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Spanish phrasebook

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Spanish (castellano or español) is the third most-spoken language in the world. Originating in Spain (where it is also known as Castilian, and spoken by most residents there, with slightly different pronunciation from the rest of the world's Spanish speakers), it is also spoken in Mexico and all of Central and South America except Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname. Spanish is also spoken in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands.

Spanish is a first language for many people in the United States, especially in California, Texas, South Florida, and elsewhere the Southwest.

A Western Romance language, Spanish is closely related to and at least partially mutually intelligible with the other romance languages, such as Portuguese, Catalan, French, and Italian. English and Spanish share variants of approximately one third of their words, although the pronunciation tends to be very different.

Grammar

Spanish nouns have genders. Most words applied to persons have natural gender: masculine like hombre ("male person - man") or feminine, like mujer ("female person - woman"). The gender of some animals, things, and some words applied to persons doesn't follow any rule: they have an arbitrary grammatical gender. Casa (house), rana (frog), and visita (visitor) are of the feminine gender. Árbol (tree), sapo (toad) and genio (genius) are of the masculine gender. Invitado, invitada (guest) and mono, mona (monkey) have natural gender. Fortunately, the gender of a noun is usually (but not always) indicated by the last letter of the word; -o indicates masculine nouns, and -a indicates feminine nouns. Nouns ending with consonants are probably masculine.

The word the changes form depending on gender. It is also made plural when the noun is plural. For example: el perro ("the dog"), la cerveza ("the beer"), los caballos ("the horses"), las casas ("the houses").

Adjectives generally come after the noun they describe. They also have gender and number. Like nouns, -o usually indicates the masculine form of the adjective, and -a indicates the feminine form. Adding an -s at the end of an adjective or noun makes it plural. Adjectives need to match the noun they describe in both gender and number. For example, borracho "drunk", when modifying las mujeres ("the women"), makes las mujeres borrachas.

In this guide, where genders of nouns or adjectives comes up, we use the form "o/a" to differentiate. It should be clear from context when to use the feminine and when to use the masculine form.

Pronunciation Guide

Spanish spelling has the pleasant characteristic of being more or less phonetic. This means that if you know how to pronounce the letters of a word, it's relatively easy to sound out the word itself.

Besides having a very small number of vowel sounds and a high predictablity of exactly what sound is represented by each letter, Spanish has a very clear set of rules about where a stress normally falls, and exceptions are noted with an "acute accent mark" ("´") over the vowel of the stressed syllable. Normally, words that end in a vowel, or in n or s, have the stress on the next-to-last syllable (muchacho = "mu-CHA-cho"); all other words without an explicit accent mark are stressed on the final syllable (hospital = "os-pee-TAL"). There are no secondary stresses within words.

Vowels

like 'a' in "father".
like 'e' in "pet"
like 'ee' in "see".
like 'o' in "come".
like 'oo' in "hoop".
like 'ee' in "see".

Consonants

like 'b' in "bed" (but no aspiration) at the beginning of a word and after 'm': boca. An approximant (a soft vibration sound almost like English 'v') elsewhere. See v below.
follows the same pronunciation pattern as in English. In most cases it is pronounced like 'k' in "kid": calle, doctor. When followed by 'e' or 'i', it is like 's' in "supper" (Latin America) or 'th' in "thin" (Spain): cine.
ch 
like 'ch' in "touch": muchacho
like 'd' in "dog" at the beginning of a word; like 'th' is "this" between vowels: dedo, pronounced "DAY-thoh"
like 'f' in "fine": faro
when followed by 'e' or 'i', like a throaty 'h' (general = heh-neh-RAHL), otherwise like 'g' in "go" (gato). In the clusters "gue" and "gui", the 'u' is silent (guitarra), unless it bears a diaeresis, as in "güe" and "güi" (pedigüeño).
gu, gü 
like 'Gu' in McGuire or 'w' in "wire" (agua, agüita)
silent: hora= OR-ah
like 'ch' in German "auch" (though it is often approximated well enough with English 'h'): jamón. Same sound as g followed by 'e' or 'i'.
like 'k' in "kid": kilo
like 'l' in "love": lápiz
ll 
like 'j' in "jam": llama, or 'j' in "jet": calle, or 'j' in "jean": pollito, or j in "john": cuello, or 'j' in "june": lluvia.
like 'm' in "mother": mano
like 'n' in "nice", and like 'n' in "anchor": noche, ancla
ñ 
like 'ny' in "canyon": cañón, piñata
like 'p' in "pig": perro
like 'q' in "quiche" (always with a silent "u"): queso, pronounced KAY-so. See k above.
r, rr 
Spanish has two 'r' sounds both of which are different from their counterpart in English. Some effort should be made to approximate them, to help listeners distinguish between perro ("dog") and pero ("but")... or perhaps to understand you at all.
single flap r (ere)
Always written "r", this sound is created by putting the tip of the tongue up against where the front of the roof of the mouth meets the upper teeth, very similar to the action English speakers make to pronounce l or d. To an English-speaking ear, it may sound a bit like a combined "d-r".

