Polite Spanish Words

Polite Spanish Words

There are a few words and phrases that are among the first you should understand when learning a new language. They are “foundational words” that are used in everyday conversations. Words like “yes,” “no,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” Let’s take a look at a few, some you may already know. “Yes” in Spanish is “sí.” It is pronounced like the English word “see.” “No” is the same in Spanish, however, “no.” In Spanish, the “o” is “no” is much less harsh than in English. It sounds like “noh,” with a softer “o.” If you didn’t hear something and you want to ask, “What?” you can ask, “¿Cómo?” (sounds like “coh-moh”) which can mean “what” or “how” in English. It’s like saying, “How’s that?” It is a polite way of asking, “What?” if you didn’t understand something.


Now for a few polite words . . .

“Please,” in Spanish is “Por favor” (pronounced like “por-fah-vor”). It’s literal translation is “for favor,” but the English use of “por favor,” is “please.” “Thank you” is “gracias” (pronounced like “grah-see-ahs”). The appropriate response, “You’re welcome,” is “De nada” in Spanish. “De nada” is pronounced “deh-nah-dah.”


Permiso” (“per-mee-so”) is the Spanish word for “excuse me.” You could also say, “Perdón,” (“per-dohn”) which means “pardon.”


If someone is speaking too fast, you can say “Despacio” which means “Slow.” You can even make it more polite and say, “Despacio, por favor,” meaning, “Slow, please.” If you don’t understand what the person is saying, you can say “Yo no comprendo,” (yoh noh cohm-pren-doh”) which means “I don’t comprehend.”

If you think you understood what someone said, but would like them to repeat it, you can say “Repita, por favor” (reh-pee-tah por-fah-vor”), which means “Repeat, please.”


These are just a few polite words that you can use in every day conversations. We want to make sure you are a courteous Spanish speaker!


About The Author

  • Posted by Miriam Timmons
  • in Learning Spanish Online