Knowing a few basic greetings in Spanish can make all the difference as you’re learning the language.
It’s a way to break the ice while presenting yourself as friendly and open to communication in the Spanish language.
Now, many people already know the basics of saying good morning in Spanish.
You’ll usually want to start with hola (hello in Spanish) and follow up with buenos días (good morning). ☀️
But there is much more to learn if you want to join the nearly 550 million fluent Spanish speakers in the world.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about saying good morning in Spanish.
We’ll cover pronunciation, grammatical and cultural considerations, and plenty of examples to help you understand Spanish greetings and more.
With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to greet your Spanish-speaking friends in no time. 👋
If you’re looking for high-quality materials and tools for learning Spanish, we have everything you need right here. Check out our recommended list of the best Spanish language learning resources!
The most common ways to say good morning in Spanish
Let’s start with a quick cheat sheet for some of the best ways to say good morning and similar greetings in Spanish.
|Buenos días||Good morning|
|Buen día||Good day|
|¡Hola, buenas!||Morning! (Can be used at any time of day)|
|¿Cómo estás esta mañana?||How are you this morning?|
These greetings will all come in handy at one time or another as you start greeting more people in Spanish.
You’ll hear buenos días and buen día in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world.
Hola, buenas, on the other hand, will be used differently in different countries.
In some places like Spain, this colloquial expression is even more common than the full buenos días.
Spanish people greet each other with a friendly “¡hola, buenas!” at any time of day.
So, it can be an informal way of saying good morning, good afternoon, or even good evening.
However, in places like Mexico, this phrase is less common. You might hear it among close friends, but it may be too informal to say to a stranger or acquaintance.
This is just one example of why context is so important when learning new phrases in Spanish.❗
How to pronounce good morning in Spanish
Luckily, Spanish is a phonetic language.
So, once you know how letters sound in a standard Spanish accent, you’ll be able to pronounce almost any word you see written.
Remember: just because Spanish has an almost identical alphabet to English doesn’t mean the pronunciation sounds similar.
If you resist the tendency to assume a letter sounds the same as it does in English, you’ll be able to pick up the Spanish accent much more easily. 👍
So, let’s give it a try. Here is how to pronounce good morning in Spanish and a few other friendly greetings.
|Buenos días||boo-eh-nohs dee-yas||Good morning|
|Buen día||boo-ehn dee-ya||Good day|
|Buenas tardes||boo-eh-nas tar-dehs||Good afternoon|
|Buenas noches||boo-eh-nas noh-chehs||Good night|
If you’re less familiar with the language, it might be helpful to listen to a recording or practice saying words out loud before using them in conversation.
If you’re interested in practicing Spanish with audio, check out our guide on how to ask how are you in Spanish. (You can find it here.)
Why is it buenos días and not buenas días?
Another common point of confusion in Spanish is that adjectives have to agree with the nouns they describe.
Nouns in Spanish are either masculine (often with an -o ending) or feminine (typically with an -a ending).
Spanish grammar rules are often fairly straightforward, but sometimes words stray outside the norms.
One word that does this is día. You’d think this word would be feminine, given the -a ending.
But día is actually a masculine word. So, written with an article, it’s el día, not la día. 🚫
That means the adjectives that describe día must also be masculine, as seen with buenos días. (Notice how the plural días makes the word buenos plural as well.)
Let’s see how this looks for similar greetings:
- El día → Los día → Buenos días
- La tarde → Las tardes → Buenas tardes
- La noche → Las noches → Buenas noches
And as a side note, you may also wonder why good morning doesn’t translate directly as buena mañana.
Yes, buena does mean good, and mañana can mean morning. But this simply isn’t how the expression works in the Spanish language.
If you need help remembering, think about it this way. When you greet someone in the morning, saying buenos días is like giving them good wishes for the whole day ahead.
Buenos días vs. buen día
Buenos días and buen día are both correct as expressions.
Buenos días means good morning, while buen día is more similar to the English phrase good day.
However, while buenos días is a common greeting everywhere in the world, you may only hear buen día as a greeting in certain Spanish-speaking countries.
This phrase can be used in other ways and may be more common in different grammatical contexts than as a quick greeting in passing.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of the different ways you can use these phrases.
Buenos días, ¿cómo estás? Muy bien, gracias.
Que tengas un buen día.
Buenos días, ¿qué tal? Bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?
Buen día, ¿qué tal? Bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?
As you can see, it’s possible to use these expressions interchangeably.
However, using buen día in this way is rare. So, you may only hear this in a few countries like Argentina and Paraguay.
Should I say buenos días or buenas tardes?
Another interesting factor to consider when greeting someone in Spanish is the differences in how people view time.
For example, in Spain, you might hear people saying buenos días until about two o’clock in the afternoon.
This may seem funny because in most English-speaking cultures, the afternoon starts at, well, noon. 😜
However, there’s a reason why the morning time stretches longer in some Spanish-speaking cultures.
