One of the qualities most admired in people throughout the Spanish speaking world is to be educado. This doesn't refer to somebody who possesses a good standard of education but to somebody who is polite and well-mannered, a person who treats others with courtesy and respect. Educado is very important to most Spanish and Hispanic people, and here are ten cool Spanish phrases you can spinkle into your spoken Spanish to help you make a winning impression when speaking Spanish with native Spanish speakers.
The first educado phrase involves the word gusto - pleasure. When you meet someone for the first time, you probably already know the phrase "mucho gusto" - pleased to meet you - but you can also use gusto whenever you meet friends and acquaintances, with this very polite Spanish phrase:
¡Qué gusto verte! - Good to see you
¡Hola Peter, ¿cómo estamos hoy? - Hello Peter, how are we today?
¡Qué gusto verte Sylvia! Todo va bien gracias. - Good to see you Sylvia. All is well thank you.
One thing I have noticed here in the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona is that acquaintances tend to say "¿cómo estamos hoy?" or "¿Qué tal?" and not the more informal "¿cómo estás?", especially between the sexes and this is another canny Spanish tip to bear in mind when speaking Spanish with native speakers.
Speaking of ¿cómo estás?, often when we meet people, as well as asking them how they are, we'll also ask how their family are doing too. Most non-native Spanish speakers will say something like:
¿Cómo está tu familia? or ¿cómo está tu hermano/a? - How's the familiy or how is your brother/sister?
These are fine of course but here's a really cool Spanish phrase that is a much better alternative, it's just oozing with educado:
¿Qué sabes de...? Por ejemplo:
¿Qué sabes de tu familia? - How's your family?
¿Qué sabes de tu hermano/a? - How is your brother/sister? And we can build on this to make a knockout impression. After the speaker has responded, in English we say something like: Give them my best or give them my regards. Want to say this in Spanish? It's so easy, here:
Dale/s saludos de mi parte - Give him/her/them my regards
It's a very cool phrase to add to your Spanish vocbulary.
OK it may well be that your friend or acquaintance has some good news to share with you. Here's how you can respond to good news with the all-important quality of educado:
He conseguido un trabajo nuevo - I've got a new job
¡Felicitaciones! ¡Cuánto me alegro! - Congratulations! I'm really glad!
Another educado Spanish phrase I really like concerns responding to invitations, especially when you cannot accept the invite because you have prior arrangements. It's important not to cause offence, and although one could say:
No puedo asistir, tengo otros compromisos - I can't attend, I have other commitments
I much prefer this polite Spanish phrase which will be very well received by the speaker:
Lo siento, no puedo, he quedado - I'm sorry I can't I'm busy.
This is also a really practical phrase if you wish to maintain your privacy, and I'm sure earn you a lot of respect when you're speaking Spanish.
But if you would like to attend, how about this little gem, not only to accept but also to show your enthusiasm:
¡Sí, sería genial! - Yes, that would be brilliant!
Isn't that a much better option than ¡qué bien! or ¡qué bueno!, yes?
Finally, here's another classy Spanish phrase that's sure to come in really handy. You know how sometimes you're walking along in a world of your own and you accidentally bump into someone? You could say disculpe or perdona, both fine but much better is this:
Disculpe, sin querer - Excuse me, it was unintentional
Add these useful, simple Spanish phrases into your spoken Spanish and you'll demonstrate you possess the all-important quality of educado and you'll make a winning impression when speaking Spanish with native speakers for sure!
Barcelona-based writer Peter Christian will show you how you can add an authentic, vibrant flair to your spoken Spanish and you can discover some more really cool Spanish verbs and phrases sure to help you win the respect and admiration of native Spanish speakers along with free weekly Spanish tips over on the Streetwise Spanish website.