Particular care should be taken when r appears after a consonant, e.g. in the word otro ("other"). tr is a particular sound in English, which will not be recognized in Spanish. One must separate the two sounds out, as in wha(t) (r)ubbish, clicking the r properly.

rolled r (erre)
Written "r" at the beginning of the word, or after "l", "n", or "s" (ropa, enredo); written "rr" between vowels (cerro). It's a multiply vibrating sound. Whereas all English speakers can learn to tap out a single r it seems that many adult non-Spanish speakers simply do not have the ability to vibrate the tongue in the way needed to pronounce rr; in this case, pronouncing it like a Spanish r or fumbling out a d-r might be better understood than pronouncing it like an Enlgish r.
like 'ss' in "hiss": sopa
like 't' in "top": tapa
like 'b' in "bed" (but no aspiration) at the beginning of a word and after 'm': vaca, pronounced BAH-kah. An approximant (a soft vibration sound almost like English 'v') elsewhere. To distinguish v from b when spelling, one says "vay chica" or "bay grande" to indicate which; native Spanish speakers may not hear the difference between "vee" and "bee".
like 'w' in "weight" in English words, whisky, pronounced "WEESS-kee"). Like 'b' in "bed" in Germanic words.
like 'x' in "flexible" (flexible). Like 'ss' in "hiss" at beginning of a word (xilófono). Like a throaty 'h' in the words México, mexicano, Oaxaca, and oaxaqueño.
like 'y' in "yes": payaso. Like 'y' in "boy": hoy. At the beginning of the word, it will sometimes be pronounced more like an English 'j': yo no se, pronounced "joh noh say".
like 's' in "supper" (Latin America), like 'th' in "thin" (Spain): zorro. See c above.

Diphthongs

Most diphthongs can be approximated by blending the first vowel into the second in a single syllable.

ai, ay 
like 'eye': baile
au 
like 'ow' in "cow": causa
ei, ey 
like 'ay' in "say": reina, rey.
eu 
like 'oo' in "food" euro = "OO-row"
ia 
like 'ya' in "Kenya": piano
ie 
like 'ye' in "yes": pie = "PEE-yeh"
io 
like 'yo': dio
iu 
like 'ew' in "few": ciudad = "see-you-THAHD"
oi, oy 
like 'oy' in "boy": soy
ua 
like 'wa' in "wallet": cuatro
ue 
like 'we' in "well": puedo
ui, uy 
like 'wee' in "ween": ruido
ui 
like 'ooy': cuido = "coo-wee-dough"
uo 
like "wa" in "water": averiguo

Accents and stress

Word stress can affect the meaning of the word and generally follows these rules:

  • If a word is marked with an accent, then that syllable receives the stress.
    • Additionally, if the accent marks a diphthong a syllable break occurs between the two vowels of the diphthong.
  • If a word is NOT marked with an accent, then
  1. if the word ends in a consonant other than N or S, the stress occurs on the last syllable.
  2. if the word ends in a vowel, N or S, the stress occurs on the next to last syllable.

