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Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a clear path you could follow? If you could just have a list of words used in everyday conversations?
That’s the purpose of this post where you’ll find the 100 words used most often in spoken Spanish.
Why these 100 words?
Lets imagine you want to learn how to be a bartender quickly in order to get a job around town. Would you start by learning hundreds of drinks from around the world? or would you find out which are the most popular drinks around your area, and learn those first?
Probably the second option, right? Like this, you’d get the job and learn more as you go.
The idea behind this list of words is similar. Find out what’s useful and used most often, so you can focus on that first to improve your Spanish faster. It’s classic 80/20.
By the way… Want to
understand more Spoken Spanish?
Does it sound like fast mumbo jumbo to you?
Having listening materials with “audible training wheels” is an easy way to make it happen. You can practice your listening skills using your phone during the day.
It’s easy! If you are interested in practice materials to help you understand more spoken Spanish that are also easy to use, you can take a look over here: Spoken Spanish Listening Materials
The 80/20 Principle:
In other words, it’s the few things that matter most.
We can use the 80/20 Principle in Spanish to prioritize in order to move faster. In this case, by determining a subgroup of words (which is usually around 20%) that are used most often in common conversations.
By focusing on that 20% you can get disproportionate results in the progress of your language skills and move faster.
Get a Copy of the List and an Downloadable Audio File so you can Practice later:
If you’d like to get a downloadable copy of this list of 100 words (with sample sentences in Spanish and English for each on of them) as well as an audio MP3 file with the pronunciation of each word and each example; sign up here to have them delivered to your inbox in less than 1 minute:
The 100 Most Common Words in Spoken Spanish
Now, it’s time to review the full list of words. If you are just getting started, focus on the first 50 words on the list. After you memorize those, move on to the full list. Here it is (have fun!)
Word in Spanish
Meaning in English
(for singular feminine nouns)
the (for masculine singular nouns)
he is, she is, it is (for essential characteristics)
in, on, at
it, him (direct-object pronoun)
a, an (for singular masculine nouns)
for, by, through
what / how (as in “how nice!”)
a, an (for singular feminine nouns)
you (direct-object pronoun)
the (for plural masculine nouns)
himself, herself, itself
he is, she is, it is (non-permanent characteristics)
the (for plural feminine nouns)
his, her, its
of the, from the, in the
how, as, like
him, her, formal you (indirect object pronoun)
this (for singular masculine nouns)
this one (for singular feminine nouns)
let’s go, come on
I am (non-permanent characteristics)
he has, she has, it has (auxiliary)
this one (for singular masculine nouns)
you are (non-permanent characteristics)
I am (for essential characteristics)
he has, she has, it has
he was, she was, it was
to be (for permanent characteristics)
to do, to make
they are (for permanent characteristics)
all of us, all of them
he was, she was, it was (permanent characteristics)
you are (permanent characteristics)
time (as in “one time”)
I have (auxiliary)
he can, she can, it can
his, her (for plural nouns)
that one (for singular feminine nouns)
I was (non-permanent characteristics)
Get your Copy of this List (with additional examples!) and a Downloadable Audio File so you can Practice later:
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Learn these beautiful Spanish words if you really want to impress someone. Master these, and you’re well on your way to being an elegant Spanish speaker!
Spanish is full of beautiful words and can certainly be a romantic sounding language. Especially for a native English speaker learning Spanish for the first time, the novel sounds of rolled R’s and tongue trills can truly be a delight to the ears. Like any language, Spanish can have some harsh sounds (and jarring accents), but most people will agree that it is also chock full of pleasing cadences.
If you want to learn how to really impress someone with this beautiful language, you need to be armed with the most beautiful words. We’ve compiled this list of beautiful Spanish words to add to your vocabulary arsenal. Master these, and you’re well on your way to being an elegant Spanish speaker.
Most beautiful Spanish words (even a beginner can pronounce!)
50 Most beautiful Spanish words
It can certainly be hard to narrow it down even this far, when talking about a language such as Spanish. With its rich vocabulary and melodic patterns, it really can be a beautiful language.
Mastering these beautiful Spanish words will surely give you an edge. Add these words to your vocabulary and you’ll come across as an intelligent, expressive, and elegant speaker. Practice carefully, and they’ll melodically roll off the tongue.
