I know that the person who does your nails is a "manicurista" but I don't know the conjugation for getting a manicure. For example, if I was offering to pay for my wife's manicure, I would say, "would you like to get a manicure" or "would you like to get your nails done". But I don't know the same conjugation to ask that question in Spanish.

  • 1
    The term manicurista is a valid term in Spanish, but is used only in the following countries (according to the RAE): Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. In other contries we use manicuro or manicura, You have to check that the translation you seek is adapted to your region, as some terms or expressions may vary.
    – Charlie
    Jun 23, 2016 at 6:41

3 Answers 3


In short, you would use hacerse [las uñas/la manicura] as an auxiliary verb, pretty much in the same way you use the verb to get.

To complement Gorpik's and Ustanak's answers, I'd like to add a couple of ideas:

  1. Spanish is slower than English to make verbs from nouns, (especially neologisms), and the reason seems to be the need for verb endings that imply the creation of additional neologisms rather than giving new meanings to the exisiting ones: it just does not sound right —at least at first—. While in English there is the verb to manicure, in Spanish the best (and only?) choice is to add an auxiliary verb to the noun.

  2. Unsurprisingly —for foreign words—, both the noun and its gender change depending on the region, hence you have:

    • Hacerse la manicura in Spain. (Thanks CarlosAlejo)
    • Hacerse la manicure in Chile. Pronounced [ma.ni'cjur]: the closest one can get to the French pronunciation with Spanish phonetics, I think.
    • Hacerse el manicure in Colombia. (Thanks Nicholas J.)
  • ¿Será así de lento el castellano incorporando palabras porque todo debe "pasar" por la RAE?
    – fedorqui
    Jun 23, 2016 at 14:09
  • Sin duda que influye: a diferencia del inglés, existe una autoridad central que (todavía) goza de cierta reputación y respeto.
    – Rafael
    Jun 23, 2016 at 14:12
  • No creo, la gente no pide permiso a la RAE para usar las palabras. Seguro que algo influye, pero tiene que haber algo más relacionado con la propia estructura del lenguaje. Jun 23, 2016 at 16:09

We have no specific verb for that in Spanish; we'd rather use hacer la manicura. Both your English options have an easy translation:

Would you like to get a manicure? --> ¿Quieres que te hagan la manicura?

Would you like to get your nails done? --> ¿Quieres que te hagan las uñas?

Notice that in Spanish we tend to use the passive form less than in English. These are good examples where we would use an active impersonal construction rather than the English passive.


I think there's no expression to verbalise manicure.

The way of asking this, will regionally depend on how people refer to the action.

¿Te gustaría que se te adornen/pinten las uñas?

  • I agree, I couldn't think of one either, hence the question. The natural conjugation would be "manicurio" (???) but I've never heard that term used at all before, just doesn't sound right. Jun 22, 2016 at 20:32
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    In Chile we also use hacerse la manicure (pronounced [ma.ni'cjur], approaching the French term). You don't convert the noun to a verb, but add an auxiliary verb instead.
    – Rafael
    Jun 22, 2016 at 21:23
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    @Rafael In Spain we say hacerse la manicura, we don't use the French term, we use an adapted version. To answer the question, we would say ¿Te gustaría hacerte la manicura? or even ¿Te gustaría hacerte una manicura?
    – Charlie
    Jun 23, 2016 at 6:33
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    @Rafael You should submit that as an answer (and maybe add the comments from NicholasJ and CarlosAlejo about how the expression changes in other countries)
    – Yay
    Jun 23, 2016 at 7:24
  • 1
    I'm agree with @CarlosAlejo and, for me, the same sentences with hacerse las uñas are also correct. Jun 23, 2016 at 8:13

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