Examples:

círculo (SEER-koo-loh) → circle
circulo (seer-KOO-loh) → I circulate
circuló (seer-koo-LOH) → (s)he/it circulated
estás (ehss-TAHSS) → you are
estas (EHSS-tahss) → these
origen (oh-REE-hehn) → origin
orígenes (oh-REE-hehn-ehss) → origins
ciudad (syew-DAHD) → city
ciudades (syew-DAH-dehss) → cities

An accent can also be used to differentiate between words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings:

si → if   tu → your   mi → my   el → the
→ yes → you → me él → he

Phrase list

Note: These examples give Latin American pronunciation, not Spanish.

Basics

Hello (informal). 
Hola. (OH-lah). For the formal equivalent of hola see good morning, good afternoon, good evening, below.
How are you? (informal
¿Cómo estás? (KOH-moh ehss-TAHSS?)
How are you (formal
¿Cómo está usted? (KOH-mo ehss-TAH oo-stehd?)
Fine, thank you. 
Muy bien, gracias. (mooey BYEHN, GRAH-syahss)
What is your name? 
¿Cómo te llamas? (KOH-moh teh YAH-mahss?) (informal); ¿Cómo se llama usted? (KOH-moh seh YAH-mah ooss-TEHD?) (formal)
My name is ______ . 
Me llamo ______ . (meh YAH-moh _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
Encantado/a. (EHN-kahn-TAH-doh)
Please. 
Por favor. (POHR fah-BOHR)
Thank you. 
Gracias. (GRAH-SYAHSS)
You're welcome. 
De nada. (deh NAH-dah)
Yes. 
Sí. (SEE)
No. 
No. (NOH)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Disculpe. (dees-KOOL-peh)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Perdón. (pehr-DOHN)
I'm sorry. 
Lo siento. (loh SYEHN-toh)
Goodbye 
Adiós. (ah-DYOHSS)
Goodbye (informal
Hasta luego. (AH-stah LWEH-goh)
Goodbye (informal
Chau. (TSHA-oo) (more used in South America)
I can't speak Spanish [well]. 
No hablo español [bien]. (noh AH-bloh EHS-pah-NYOL [BYEHN])
Do you speak English? 
¿Hablas inglés? (AH-blahss een-GLEHSS?) (informal); ¿Habla usted inglés? (AH-blah oos-TEHD een-GLEHSS?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
¿Hay alguien que hable inglés? (hah-ee ahl-GYEN keh AH-bleh een-GLEHSS?)
Help! 
¡Ayuda! (ah-YOO-dah!); ¡Socorro! (soh-KOH-roh!)
Good morning. 
Buenos días. (BWEH-nohss DEE-ahss)
Good afternoon. 
Buenas tardes. (BWEH-nahss TAR-dehss)
Good evening (when it's dark) 
Buenas noches. (BWEH-nahss NOH-chehss)
Good night. 
Buenas noches. (BWEH-nas NOH-chehss)
I don't understand. 
No entiendo. (noh ehn-TYEHN-doh)
Where is the toilet? 
¿Dónde está el baño? (DOHN-deh ehss-TAH ehl BAH-nyoh?)
Where are the toilets? 
¿Dónde está los servicios? (DOHN-deh ehss-TAH lohs sehr-VEE-see-ohs?)

