September 8, 2014

Learn Basic Spanish: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings

In this article provided by you will learn the basics of the Spanish language by studying the alphabet, the numbers 1-1000 and some common greetings. The examples and tips we provide in this Spanish lesson will make the learning process fast and easy.

The Spanish Alphabet

The Spanish language has an alphabet composed of 27 letters, the same letters found in the English alphabet plus one extra letter ñ. In the table below you will find the Spanish alphabet and how to pronounce individual Spanish letters.

Letter (Pronunciation) Letter (Pronunciation)
A (a)
B (be)
C (ce)
D (de)
E (e)
F (efe)
G (ge)
H (hache)
I (ee)
J (jota)
K (ka)
L (ele)
M (eme)
N (ene)
O (oh)
P (pe)
Q (koo)
R (erre)
S (ese)
T (tay)
U (oo)
V (uve)
W (doble uve)
X (equis)
Y (ye)
Z (zeta)
Ñ / ñ (nee)

The letters K and W appear almost exclusively in words of foreign origin, such as karate or kilowatt. Until 1994, ch and ll were considered letters but nowadays they are just special sounds found in the Spanish language. To differentiate words that are spelled identically, the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) can be marked with an acute accent á, é, í, ó, ú.

Spanish Numbers 1-1000

Now, you will learn the numbers and how to count in Spanish with pronunciation tips. Learning the Spanish numbers, can be more than useful in countless situations, e.g: when we tell the time, when we speak about age, when we talk about distances, when we talk about money and prices, when we make measurements... for this reason, lessons about numbers in any language, will always be among the first lessons that you will learn.

Spanish Numbers 1-30

Because almost any counting starts with the number one and among you may be someone who is wondering how is the number zero called in Spanish, for all of you who have the same question, the number zero in Spanish is called cero and it’s pronounced say-ro, like the word say and the first two letters from the English word row.

English Spanish Pronunciation
one uno oo-noh
two dos dohs
three tres trehs
four cuatro kwah-troh
five cinco seen-koh
six seis says
seven siete syeh-tay
eight ocho oh-choh
nine nueve nway-vay
ten diez dyehs
eleven once ohn-say
twelve doce doh-say
thirteen trece treh-say
fourteen catorce kah-tohr-say
fifteen quince keen-say
sixteen dieciséis dyeh-see-says
seventeen diecisiete dyeh-see-syeh-tay
eighteen dieciocho dyeh-syo-choh
nineteen diecinueve dyeh-see-nweh-vay
twenty veinte behn-tay
twenty-one veintiuno behnti-oo-noh
twenty-two veintidós behnti-dohs
twenty-three veintitrés behnti-trehs
twenty-four veinticuatro behnti-kwah-troh
twenty-five veinticinco behnti-seen-koh
twenty-six veintiséis behnti-says
twenty-seven veintisiete behnti-syeh-tay
twenty-eight veintiocho behnti-oh-choh
twenty-nine veintinueve behnti-nway-vay
thirty treinta trehn-tah

Counting in Spanish - Spanish Numbers 31 to 99

Numbers in Spanish from 31 to 99 are formed according to the following pattern: tens + y + units. e.g: treinta y cinco (thirty-five), cincuenta y ocho (fifty-eight), ochenta y tres (eighty-three). The letter y is used to separate tens from units only for numbers between 31 to 99 (131 to 199, 231 to 299, 331 to 399...) it is not used to separate tens from hundreds or hundreds from thousands. The most important thing to remember from this second table are the names of the tens. Pay extra attention to numbers sesenta (sixty) and setenta (seventy) because they can be easily confused. All the exact tens from 30 to 90 end in '-nta'. Since you already know the numbers from 1 to 30, this second table will start from 31.

English Spanish Pronunciation
thirty-one treinta y uno trehn-tah ee oo-noh
thirty-two treinta y dos trehn-tah ee dohs
thirty-three treinta y tres trehn-tah ee trehs
forty cuarenta kwah-rentah
fifty cincuenta seen-koo-entah
sixty sesenta says-entah
seventy setenta seh-tay-tah
eighty ochenta osee-entah
ninety noventa nway-vayntah

Counting in Spanish - Spanish Numbers 100 to 1000+

With some small exceptions, all the rules that you have learned so far about Spanish numbers, are also applied to hundreds and thousands, some small differences are: quinientos (five hundred), setecientos (seven hundred) and novecientos (nine hundred). An easily observed pattern, for the numbers between 100 and 1000, is that all the exact hundreds from 200 to 900 end in '-ientos'.

English Spanish Pronunciation
one hundred cien see-ehn
one hundred and fifty-four ciento cincuenta y cuatro see-ehn-to seen-kwehn-tah ee kwah-troh
two hundred doscientos dohs-see-ehn-tos
three hundred trescientos trehs-see-ehn-tos
four hundred cuatrocientos kwah-troh-see-ehn-tos
five hundred quinientos quee-nee-ehn-tos
six hundred seiscientos says-see-ehn-tos
seven hundred setecientos seh-tay-see-ehn-tos
eight hundred ochocientos oh-choh-see-ehn-tos
nine hundred novecientos nway-vay-see-ehn-tos
one thousand mil meel
two thousand dos mil dohs meel
three thousand tres mil trehs meel

When and How to use the Spanish numbers:

