In Spanish, just as in English, it's polite to greet each person you meet and acknowledge his departure when he leaves. The basic phrases for "hello" and "goodbye" in Spanish are hola and adios. You can use a variety of other phrases, depending on the time of day, how formal you want to be, and when you expect to see the person again.
The most common way to say "hello" in Spanish is hola. It's very similar to how we would use "hello" in English; it's appropriate for both formal and informal conversations and can be used at anytime of day or night. If you're greeting someone in the morning, you can say buenos dias. Pronounced "bwen-nos dee-ahs," this phrase translates to "good morning" in English. Buenos tardes can be used to greet someone in the afternoon, and you can use buenos noches in the evening or nighttime.
How Are You?
After greeting you with an "hola" or "buenos dias," someone will typically ask you how you're doing. Como estas? (coh-moe es-tahs) means, "how are you?" If you're in a formal situation or talking to someone much older than you, you can ask como esta usted? Other variations on "how are you?" include como te va? and que pasa? These translate to "how's it going?" and "what's happening?" respectively.
Adios is the most common way to say "goodbye" in Spanish and is pronounced "ah-dee-ohs." Although it literally translates as to god, it can be used in almost any situation. Hasta (ah-stah) means "until" and is used in a variety of phrases that indicate departure. Hasta luego means "see you later," and hasta la vista means "until we see each other again." Another fun, more colloquial way to say goodbye is to exclaim, chao, pronounced, "chow," as you leave.
When you say goodbye to someone in Spanish, you may also want to wish them well. If they're off to accomplish a task, you can say buena suerte or just suerte to wish them good luck. If she's not feeling well, you can say que te mejores pronto, which means, "I hope you get well soon." If you're saying goodbye after visiting with someone you haven't seen in a while, you may want to say, me alegro de verte, which means, "it was great to see you."
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