Problems

Leave me alone. 
Déjame en paz. (DAY-hah-may en PASS)
Don't touch me! 
¡No me toques! (noh may TOH-kayss!)
I'll call the police. 
Llamaré a la policía. (yah-mah-RAY ah lah po-lee-SEE-ah)
Police! 
¡Policía! (poh-lee-SEE-ah!)
Stop! Thief! 
¡Alto, ladrón! (AHL-toh, lah-DROAN!)
I need help. 
Necesito ayuda. (ne-say-SEE-toh ah-YOU-dah)
It's an emergency. 
Es una emergencia. (ayss oo-nah AY-mayr-HEN-syah)
I'm lost. 
Estoy perdido/a (ay-STOY payr-DEE-doh/dah)
I lost my purse/handbag. 
Perdí mi bolsa/bolso/cartera. (payr-DEE mee BOHL-sa / BOHL-so / cahr-TAY-rah)
I lost my wallet. 
Perdí mi cartera/billetera. (payr-DEE mee cahr-TAY-rah / bee-yay-TAY-rah; the last may also be said as beel-yay-TAY-rah)
I'm sick. 
Estoy enfermo/a. (ay-STOY ayn-FAYR-moh/mah)
I've been injured. 
Estoy herido/a. (ay-STOY ay-REE-doh/dah)
I need a doctor. 
Necesito un doctor. (nay-say-SEE-toh OON dohk-TOHR)
Can I use your phone? 
¿Puedo usar su teléfono? (PWAY-doh oo-SAHR soo tay-LAY-foh-noh?)
Can I borrow your cell phone? 
¿Me presta su celular? ((may PRAY-sta soo sayl-U-lar?) (Latin America) ¿Me presta su móvil? ((may PRAY-sta soo MOH-beel?) (Spain)

Numbers

cero (SEH-roh)
uno (OO-noh)
dos (dohss)
tres (trehss)
cuatro (KWA-troh)
cinco (SEEN-koh)
seis (SEH-IHSS)
siete (see-EH-teh)
ocho (OH-choh)
nueve (NOO-EH-beh)
10 
diez (dee-EHSS)
11 
once (OHN-seh)
12 
doce (DOH-seh)
13 
trece (TREH-seh)
14 
catorce (kah-TOHR-seh)
15 
quince (KEEN-seh)
16 
dieciséis (dee-EH-see-SEH-ihss)
17 
diecisiete (dee-EH-see-see-EH-teh)
18 
dieciocho (dee-EH-see-OH-choh)
19 
diecinueve (dee-EH-see-NOO-EH-beh)
20 
veinte (VAIN-teh)
21 
veintiuno (VAIN-tee-OO-noh)
22 
veintidós (VAIN-tee-DOHSS)
23 
veintitrés (VAIN-tee-TREHSS)
30 
treinta (TRAIN-tah)
40 
cuarenta (kwah-REHN-tah)
50 
cincuenta (seen-KWEHN-tah)
60 
sesenta (seh-SEHN-tah)
70 
setenta (seh-TEHN-tah)
80 
ochenta (oh-CHEHN-tah)
90 
noventa (noh-BEHN-tah)
100 
cien (see-EHN)
200 
doscientos (dohs-see-EHN-tohss)
300 
trescientos (trehs-see-EHN-tohss)
500 
quinientos (kee-nee-EHN-tohss)
1000 
mil (MEEL)
2000 
dos mil (dohss MEEL)
1,000,000 
un millón (oon mee-JOHN)
1,000,000,000 
un billón (oon bee-JOHN), mil millones (Spain)
1,000,000,000,000 
un trillón (oon tree-JOHN), un billón (Spain)
half 
medio (MEH-dee-oh)
less 
menos (MEH-nohss)
more 
más (MAHSS)

Time

now 
ahora (ah-OH-rah)
later 
después (day-SPWAYSS)
before 
antes (ahn-TAYSS)
morning 
mañana (mah-NYAH-nah)
afternoon 
tarde (TAHR-day)
night 
noche (NOH-chay)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
la una de la madrugada; la una de la mañana (lah OOH-nah day lah mah-drooh-GAH dah; lah OOH-nah day lah mahn-YAH-nah)
two o'clock AM 
las dos de la madrugada; las dos de la mañana (lahss DOHSS day lah mah-drooh-GAH dah; lahss DOHSS day lah mahn-YAH-nah)
ten o'clock AM 
las diez de la mañana (lahss dee-AYSS day lah mahn-YAH-nah)
noon 
mediodía; las doce de la mañana (lahss DOH-say day lah mahn-YAH-nah)
one o'clock PM 
la una de la tarde (lah OOH-nah day lah TAHR-day)
two o'clock PM 
las dos de la tarde (lahss DOHSS day lah TAHR-day)
ten o'clock PM 
las diez de la noche (lahss dee-AYSS day lah NOH-chay)
midnight 
medianoche; las doce de la noche (may-dee-yah-NOH-chay; lahss DOH-say day lah NOH-chay)