The Most Beautiful Words in the Spanish Language
There is no argument that Spanish is a highly detailed, rhythmically poetic, and extraordinarily expressive language. This is evidenced by the fact that Spanish translations from English writings are up to 20% wordier! It should not be surprising, then, that some of the words on our list do not even have appropriate equivalents in English. We need these elegant sounding words in English! We believe that Spanish is an enchanting, fascinating, and enthralling language. This list of some of the most beautiful Spanish words in existence certainly demonstrates that truth as well.
Beautiful sounding words in Spanish
Add these beautiful and uplifting Spanish words to your vocabulary! The beauty of the Spanish language is probably one of the many reasons that over 18 million students are currently studying Spanish. It is estimated that within a few short years, over 10% of the world’s population will understand Spanish. This is up from the current figure of only 6%. Using these beautiful Spanish words in your everyday conversation is a surefire way to impress your English-speaking friends, as well as native Spanish speakers that you encounter. Granted, they are not all entirely common words, but they will certainly set you apart!
Would you believe it – according to some scientists (for example: Dr Peter Dodds from the University of Vermont, who studied word usage and frequency), Spanish is the happiest language in the world. We’ve heard of some readers posting printouts of these beautiful words around their house, for an instant mood boost.
What other beautiful Spanish words can you think of?
Frequently asked questions about the beautiful Spanish language
What is the purest form of Spanish?
The Spanish language is alive, constantly changing and evolving. According to folk tradition, the “purest” form of Spanish is that which is spoken in Valladolid, and that spoken in Salamanca, both in Spain. Despite the concept of “pure” language being questioned by modern linguists, Valladolid and Salamanca both have very technically correct pronunciation.
What country has the best Spanish?
Regardless, many people will say that the country with the “best” Spanish is Colombia. This is because it is clear and smooth, and the accent is considered very neutral, and can be understood by people from very diverse Spanish-speaking backgrounds (and new langauge learners). It also has garnered very little influence from other languages, as compared with countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Belize, where both English and Spanish are spoken. Colombia also has a very good education system (at least in the affluent areas), so you will hear a high level of Spanish.
This is one reason why a lot of movies and television shows are filmed there, even those that will ultimately air in other Spanish-speaking countries. Colombian soap operas, in particular, are popular all around the world.
Limeñan Peruvians are said to pronounce every letter correctly, don’t have a strong or distracting intonation.
What is the most beautiful Spanish accent?
This is a very subjective question. Just like most people love to hear their own name, most people will select their own accent as the “most beautiful” since it is what they are most accustomed to hearing. The more familiar it has become to you, the more beautiful it sounds!
That said, Castillian Spanish is often regarded as a beautiful accent; however it is also sometimes criticized by outsiders as a result of of their lisp and “heavy” pronunciation.
It has been said that Spanish-speakers from Spain find the Argentinian Spanish accent quite sexy. There is a popular trope of an Argentinian seductress in Spanish television. A very pronounced “Rio de la Plata” accent can often be heard from the beautiful female lead.
Canarian (of the Canary Islands), andalusian (of the southern autonomous community in Peninsular Spain), extremeño (spoken in Extremadura and adjoining areas in the province of Salamanca), are also often cited as beautiful Spanish accents.
To hear more beautiful Spanish words in context, check out this list of the best completely FREE Spanish audiobooks.
There are a lot of beautiful and interesting words in Spanish, but here we’ve compiled some of our favorites. Add these beautiful Spanish words to your vocabulary and feel free to use them on days when you want to add more color to your words (or perhaps if you want to sound fancier than usual).
Take note that these are not common words spoken in everyday Spanish, but nonetheless, they are interesting and lovely words that would be a great addition to your vocabulary.
Get the Free PDF and MP3
1 . Impío (m) / Impía (f)
Meaning: Impious: a ruthless or despicable person.
Meaning: Generous. This fancy Spanish word can just as easily be replaced by much more common, less beautiful-sounding synonyms like generoso or abundante.
Meaning: Madman: A really uncommon word that refers to a crazy person.
Meaning: Maze, labyrinth. This isn’t something you would hear everyday, but it’s a beautiful word that comes from “Daedalus”, the maker of the Labyrinth in Greek mythology.
Meaning: appalling; atrocious. Some people would just be contented with saying antipático or desagradable to describe something unpleasant, but for something so reprehensible, this word says it best.
Meaning: Ethereal. This word is just as wonderful as its English counterpart and evokes an imagery of something as intangible and delicate as it sounds.
