As a new Spanish learner, even the most basic interactions are a challenge. It’s not just remembering what you need to say, but also, understanding what is being said.
Learning just a few of the phrases that you will hear often in real-life interactions can make a world of difference in your ability to understand and easily respond.
Over the last 6 years of living in Mexico, I realized I was hearing certain phrases being used CONSTANTLY by the locals as they were going about their day-to-day life. Many of them make NO sense when you break them down word for word and they certainly were never taught in any of the apps or Spanish courses I studied previously.
Let’s learn the 10 phrases that are going to help you sound less like a textbook (or a generic Spanish app...) and more like a local!
Spanish You’ll Hear Constantly in Mexico
Can you repeat that?
If you haven’t noticed, native speakers speak VERY quickly and it can be difficult to hear what they are saying. If you would like to hear what they said again, just say ¿Mande?
2. Así está bien
Like that is okay / That’s good
Have you ever wanted to tell your server that you want them to keep the change as a tip? You can just say ‘Así está bien’ and it will be understood as ‘That’s good’ or that you do not need your change back.
This can also be used when you are asked ‘Do you want a bag?’ and you don’t need one…
Just say ‘Así está bien’ to communicate ‘No, I don’t need one. This is okay like this’.
This is a very versatile phrase that you will hear often and find lots of different situations where you can use it as well.
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3. Aquí tiene
Here you go
This is a perfect phrase to use when you are handing something to someone or they are handing it to you. Next time you give the packer at the grocery store a few pesos for a tip, you can say ‘Aquí tiene’ to say ‘Here you go’.
4. Serían ___ pesos
That would be ___ pesos
At the end of every transaction, the person will likely tell you the total price of your order. You will likely either hear “Serían ___ pesos” which means “That would be ___ pesos”.
Try to listen for it during the next transaction that you go through to start tuning your ear to understand this common phrase used in transactions.
5. ¿Todo bien?
Is everything okay?
When you are at a restaurant and the server comes to your table to check and make sure everything is okay, they will ask “¿Todo bien? “ which literally translates to “All good?“.
You can easily respond with, “Sí, todo bien.“ to let them know you don’t need anything else at this time.
6. ¿Algo más?
“Algo más“ is another common phrase you will hear when you are either placing an order shopping at the small corner stores (called Abarrotes in Mexico).
“Algo más“ literally translates to “Something more?“ and it is used to find out if you would like to add anything else to your order. For example, If you order 2 chicken breasts (2 pechugas de pollo) and a half kilo of ground beef ( y medio kilo de carne molida), the butcher will ask, “¿Algo más? to see if you need to add something else to your order.
7. Nada más
And to respond to the question “¿Algo más? you need to know how to say “Nada más“ which means “Nothing else“ or literally, “Nothing more“.
You can use the phrase at restaurants as well when you are ready for the bill. Just say, “Nada más gracias. La cuenta por favor.
You’re Probably thinking…
“These phrases are great, but I’ll never be able to remember them in real life!”
Let me show you how easy it can be to remember what you’ve learned and actually USE it with my FRASE method. Book Your FREE Trial Lesson here.
8. Un momento más
A couple more minutes please
If you aren’t quite ready to place your order yet and you’d like a few extra minutes, you can ask for “Un momento más“ which translates to “a moment more“, or more naturally, “A couple more minutes please.“
9. ¡Claro que sí!
If you ask for something (an item or a request) and the other person is able to help you with it, you will often hear “Claro que sí“ which means, “Yes, of course.“
For example, If you ask the taxi driver, “Can you help me carry these groceries bags up to my apartment?“. The obvious reply would be, “¡Claro que sí!“ (A small tip or “propina“ would be appreciated for this extra service.
Same to you
At the end of an interaction, you will usually hear some sort of phrase wishing you well such as:
- ¡Qué le vaya bien! – Let your day go well!
- ¡Que tenga una bonita noche! – Have a pretty night!
As a beginner, repeating back a long phrase like this is too difficult! But luckily, you can just say “Igualmente“ to say, “Same to you! “.
How to Go from Zero to Function Fast in Spanish
If you start focusing on the Spanish that is highly relevant to day-to-day life in Mexico you will start making progress where you need it the most!
When you live in Mexico, you need to hit the ground running with your Spanish to quickly develop the functional skills you need to get by in day-to-day life.
And you need to start SPEAKING immediately.
The truth is that most courses and apps waste MONTHS trying to teach students by memorizing hundreds of words and practicing verb conjugations… Which, unfortunately does very little to develop communication skills.
and After 14 years of being stuck as a beginner Spanish student (following traditional methods), I finally hit a level of frustration that led me to try a different approach to learning.
In less than a year, my Spanish skyrocketed up to an advanced level as I learned how to learn a language effectively using practical techniques.
As an expat living in Mexico and experiencing the ‘day-to-day’ interactions, I see how EASY it can be to build a solid base of Spanish if you focus on the language used in REAL situations.
And that’s why I developed the F.R.A.S.E method to help expats, snowbirds, and frequent vacationers to learn practical Spanish in lessons that teach you to SPEAK in full sentences from the very first lesson.
F – FUN and rewarding lessons that will keep you engaged and excited about learning
R – REAL life situations are the center of everything we teach
A – ACTIVE learning means you will constantly be using what you have learned in each lesson
S – SPEAKING is the main skill practiced in every lesson and activity
E – EFFECTIVE & EFFICIENT learning methods which were discovered from my own language learning success resulting in such rapid progress after years of struggling with ineffective learning methods.
And no, this isn’t a ‘survival Spanish course’…
Actually, all of the common situations use the most frequently words, verbs, and structures in the Spanish language.
Which means, you are learning how to handle certain situations WHILE learning the basic structural aspects of Spanish at the same time.
Join us in a LIVE sample lesson to experience the F.R.A.S.E method in action and see how much easier, fun, and intuitive learning Spanish can be!
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10 Spanish Phrases You SHOULD to Be Using
In Your Everyday Life in Mexico