Writing Time

When speaking, times are given in AM/PM form (but saying de la mañana (morning), de la tarde (afternoon), de la noche (evening/night) or de la madrugada (late night) to distinguish between AM and PM. On the other hand, in most countries times are rendered in 24-hour format, with a colon separating hours and minutes:

9 o'clock AM 
nueve de la mañana (spoken: noo-WEH-bay day la mahn-YAH-nah), 9:00 (written)
12:30 PM 
doce y media de la mañana (spoken: DOH-say ee MAY-dee-yah day la mahn-YAH-nah), 12:30 (written)
1 o'clock PM 
una de la tarde (spoken: OOH-nah day lah TAHR-day), 13:00 (written)
10 o'clock PM 
diez de la noche (spoken: dee-AYSS day la NOH-chay), 22:00 (written)
2 o'clock AM 
dos de la madrugada or dos de la mañana (spoken: DOHSS day la mah-drooh-GAH-dah or DOHSS day la mahn-YAH-nah), 2:00 (written)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minuto(s) (mee-NOOH-toh(ss))
_____ hour(s) 
_____ hora(s) (OH-raah(ss))
_____ day(s) 
_____ día(s) (DEE-aah(ss))
_____ week(s) 
_____ semana(s) (seh-MAH-nah(ss))
_____ month(s) 
_____ mes(es) (MEHSS-(ehss))
_____ year(s) 
_____ año(s) (AH-nyoh(ss))

Days

today 
hoy (OH-ee)
yesterday 
ayer (aah-JEHR)
tomorrow 
mañana (surely you know how to pronounce this word: mah-NYAH-nah)
this week 
esta semana (EHS-tah seh-MAH-nah)
last week 
la semana pasada (lah seh-MAH-nah pah-SAH-dah)
next week 
la semana que viene (lah seh-MAH-nah keh vee-EH-neh)
Monday 
lunes (LOOH-nehss)
Tuesday 
martes (MAHR-tehss)
Wednesday 
miércoles (mee-EHR-coh-lehss)
Thursday 
jueves (HOO-EH-behss)
Friday 
viernes (vee-EHR-nehss)
Saturday 
sábado (SAH-bah-doh)
Sunday 
domingo (doh-MEEN-goh)

The week begins on Mondays.

Months

January 
enero (eh-NEH-roh)
February 
febrero (feh-BREH-roh)
March 
marzo (MAR-thoh)
April 
abril (ah-BREEL)
May 
mayo (MAH-joh)
June 
junio (HOO-nee-oh)
July 
julio (HOO-lee-oh)
August 
agosto (aah-GUS-toh)
September 
septiembre (sep-TEE-EHM-breh)
October 
octubre (ok-TOO-breh)
November 
noviembre (no-VEE-EHM-breh)
December 
diciembre (dee-CEE-EHM-breh)

Writing Dates

Dates are given in day-month-year form. All spoken and written, long and short forms follow this pattern:

October 3rd, 2003 
3 de octubre del 2003
May 21st, 1997 
21 de mayo del 1997

Day-month constructions (4 de julio, for example) are not usually abbreviated. In the rare cases than an abbreviation is used, the number of the month is not used, but its initial letter is. Usual examples are:

23-F 
23 de febrero, date of a failed coup d'état in Spain (1981)
11-S 
11 de septiembre, date of the attack to the Twin Towers (2001) (and of the Chilean coup in 1973).

Colors

black 
negro (NEH-groh)
white 
blanco (BLAHN-koh)
gray 
gris (GREESS)
red 
rojo (ROH-hoh)
blue 
azul (ah-SOOL)
yellow 
amarillo (AH-mah-REE-joh)
green 
verde (BEHR-deh)
orange 
naranja (nah-RAHN-hah), anaranjado (ah--nah-rahn-HA-doh)
purple 
púrpura (POOR-poo-rah) , morado (moh-RAH-doh), violeta (vee-OH-LEH-tah)
brown 
marrón (mah-RROHN) (be noted "marrón" is used to describe color of objects) , café (kah-FEH) (used mostly for skin color, clothing and fabric), castaño (kahss-TAH-nyo) (is used primarely for skin color, eye color and hair color).

