I am looking for a good translation to the phrase "Pay your respects" in Spanish.

I haven't been able to figure out one that really conveys the meaning. These are the ones I currently came up with:

  • Mostrar tu respeto

  • Guardar respeto

What I don't like about them is that they imply passiveness.

  • 1
    Can you give some context on where and to whom you want to say this?
    – fedorqui
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 11:04
  • Here's a related question
    – Diego
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 15:23

3 Answers 3


I've always seen it translated as «presentar los respetos (de alguien a alguien)»:

Realizar manifestaciones de cortesía a alguien. Presenté mis respetos a su esposa. —Source.

And, I add, can be used ironically: «vamos a presentar nuestros respetos al nuevo alumno (knuckles cracking)» or in a more metaphorical way: «fueron al bar a presentar sus respetos a la cerveza que les esperaba». Even in the plain sense of paying a visit: «después de presentar nuestros respetos al museo, continuamos con la visita a la ciudad».

  • As native speaker, I think this is the best solution as you can use it Ironically, in case of a deceased one, format situation, etc... more or less, like in English.
    – Jose Palma
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:35

In addition to what guillem mentioned, if I am correct, this phrase is also used when someone dies, and you want to say something to the person who lost the loved one. In this case, you can say:

Dar el pésame.

Definiton of pésame on RAE:

Expresión con que se hace saber a alguien el sentimiento que se tiene de su pena o aflicción.

  • 2
    I don't think that "dar el pésame" is always a good translation for "Pay your respects". It works in the context of a deceased one (ie. in a funeral), but you could pay your respects to someone who is alive (a important authority), or to something else. For example "mafia groups set themselves apart as a separate law ... that is, they must pay respect exclusively to the mafia legal order" (From Letizia Paoli's Mafia Brotherhoods : Organized Crime, Italian Style). Or "pay your respect to the boss". So, in this context you can't use "dar el pésame".
    – Diego
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 15:45
  • You are right. This is why I specified the context on the answer, since the question does not specify any.
    – scubaFun
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 15:57

In Colombia the expression used is "Saludar". "Voy a saludar a ...". Keep in mind that "saludar" also is used to greet someone, however in a specif context, it's meaning goes beyond the act of greeting and extends to the act of saluting of paying respect to.

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