That delightful smell of rain touching the ground… Can you picture it in your mind? That’s petricor.
Ephemeral. Another beautiful word in both English and Spanish, this refers to something fleeting or short-lived.
Means: Perennial. This word rarely appears in everyday speech and is often replaced with the more common “permanente”. But it’s a more poetic way to say something is everlasting.
Something that cannot be expressed or described, something unutterable or simply cannot be spoken because of its sacredness. It’s inefable.
Means: Unfathomable, everlasting, undying, unfading. This word is also used to describe a flower that doesn’t wither.
Means: Serendipity. That amazing happenstance when you come across something totally unexpected. Just like its English version, it’s a lovely word.
Means: Gesture. You can just as easily say “gesto” to describe the gestures and actions people make when they talk. But if you’re feeling fancy, ademán is the word for you.
A state of serene calmness; a mood of total quietness and peace.
Means: Immeasurable. It’s unfathomable, boundless, incalculable. In Spanish, you say, inconmensurable.
Means: Platypus. Don’t you just love how the word “Ornitorrinco” rolls off in your tongue? This word is already long and playful, but it seems to suit perfectly the animal it names: a mammal that lives underwater and also has a duck beak.
Means: Strutting around like a peacock. There is no exact word for this in English, but when someone struts around like they own the place, it’s called pavonearse.
This may be a beautiful word, but this uncommon adjective refers to someone mean; an ill-spirited person with bad intentions.
This verb means “to squander”. There are much more familiar terms that mean the same such as “malgastar”, but dilapidar is a more fancy way to say to waste or throw away money.
Meaning: to feel embarrassed for someone. There is no exact counterpart to this word in English, but I know you know the feeling. That extreme embarrassment you feel for somebody else? The Spanish call it Vergüenza Ajena.
10 Beautiful Spanish Love Quotes that will Melt Your Heart 40 DE LAS MÁS BELLAS PALABRAS DEL CASTELLANO. ¿ESTÁN VUESTRAS FAVORITAS?
Have you ever tried to describe something and been unable to find the right words for it?
Of course you have-that’s a natural part of learning any language.
Sometimes you even end up using a horribly wrong word or two.
It happens in your native language too, though, doesn’t it? Sometimes your language isn’t capable of describing a specific situation or item without using ten million extra words.
One of the great things about learning Spanish is that, the more you learn, the more you expand your mind.
For instance, there are numerous words that exist in Spanish that don’t have a direct English translation. That means that if you type them into Google for an English equivalent, chances are you’ll come up with a smattering of different words or sentences strung together to get the idea across.
That’s the point. For some, there’s simply not an easy translation. For others, the words may mean something direct in English (literally) but they mean something completely different when spoken in Spanish (context). All in all, you’ll be giving your brain tons of new ways to express ideas.
So, now it’s time to expand your vocabulary and expand your mind. Here are some wonderfully unique Spanish words that’ll introduce you to a world of new ideas and expressions.
Just a quick note: Remember not to simply learn words in isolation! Put these words into sentences, use them in everyday conversations and watch authentic videos to remember them.
One great way to hear authentic Spanish speech is with FluentU.
Some of the first things we teach our children are their colors right? Red, purple, black and so forth.
Have you ever seen a car that isn’t quite gray but it isn’t quite brown either? I have one, actually, and whenever English-speaking people ask me what color my car is I just shrug. When Spanish-speaking people ask me, I’ve got an answer.
Pardo – the color between gray and brown.
I have a friend who looks like he’s twelve even though he’s in his thirties. He doesn’t really have substantial facial hair, can’t grow a beard and has evidently found the fountain of youth.
I think we can all agree that we know someone or have seen someone like this. Maybe you can envision a boy in your middle school who was so proud of that one little whisker on his chin.
Lampiño – Hairless, but more specifically a man who cannot grow facial hair or has very thin facial hair.
It’s interesting that we don’t have this word in the English vocabulary. We have words that come close, but most of them are derogatory.
Manco – A one-armed man.
Apparently the Spanish-speakers of the world are much better at describing people’s physical features. I feel like having a word like this in English would make it much easier to describe pirates.
Tuerto – A one-eyed man.
Have you ever heard of the website People Of Walmart?
