8 Spanish Phrases That Will Make You Sound Like a Local

If you plan to travel to Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries, you should try to learn some common Spanish phrases. There are maybe phrases that you are likely to hear every day that you should start to learn early enough. This helps you to connect quickly and easily with your new surroundings. 

Although learning a second language might be difficult as an adult, the fun part is the few phrases you start to pick up as you relate to locals. While this might sound funny to them, it also gives the right impression that you are trying to learn and speak. It also shows that you have a genuine interest in their culture and language. It’s an excellent way to make good friends and start conversations with locals who will be willing to help. 

The good thing is, you don’t have to get to Spain before you start to learn these phrases. I’ve made a compilation of some of the comments, street language, and phrases that you are likely to hear every day. Understanding these Spanish phrases and knowing how to communicate with them will make you sound like the locals. Here are my top picks. 

  1. Qué guay, Qué chulo

You can use these phrases when complimenting someone or something. Both phrases mean the same, and the translator in English is “that’s cool” or “how cool.” So if you see a street perform going about their craft on the street or you come across a street mural that you love, don’t forget to use the phrase: “Qué guy!”

  1. Sí o Sí

In literal translation, this is like saying “yes or yes.” It is a commonly used phrase to depict certainty. A good translation of this in English is the phrase: “Yes, definitely.” 

  1. No me rayes

You must have seen or even owned a CD that stopped working because it became scratched or overstretched. This Spanish phrase is a reference to something very similar. In this case, it is used for people who are ‘scratching’ you. So, if you have a friend around you who keeps making silly comments and stupid and boring jokes, then you could use this phrase for them. 

In literal English, it is saying: “don’t scratch me!” It is similar to saying: “don’t disturb me” in English. It’s perfect for someone when you don’t have time for their shenanigans. 

  1. Qué sé yo

This phrase’s pronunciation emphasizes the last word more, so it is pronounced “qué sé yooo.” It is another phrase that you will hear common during discussions with locals, especially if it is a debatable topic. The literal translation in English means “what do I know?” It is used to add a little bit of uncertainty into the discussion or point that the speaker is raising. 

People do this to leave the discussion or argument open, especially when they are not sure of their point. It gives room for others to contribute with complimentary or contract opinions. 

An example of its use is in a classroom. When a student tries to answer a question but is unsure about the answer they gave, they use this phrase to keep the discussion open. 

  1. Vale

You are likely to hear this Spanish word every day of the week as it is a common word. It’s the Spanish word for “Okay.” It is used for acknowledgment. 

  1. Tío, tía

When translated literally to English, this word means aunt or uncle. However, in Spanish, it used to refer to a girl or guy. Also, this word is used in Spain as an informal way to call someone your friend, pal, or dude. 

  1. No ni ná

This word is the direct opposite of “sí o sí.” The literal translation of it is “no or nothing.” If you are saying this in English, it will be “absolutely not.”

  1. Una de

Spanish people are pretty economical with the use of words. They try to keep their phrases as short as possible. Otherwise, this should have been “Una tapa de.” This phrase is used when you’re making an order for food. So when you say: “una tapa de,” what should follow is the food you’re ordering for. To sound more accomplished, saying “una de” is enough to make your order. If you’re making a single order, then you can use “un.” 

One phrase you will quickly get used to hearing is “under caña por favor,” which literally translates to “beer please.” It’s one of the commonest phrases you’ll hear in Spain. For you, learn to say “una de jamón,” or “una de tortilla” or “una de aceitunas,” etc., and you’ll not go hungry in Spain. 


You need to know many words and phrases to get yourself acclimatized with the Spanish community you’re in quickly. These are only a few you’ll hear and need to use every day, but there’s a lot more.  The earlier you start to practice your Spanish phrases, the better for you. 

Author Bio

Tobias Foster is a journalist and editor at custom essay service with more than five years of work experience providing assignment help at the college paper. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He is a master of his craft. 

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Pinterest
Share on Reddit
Share on Telegram
Share via WhatsApp
Share via email