
votes
10answers
266k views

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

English De means "of", and nada means "nothing", so why, when put together are they used in response to "Gracias"? Español De significa "of" y nada significa "nothing", entonces, ¿por qué se ...
19
votes
4answers
12k 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"?
13
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
29k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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
4answers
5k 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?
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
27k views

What does “que lo que” mean?

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
103k views

When is it appropriate to say “buenos días”?

English 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
494 views

¿Por qué la gente se ríe cuando me presento como “Fénix, como el ave”?

Mi nombre es Fénix — muy raro aún en inglés. Cuando me presento a la gente en Suramérica, a menudo se malinterpreta mi nombre como "Felix". Entonces, me he acostumbrado presentarme así: "Soy Fénix, ...
6
votes
6answers
34k 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
12k 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.
5
votes
1answer
614 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
2k 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
527 views

What's the most appropriate way to stop someone on the street and ask if they speak English?

I learned I can do it in following ways: ¿Disculpe, hablas tú inglés? ¿Disculpe, tú hablas inglés? ¿Disculpe, habla usted inglés? ¿Disculpe, usted habla inglés? ¿Disculpe, hablas inglés? ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you respond to “saludos a todos”

What is the correct response when someone says to you Saludos a todos
4
votes
1answer
508 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 - ...
3
votes
3answers
556 views

Addressing a person in mail, person has a title

I would like to address a person with a medical Dr. title formally in mail. In English it is simple, just adding the title: "Dear Dr. X." In German, on the other hand, it is a bit more complex: I also ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

What's the formal, genderless way to greet someone in a letter?

In English, I would start a letter like this: Greetings <person's name>, (...) I'm trying to replace "greetings" with a word or an expression in Spanish that could work with both men and ...
3
votes
3answers
964 views

How do you say “nice to meet you” in Spanish?

Say you are in Spain and you get introduced to someone in a, let's say, formal context: how do you say "nice to meet you"? Also, is there any difference in Latin America? And what if you are in an ...
3
votes
1answer
60k 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
169 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
2answers
256 views

Sign an email with “team MyCompany” in Spanish: equipo?

If in English I would write: Kind regards, team RocketNutsCorp Is this a proper translation in español: Saludos cordiales, equipo RocketNutsCorp Or should I use something with "el ...
2
votes
3answers
870 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
3answers
801 views

“Happy birthday” in Spanish?

Say you have a Spanish friend and today is his/her birthday. How can you say "happy birthday" in an appropriate way? Muchas felicidades Is my guess but it probably depends on the context and on ...
2
votes
4answers
2k 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
29k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

¿Por qué en Colombia se dice “nos estamos viendo / leyendo / hablando” para decir “hasta pronto”?

Mis amigos colombianos con frecuencia cosas como: - Bueno, me voy. Nos estamos viendo. - Me tengo que ir. ¡Nos estamos hablando! Yo lo entiendo como un "hasta luego", "seguimos en contacto" ...
0
votes
1answer
8k 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?