Transportation

Bus and Train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
¿Cuánto cuesta un boleto/pasaje a _____? (KwAHntoh kwEHSta oon bohLEHtoh ah ___)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Un boleto/pasaje a _____, por favor. (Oon bohLEHtoh ah _______, pour FAHvor.)
Where does this train/bus go? 
¿A donde va este tren/autobús?
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
¿Donde está el tren/autobús hacia _____?
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
¿Para este tren/autobús en _____?
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
¿Cuando marcha/parte/sale el tren/autobús hacia _____ ?
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
¿Cuando llegará este tren/autobús a _____?
How do I get to _____ ? 
¿Cómo puedo llegar a _____ ?
...the train station? 
...la estación de tren?
...the bus station? 
...la estación de autobuses?
...the airport? 
...al aeropuerto?
...downtown? 
...al centro?
...the youth hostel? 
...al hostal juvenil?
...the _____ hotel? 
...el hotel _____ ?
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...el consulado de Estados Unidos/ Canadiense/Australiano/Británico/?
Where are there a lot of... 
¿Dónde hay muchos...
...hotels? 
...hoteles?
...restaurants? 
...restaurantes?
...bars? 
...bares?
...sites to see? 
...sitios para visitar?
Can you show me on the map? 
¿Puede enseñarme/mostrarme en el plano?
street 
calle (CAH Yeh)
Turn left. 
Gire/doble/da vuelta a la izquierda.
Turn right. 
Gire/doble/da vuelta a la derecha.
left 
izquierda
right 
derecha
straight ahead 
recto adelante , sigue derecho
towards the _____ 
hacia el/la_____
past the _____ 
pasado el/la _____
before the _____ 
antes de _____
Watch for the _____. 
busque el/la _____.
intersection 
intersección , cruce
north 
norte
south 
sur
east 
este
west 
oeste
uphill 
hacia arriba
downhill 
hacia abajo

Taxi

Taxi! 
¡Taxi!
Take me to _____, please. 
Lléveme a _____, por favor.
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
¿Cuanto cuesta ir hasta/a _____?
Leave me there, please. 
Déjeme ahí, por favor.

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
¿Hay habitaciones libres?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
¿Cuanto cuesta una habitación para una persona/para dos personas?
Does the room come with... 
¿Tiene la habitación...
...bedsheets? 
...sábanas?
...a bathroom? 
...baño?
...a telephone? 
...teléfono?
...a TV? 
...televisión?
May I see the room first? 
¿Puedo ver la habitación primero?
Do you have anything quieter? 
¿Tiene algo un poco más tranquilo?
...bigger? 
...más grande?
...cleaner? 
...más limpio?
...cheaper? 
...más barato?
OK, I'll take it. 
Muy bien, la tomaré.
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Me quedaré ______ noches(s).
Can you suggest other hotels? 
¿Puede proponerme otros hoteles?
Do you have a safe? 
¿Hay caja fuerte?
...lockers? 
...taquillas? ; casilleros
Is breakfast/supper included? 
¿El desayuno/la cena va incluido/a?
What time is breakfast/supper? 
¿A qué hora es el desayuno/la cena?
Please clean my room. 
Por favor, limpie mi habitación.
Can you wake me at _____? 
¿Puede despertarme a las _____?
I want to check out. 
Quiero dejar el hotel.

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
¿Aceptan dólares estadounidenses/australianos/candienses? (they normally don't)
Do you accept British pounds? 
¿Aceptan libras británicas? (same)
Do you accept euros? 
¿Aceptan euros? You don't need this sentence in Spain :-)
Do you accept credit cards? 
¿Aceptan tarjeta de crédito?
Can you change money for me? 
¿Me puede cambiar dinero?
Where can I get money changed? 
¿Dónde puedo cambiar dinero?
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
¿Me puede cambiar cheques de viaje?
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
¿Dónde me pueden cambiar cheques de viaje?
What is the exchange rate? 
¿A cuánto está el cambio?
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
¿Dónde hay un cajero automático?

