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 said in the morning (that is, when saying Buenos días is appropriate)? Días is masculine, not feminine, so does the greeting become ¡Buenos!? Or is the feminine form used at all times during the day?

3 Answers 3


Regardless of the time of the day, ¡Buenas! is understood as an abbreviated greeting. Couldn't elaborate more on the exact meaning of why it is used like this, but we have become used to it as a very generic and informal way of greeting.

This is however a very informal greeting, so in any other situation Buenos días, Buenas tardes or Buenas noches should be used to avoid being considered disrespectful.

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    I wouldn't say buenas could ever be considered disrespectful. Only the most formal situations would require buenos días, etc Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 1:16
  • Not disrespectful in the way of an insult or anything of course, just not the kind of greet you would use in a professional environment, just to name an example. Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 14:57
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    It's clear that buenas is an informal greeting, but these days most of the world is informal. Maybe you wouldn't use it in court, with the military, or talking to a new corporate customer, but I'd say 95% of the time buenas is fine. (I do admit that living in Buenos Aires I might be biased. Perhaps this is not the case in more conservative countries/cities) Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 15:40
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    @Diego: The first time I heard it (in Bolivia) I thought the speaker was too lazy to finish the phrase. But a day or two later, I realized it was the usual greeting. With new people I tend to use the full phrase to avoid confusion. (And, since it's clear I'm not a native speaker, I don't want to be seen as being lazy.) Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 18:09
  • @DiegoMijelshon not disrespectful but casual. Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 19:24

"Buenas!" is a common (morning or anytime) greeting in Spain.

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    Also in Argentina. Rather informal.
    – leonbloy
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 2:56

I live in Los Angeles, USA. My neighbours are mostly older latina/chicana women, they greet me with "buena" all of the time.

It's definitely a shortened, informal greeting that replaces 'buenas tardes' and 'buenas noches'. That being said, in the morning, they do (always) use 'Buenos Dias'. I usually respond with "buena" as well. It doesn't seem to be disrespectful but, that being said, they all know that I am not of latino/chicano origin, so they may be letting me slide. They do, however, appreciate that I try.

I try to use '¿cómo está usted? as they're older, but I do forget sometimes (cómo estás). They don't seem to care, again, it's possibly (likely) because I'm not a native speaker.

I do hear other neighbours (older and/or more friendly with them) just say "¿cómo?" but I don't ever do that (that's me just trying to show some respect/acknowledge that I'm not really good at Spanish/remind them that I'm not really that comfortable speaking Spanish).

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