In Spanish there is a short form of the number one hundred (ciento), this shortened form is used only when the number is before a noun and it's exactly one hundred (ciento), e.g: cien dólares. Some numbers in Spanish when are prior to a noun, change their form according to the noun gender. Spanish numbers that are changing according to the noun gender, are:
- one (uno): masculine - un / feminine - una
- numbers ending in one (uno): when you have to change the form of a number ending in one (uno) you will need to change only the form of the final one (uno) according to the noun gender, the rest of the number remains the same.
- all the exact hundreds between 200 and 900, change their final '-ientos' to '-ientas' when the noun gender is feminine, e.g: masculine - cuatrocientos / feminine - cuatrocientas
- all the numbers which have in their spelling form one of the exact hundreds between 200 and 900: when you have to change the form of a number which has in his spelling form one of the exact hundreds between 200 and 900, you will need to change, only the form of the exact hundreds between 200 and 900 according to the noun gender, the rest of the number remains the same, e.g: masculine - mil cuatrocientos ochenta y dos / feminine - mil cuatrocientas ochenta y dos

Punctuation of Spanish numbers:

In Spanish, periods and commas within numbers are reversed from what they are in English, e.g: in English 11,450.80 - in Spanish 11.450,80 ; in English 1,758.34 - in Spanish 1.758,34 There are also Spanish speaking countries where punctuation is the same as in English, e.g: Central America, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Spanish Greetings and Introductions

Below you will learn basic greetings, introductions and common expressions useful when you want to greet or to start a conversation in Spanish. In almost all the lessons provided by you will find pronunciation tips and examples. Only this way we think the learning process is faster and easier for all the learners. What do you think about our lessons? Leave us a message through our contact page.

Spanish Greetings

If you want to say Hello in the formal way, try to use the Spanish equivalent of Good evening or Good day, depending on the time of the day. Note! If you want to be formal in a conversation with a Spanish speaker use the word usted (the equivalent of you) instead of (the more casual way to say you). Now, let's learn how to say Hello, Goodbye, Thank you and You’re welcome in Spanish. The greetings and goodbyes found below are used formal and / or informal.

English Spanish Pronunciation
Hello / Hi Hola ola
Good day Buenos días boo-ehnos deeahs
Good evening Buenas tardes boo-ehnas tar-days
Good night Buenas noches boo-ehnas noches
Welcome Bienvenido bee-ehn-behneedo
A warm welcome Una calurosa bienvenida oona ka-loo-rohsa byehn-behneeda
Goodbye / Bye Adiós adios
See you later Hasta luego asta looaygo
See you soon Hasta pronto asta pronto
See you tomorrow Hasta mañana asta mah-neeeah-nah
Thank you Gracias gracias
Thank you very much Muchas gracias moochas gracias
You’re welcome De nada deh nah-dah

How are you? in Spanish - Ask & respond

Sometimes asking a question like How are you? is a way of saying Hello!, the same pleasantries are found between Spanish speakers.

English Spanish Pronunciation
How's it going? ¿Cómo te va? ko-moh teh vah
How's it going? / What’s up? ¿Qué hay? queh aee
How are you? ¿Cómo estás? ko-moh estahs
How are you? ¿Cómo está usted? (formal) ko-moh estah oostehd

There are many possible responses to give when someone asks you How are you?, below we have listed some of the most popular answers translated in Spanish.

English Spanish Pronunciation
I'm fine, thank you. Bien, gracias. byehn, gracias
Very well, thank you. Muy bien, gracias mooee byehn, gracias
I'm so-so Más o menos. mahs oh meh-nohs
Not well Mal mahl

After you answer, it is customary to ask how the other person is doing. You can do this easily by saying ¿Y tú? (And you?) if is a casual meeting or ¿Y usted? (And you?) if you want to be formal.

How to make introductions in Spanish

Meeting and greeting often requires introductions and knowing the proper way to make introductions in a particular language can help you make a good first impression.

English Spanish Pronunciation
What is your name? Cuál es tu nombre? kwahl ays too nom-bray
What is your last name? Cuál es tu apellido? kwahl ays too ah-pay-eedoh
My name is... Mi nombre es... mee nom-bray ays
My name is... Me llamo... meh eeah-moh
Glad to meet you Encantado ayn-kan-ta-doh
Glad to meet you Encantado de conocerte ayn-kan-ta-doh dee coh-noh-cer-tee
Can you help me? Me puedes ayudar? meh poo-aydays ay-oodar
yes ; no sí ; no see ; no
I do not understand No lo entiendo no lo een-tee-ayn-doh
I do not speak Spanish Yo no hablo español yo no ablo espah-neeol
I do not speak well Spanish Yo no hablo bien español yo no ablo byehn espah-neeol

How to apologize in Spanish

Below you will study some common Spanish expressions of forgiveness useful for situations like squeezing through crowds, to more serious situations where a personal apology is necessary.

English Spanish Pronunciation
Excuse me Perdón pehr-don
Excuse me Discúlpeme dees-cool-pay-may
I apologize Me disculpo meh dees-cool-poh
I'm terribly sorry Lo lamento mucho loh lah-men-toh moo-cho
I owe you an apology Te debo una disculpa tay day-boh oo-nah dees-kool-pah
Please Por favor por fah-vor
Please accept my apology Por favor acepta mi disculpa por fah-vor asehpta mee dees-koolpa

Important! Because some Spanish sounds are not found in English we have tried to come up with something that sounds similar, for this reason the pronunciation tips from above are simply informational and does not offer any guarantee.

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