If not, you should hop on over there once you’re done reading this post. It’s full of pictures of people who decided to go to Walmart with no shame. Some of them are in pajamas. Most are wearing clothes that are too tight, inappropriate or downright scary.
Or, if that’s not ringing a bell, have you seen the TV show “What Not To Wear?” All episodes feature hidden camera footage of someone walking down the street clearly unaware of how ridiculous or frumpy they look. Of course, you can’t say anything if you see something like this in real life. Instead, you just shake your head.
Vergüenza Ajena – To feel embarrassed for someone even if they don’t feel embarrassed themselves. This is sometimes referred to as “secondhand embarrassment.”
Do you love Tim Burton? Or the sight of blood? Maybe you enjoyed reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. You have a love for something dark and you aren’t sure why because, let’s be honest, it’s a little creepy or gross.
Morbo – A morbid fascination.
This one doesn’t happen to me very often because my sweet tooth is out of control. On a rare occasion, I’ll take a bite of dark chocolate cake with decadent chocolate frosting and think to myself, “Wow! That’s sweet!” Then a minute or two later I’ll regret that chocolate cake because my head is pulsing from sweetness overload.
Have you ever felt a little nauseated after seeing a couple being overly affectionate with each other, perhaps smothering each other in kisses on the street corner? This verb works for that, too.
Empalagar – When something’s sickening or nauseating because it’s too sweet.
Everyone is waiting for the quincena!
That’s the bi-monthly payment that many employees receive in the Spanish-speaking world: Once on the 15th of the month, and once at the end of the month. It’s almost like saying “a fortnight,” but they use 15 days as a marker instead of 14.
For people awaiting paychecks, that first payment of the month always falls on the 15th. Apparently 15 is more significant in Spanish than in English in general!
Quincena – A period of 15 days.
It’s sometimes argued that this is the most difficult Spanish word to translate into English. Why? In Spanish literature, especially poetry, this word is used very often to describe how a person feels about nature. However, especially in Spain, it can be used to describe an indescribable charm or magic that isn’t limited to nature. You might hear about the duende of flamenco singing, for example.
Duende – The feeling of awe and inspiration had, especially when standing in nature. The overwhelming sense of beauty and magic.
I have two daughters that are under the age of two. Naturally, my house is always a mess. I’m always a day behind and a dollar short.
This is a feeling I’m incredibly familiar with, but there’s no real way to describe it in English. Another time I often felt this way was when I was in college and I had two papers, an exam, a project and twenty pages of reading due the next day. Maybe I wouldn’t feel this so often if I were more organized…
We can also use this verb when we hear a piece of news that dumbfounds us or stuns us, leaving us speechless and/or bothered.
Aturdir – When something overwhelms, bewilders, or stuns you to the point that you’re unable to focus and think straight.
While we’re on the subject of my daughters, my oldest daughter becomes very frantic when I leave her. Whether I’m leaving for work or just leaving the room, oftentimes she’ll panic. Even if her dad is still in the room with her, she’ll stress when I’m not with her.
Enmadrarse – When a child is very attached (emotionally) to their mother.
This summer my husband was shadowing a doctor to learn more about his practice. When people asked how we knew the doctor it became really confusing really fast. If only concuñado were a word in English.
Concuñado – The husband of your spouse’s sister or the husband of your sister-in-law.
Another word about family that would solve a lot of confusing explanations.
My daughter has two sets of grandparents, my parents and my husband’s parents. We can clearly explain the relationship of both sets of grandparents to my daughter, to me and to my husband (mom and dad and the in-laws). But what are they to each other?
Consuegro – The relationship between two sets of in-laws. My parents and my husband’s parents are consuegros.
Have you ever held a mirror in your hand, caught the sun’s glare just right and shined it in your older brother’s eyes? Let’s be honest, who hasn’t?
Resol – The reflection of the sun off of a surface or the glare of the sun.
You’ve been sitting on the porch enjoying the evening. But now the sun has set. The yawns are starting to set in. The evening’s coming to an end and you all decide to go indoors.
Recogerse – To go indoors in the evening once the day is over or to go home to rest or go to bed.
After you go shopping, you’re beyond excited to wear your new clothes for the first time. At least, that’s how I always feel. Sometimes I’ll even wait until I know that I’ll be around a lot of people so I can show off my new digs.
Estrenar – To wear something for the first time or to break something in.
In English we often call this “going out for coffee.” But that’s very limiting to just getting coffee. Merendar widens that idea up quite a bit.