It’s because lunchtime in countries like Spain starts around 2 pm. After lunch, people will start saying buenas tardes, or good afternoon.
So, if you’re wondering when to transition from buenos días to buenos tardes, remember to look up the typical meal times of the country you’re visiting or the people you’re speaking to.
How to say good morning in Spanish in casual contexts
Luckily, good morning is one of those expressions you can use across contexts.
This is true in Spanish as well; it’s just as acceptable to say buenos días to your friends as it is to say to your colleagues at work.
However, you may be interested in more casual expressions to make speaking Spanish feel more natural.
So, here are a few options if you want to try out some new greetings in informal contexts.
|¿Cómo andas?||How's it going?|
|¿Qué tal?||What's up/How's it going?|
|¿Qué onda?||What's up?|
|¿Qué hubo?||What's new?|
|¿Qué pasa?||What's up?|
|¿Qué hay?||What's new?|
|¿Cómo te va?||How's it going?|
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Remember that these casual Spanish expressions will vary across cultures. So, you’ll want to ask friends or research which ones are most common in your specific circumstances.
How to say good morning in Spanish in professional contexts
Since buenos días is a suitable way to say good morning in any context, you can use it in professional and formal settings.
However, you may be unsure how to keep a professional tone beyond the initial Spanish greeting.
For example, it may be important to speak formally if you’re talking to a colleague over the phone.
So, here are some examples of how Spanish speakers might use buenos días in professional phone conversations.📞
|Buenos días, ¿en qué puedo ayudarle?||Good morning, how may I help you?|
|Buenos días, ¿con quién tengo el gusto de hablar?||Good morning, who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?|
|Buenos días, ¿cómo está usted?||Good morning, how are you?|
How to respond to good morning in Spanish*
Like in English, you can respond to buenos días by saying buenos días in return.
For a quicker response, you can say igualmente, which is similar to the English word likewise.
Now, it’s common to follow good morning up with how are you, or in Spanish, ¿Cómo estás?
So, here are a few ways to respond if someone greets you with Buenos días, ¿cómo estás?
|Estoy bien. ¿Y tú?||I'm good, and you?|
|Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?||Very well, thank you. And you?|
|Regular. ¿Y tú?||I'm okay, and you?|
|¡Superbién! ¿Y tú?||I'm great! And you?|
|No me puedo quejar. ¿Y tú?||I can't complain. And you?|
As you can imagine, there are many ways to respond when someone asks, “how are you?”
But, as in most English-speaking cultures, if this question is asked in passing, it is often more of a courtesy than a genuine inquiry into the details of your life.
So, if you don’t wish to expand further than “I’m good,” that’s perfectly acceptable in Spanish as well.
Extending the conversation after saying good morning in Spanish
One frustrating part of learning any language is that moment when your mind goes blank in the middle of a conversation. 💭
It happens to the best of us. But a great way to curb this issue is to have a few ideas prepared for how to keep the conversation going.
There are plenty of phrases you can throw in after you’ve exchanged greetings with someone in Spanish.
Here are a few ideas to try next time you run into a Spanish-speaking friend.
|¿Cómo va tu mañana?||How's your morning going?|
|¿Qué tal tu día?||How's your day going?|
|¿Cómo fue tu fin de semana?||How was your weekend?|
|¿Qué planes tienes para hoy?||What are your plans for today?|
|¿Has leído/visto/escuchado…?||Have you read/seen/heard…?|
|¿Qué opinas de…?||What do you think of…?|
As always, the best thing to say will depend on the context and the person you’re speaking with.
But, having a few phrases and questions in mind can help you feel more confident approaching new people and engaging in more natural Spanish conversations.
How to build your Spanish language skills
On top of learning common greetings and phrases, you can take plenty of other steps to improve your Spanish language skills.
Along with taking advantage of our language learning tools and resources, here are some great actions to take to keep building your Spanish skills.
- Attend local Spanish language meetups
- Volunteer or find a language exchange partner
- Watch Spanish TV and discuss with a friend in Spanish
- Read in Spanish and share what you learned using your language skills
- Listen to Spanish music and memorize the lyrics 🎶
- Practice your Spanish with a tutor or native speaker
What’s the fastest way to learn Spanish?
Now that you know how to say good morning in Spanish, be sure to use it the next time you greet someone in the morning.
It’s important to make the effort, because the fastest way to learn Spanish is by speaking it as much as possible.
Studying helps, but there’s nothing like getting out there and practicing with native or fluent Spanish speakers.
And the great thing is, you can still practice Spanish greetings on friends and family, even if they don’t speak the language.
So, now that you’ve taken the time to learn some new phrases and greetings, the only thing left to do is start practicing! 🎯
What’s your favorite way to greet people in Spanish?
Let us know in the comments section down below!