Eating

A table for one person/two people, please. 
Una mesa para una persona/dos personas, por favor. (OO-nah MAY-sah pah-rah OO-nah pehr-SOH-nah / dohss pehr-SOH-nahs pohr fah- BOHR)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
¿Puedo ver el menú, por favor? (PWAY-doh behr ehl meh-NOO pohr fah-BOHR?)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
¿Puedo entrar a la cocina?
Is there a house specialty? 
¿Hay alguna especialidad de la casa?
Is there a local specialty? 
¿Hay alguna especialidad regional/de la zona?
I'm a vegetarian. 
Soy vegetariano/a.
I don't eat pork. 
No como cerdo.
I only eat kosher food. 
Sólo como comida kosher. (In a restaurant they will stare at you, since "kosher" is as Spanish as "empanada" is English.)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard) 
¿Puede poner poca aceite/poca mantequilla/poca grasa?
fixed-price meal 
menú del día
à la carte 
a la carta
breakfast 
desayuno
lunch 
comida (Spain, Mexico), almuerzo (South America)
supper 
cena (everywhere)
I want _____. 
Quiero _____.
I want a dish containing _____. 
Quisiera un plato que lleve _____.
chicken 
pollo. (POH-yoh)
beef 
ternera (tehr-NEH-rah), vacuno (bah-KOO-noh), res (rehss)
fish 
pescado (pehs-KAH-doh)
ham 
jamón (hah-MOHN)
sausage 
salchicha (sahl-CHEE-chah), vienesa (byeh-NAY-sah)
cheese 
queso
eggs 
huevos
salad 
ensalada
(fresh) vegetables 
verdura (fresca)
(fresh) fruit 
fruta (fresca)
bread 
pan
toast 
tostada
noodles 
fideos
rice 
arroz
beans 
alubias , porotos, frijoles, judías, habichuelas
May I have a glass of _____? 
¿Me puede poner/traer un vaso de _____?
May I have a cup of _____? 
¿Me puede poner/traer una taza de _____?
May I have a bottle of _____? 
¿Me puede poner/traer una botella de _____?
coffee 
café
tea (drink
juice 
zumo , jugo
water 
agua
(bubbly) water 
agua con gas (if you say agua, if you ask at the bar, it will be tap water (for free), at the table it is normally bottled); Agua mineral is bottled water
beer 
cerveza
red/white wine 
vino tinto/blanco
May I have some _____? 
¿Me puede dar un poco de _____?
salt 
sal
black pepper 
pimienta
butter 
mantequilla , manteca (in Argentina)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server')
¡camarero! (Spain), ¡mesero! (Latin America), ¡mozo! (Argentina)
I'm finished. 
He acabado, terminé (The first phrase can refer to the finishing of a completely unrelated physiological activity)
It was delicious. 
Estaba delicioso/muy bueno/muy rico (Arg.).
Please clear the plates. 
Puede llevarse los platos.
The check, please. 
La cuenta, por favor.

Note that you must ask for the bill. A gringo was known to have waited until 2 in the morning because he was too shy to ask :-)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
¿Hay alcohol?
Is there table service? 
¿Hay servicio a la mesa?
A beer/two beers, please. 
Una cerveza/dos cervezas, por favor.
A glass of red/white wine. 
Un vaso de vino tinto/blanco.
A pint (of beer) 
Una jarra de cerveza (normally it will be half a liter, not really a pint, but the size is similar); In Chile or Argentina un schop might be anywhere from 300cc to one liter, in Spain the common is a caña which is 20 cl in a tube glass, also you can ask for un quinto (20 cl bottle) or un tercio (33 cl bottle)
A glass of draft beer 
Un schop (oon SHOHP) (Only in Chile and Argentina), in Spain you can ask for Cerveza negra, not very common in spanish Bares, but easy to find in Pubs (Pub=small club where just drinks are served).
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer). 
_____ con _____. In Spain, Cubata is Coke with whiskey
A bottle. 
Una botella.
whiskey 
whisky (WEESS-key)
vodka 
vodka
rum 
ron
water 
agua
tonic water 
(agua) tónica
orange juice 
zumo/jugo de naranja
Coke (soda
Coca-Cola
Do you have any bar snacks? 
¿Tiene algo para picar? (In Spain they will give you tapas, depends a lot from the bar.)
One more, please. 
Otro/a ______, por favor.
Another round, please. 
Otra ronda, por favor.
When is closing time? 
¿Cuándo cierran?