Merendar – Going out to have a snack, coffee, brunch or some other small meal.
While living in Argentina, my family loved to go out to eat at the local restaurants. The atmosphere was incredibly different from any restaurant I’ve been to in the United States.
Once the meal is over in the United States, the waiter usually will bring you the check, you’ll pay immediately and you’ll leave. In many Spanish cultures, it’s very common to stay at the table for hours after the meal is over and just talk over a cup of coffee.
Sobremesa – The conversation that takes place at the dinner table after the meal is over.
Much like sobremesa, puente speaks to the Spanish culture. Now, puente does mean bridge but, in some cases, it’s a very specific (and abstract) bridge that we don’t talk about much in English.
Puente – When Thursday is a holiday and you take off Friday to bridge the holiday to the weekend, or, likewise, when Tuesday is a holiday and you take off Monday to extend your weekend.
Technically this word can be translated directly into English, but it’s a lengthy, wordy phrase. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a single word?
Antier – The day before yesterday.
Antier is a bit antiquated, and anteayer is the more common phrase in modern day.
My neighbor’s mom was in town staying with her for a few days. Overall, the weather was pretty nice and sunny. Then all of a sudden it started snowing. She came downstairs and told her daughter, “There’s a flight leaving in an hour, I’m out of here!”
Friolento – Someone who’s sensitive to the cold. The cold can refer to the weather, drinks or food.
We’ve all had those nights when we’ve tossed and turned and tried to sleep but just couldn’t convince the sandman to stop at our mattress.
Desvelado – Unable to sleep or sleep-deprived.
You’re in a new relationship. You’re really starting to fall for this guy/girl. You like them as more than a friend, but jumping from friend to “I love you” is like trying to jump across a wide lake. If only you had a stepping stone.
Te Quiero – More than “I like you,” but not quite “I love you.”
Usted versus tú is a confusing concept for someone who’s just learning Spanish or for someone who speaks no Spanish at all. We don’t have a formal and an informal speech in English.
Tutear – When you speak to someone in the informal tú form.
While I was living in Argentina, I’d have friends ask me about my nationality. “I’m American,” I’d reply. “North American or South American?” “North American…I’m from the States…” would be my unsure reply to that follow-up question.
If only I’d known that Spanish has a more specific word for this than English does!
Estadounidense – Someone who’s from the United States.
Do you remember Bert and Ernie from “Sesame Street”? Bert had that fabulous unibrow which was really a fuzzy line across his puppet face. He didn’t have an entrecejo.
Entrecejo – The space between your eyebrows.
Have you ever seen a car that’s literally being held together by zip ties and duct tape? Or maybe someone has made a cake and it looks awful?
Chapuza – A lousy job, a shabby piece of work. When something’s put together poorly.
Dar Un Toque
This phrase was probably more applicable before texting was so widely used. But it’s still something that I find myself doing when I want someone to call me back and I know they won’t answer my initial call.
Dar Un Toque – Calling someone, letting it ring once, then hanging up so the person knows to call you back.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that in English we haven’t needed this word. It makes sense that, with as much political unrest as there has been in Spanish-speaking countries, there would be a specific Spanish word for someone like Franco.
Golpista – The leader of a military coup.
We all know that person who loves hugs and kisses and affection in general. They may even like to be fussed over. We could be talking about our grandma who loves hugging and kissing us, or our cat who wants your constant attention and petting.
Mimoso – Someone who enjoys being given affection or wants to give affection in the form of physical contact.
Sometimes, the mimosos in our lives enjoy pavonearse.
Pavonearse – Strutting around like a peacock, acting like they own the place.
Everyone does this a million times a day without even realizing it. Tying our shoes. Washing our hands a certain way. Pouring our cereal first then the milk.
Soler – Doing something out of habit, doing something that you’re used to doing.
Maybe if we had a fun word in English like this, children would stop being annoyed when someone else has the same name as them.
Tocayo – Someone who has the same name as you.
This isn’t a concept that’s uncommon in any culture worldwide. However, Spanish has consolidated another wordy English phrase into a single elegant word.
Amigovio(a) – Friend with benefits.
Well, there you have it!
Next time you can’t find the word in English, just drop the Spanish word casually.
“Oh your name’s Jessica? My name’s Jessica. We’re totally tocayas. “
Try it out!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.
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