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
¿Tiene esto de mi talla?
How much is this? 
¿Cuánto cuesta?
That's too expensive. 
Es demasiado caro.
Would you take Visa/American dollars? 
¿Aceptan Visa/dólares?
expensive 
caro
cheap 
barato
I can't afford it. 
Es muy caro para mí.
I don't want it. 
No lo quiero.
You're cheating me. 
Me está engañando.
I'm not interested. 
No me interesa.
OK, I'll take it. 
De acuerdo, me lo llevaré.
Can I have a bag? 
¿Tiene una bolsa?
Can you ship it to my country? 
¿Puede enviarlo a mi país?
I need... 
Necesito...
...batteries. 
...pilas.
...cold medicine. 
...medicamento para el resfriado.
...condoms.
...preservativos/condones.
...English-language books. 
...libros en inglés.
...English-language magazines. 
...revistas en inglés.
...an English-language newspaper. 
...un periódico/diario en inglés.
...an English-Spanish dictionary. 
...un diccionario inglés-español.
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...analgésico (Aspirina, Ibuprofeno).
...a pen. 
...un bolígrafo/ boli.
...postage stamps. 
...sellos(Spain)/estampillas(Latin América).
...a postcard. 
...una postal.
...a razor. 
...una hoja de afeitar.
...shampoo. 
...champú.
...stomach medicine. 
.... medicamento para el dolor de estómago
...soap. 
...jabón.
...sunblock lotion. 
...crema solar.
...tampons. 
...tampones.
...a toothbrush. 
... un cepillo de dientes.
...toothpaste. 
...pasta de dientes.
...an umbrella. 
...un paraguas.
...writing paper. 
...papel para escribir.

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Quiero alquilar un coche.
Can I get insurance? 
¿Puedo contratar un seguro?
STOP (on a street sign
STOP (Spain), ALTO (México), PARE (Chile, Argentina, Perú)
one way 
dirección única
no parking 
no aparcar , no estacionar
speed limit 
límite de velocidad , velocidad máxima
gas/petrol station 
gasolinera , estación de bencina (Chile), estación de servicio (Argentina)
gas/petrol 
gasolina , bencina (Chile), nafta (Argentina)
diesel 
gasóleo , diesel DEE-sel (Latin America), gasóil/diésel (DYEH-sel) (Spain)

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
No he hecho nada malo. (NOH eh eh-choh NAH-dah MAH-loh)
Please, there has been a mistake. 
Por favor, hubo un malentendido. (pohr-fah-VOHR oo-boh oon mahl-ehn-tehn-DEE-doh)
It was a misunderstanding. 
Fue un malentendido. (FOO-EH oon MAHL-ahn-tehn-DEE-doh)
Where are you taking me? 
¿Adónde me lleva? (AHDOHN-deh meh JEH-vah?)
Am I under arrest? 
¿Estoy arrestado/a? (ehss-TOY AH-RRehs-TAH-doh/dah?)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Soy ciudadano estadounidense/australiano/inglés/canadiense.
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Quiero hablar con la embajada/el consulado estadounidense/australiano/inglés/canadiense.
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Quiero hablar con un abogado. (KeeYEH-roh ah-BLAHR cohn oon AH-boh-GAH-doh)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
¿Puedo pagar la multa ahora? (PWEH-doh pah-GAR lah MOOL-tah ah-OH-rah?)
I confess. 
Yo confieso (yoh con-FI-EH-so)

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