The language today

Spanish phrases and vocabulary on your summer holiday

Are you going on holiday to a Spanish-speaking country? What better opportunity to enjoy the heat, the beach or a nice tan and practice Spanish? Isn’t that a good plan for you?

Remember that Spanish is spoken in Spain and many other Latin American countries, such as Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. Also, in Central America and some African countries, there will always be a hot season in some months of the year, and you can practice Spanish in one of these countries. Isn’t it great? If you can travel, you can always enjoy good weather and a relaxed atmosphere like summer vacations somewhere in the world.

During the holiday atmosphere, there are always many relaxed activities to gain self-confidence and enrich your command of the language, so keep reading. We will give you a hand here so you can practice your Spanish.

First rule: you already know where you will travel, and your trip is almost there, so I advise you that if you want to soak up the atmosphere of the place, look for a movie set in one of the cities you will visit. That will make your visit much more interesting because once you are there, you will seek to recognise what you saw in the film, whether it be the landscape, way of life or, better yet, expressions or phrases you heard. Ah! And, of course, I encourage you to change the language of your mobile phone to Spanish.

Well, we’re there: now to practice.

As you gear up for your exciting summer adventure in Spain, let’s dive into the world of the Spanish language. Today, we’ll explore some key phrases and expressions that will help you communicate and enrich your stay.

  “Buenos días” (good morning) is one of the most common greetings. To greet a person in the afternoon, we say “buenas tardes” (good afternoon/evening) finally, we use “buenas noches” (good night).

Imagine you are walking down the street and must attract someone’s attention to ask them a question. In that context, you would use “perdone” (excuse me) in its formal form or “perdona” in its informal form, depending on the age of the person you are addressing. After saying this and attracting their attention, you can now ask the question you want.

Is this your first-time meeting someone, and you don’t know what to say at the end? If you’ve had a good time with her, you can use the classic “encantado/a de conocerle” (this is the formal version) (nice to meet you) or “encantado/a de conocerte” if it’s someone your age or someone you feel comfortable enough to speak on a first-name basis. You can also say, “es un placer” (It’s a pleasure) or simply “encantado/a” (delighted).

Basic vocabulary

Let’s consider the means of transport in Spain. We will mainly discuss el tren (train), bus, avión (plane), and coche (car).

When discussing accommodation, you must master the concepts of hotel, hostel, (Albergue juvenil) youth hostel, apartamento (apartment), camping, parador, casa rural (cottage), and camping. The Paradores is a public hotel chain in Spain managed by a state commercial company.

Spain offers a wide range of activities that are of interest to everyone. You can enjoy the sun and sand at the beach, cool off in a pool, explore the scenic mountains, go hiking, experience the outdoors with camping, immerse yourself in art and history by visiting museums, indulge in retail therapy with shopping, take a leisurely stroll around the city, or stay active with sports.

The recommended products for summer are protector solar (sunscreen), mapas (maps) and planos (plans). Sombrero (a hat) or gorra (cap), gafas de sol (sunglasses), cámara fotográfica (a camera), and cargadores (chargers). If you are not from the European Union, it is advisable to buy a tarjeta SIM (SIM card).

Essential extras: taxi, pasaporte (passport), billete (ticket), maleta (suitcase), mochila (backpack), equipaje (luggage).

Interrogative formulas

«¿Dónde está el hospital? » (Where is the hospital?)

«Tiene (usted)/Tienes (tú) un mapa?» (Do you have a map?)

«¿Cuándo nos vamos?» (When do we go?)

If you want to explain that you don’t speak Spanish well, you could say, «Disculpe, no hablo bien español» (Excuse me, I don’t speak Spanish well). If you don’t understand what they said, you can say, «no entiendo lo que ha dicho» (I don’t understand what you said), and add, «¿podría repetirlo, por favor?» (could you repeat that, please?).

If the situation is too complicated for you, you may want to ask if someone speaks English. In this case, you would have to say, «¿habla usted inglés?» (do you speak English?/poliness grammar) or «¿hablas inglés?». To ask for help, say, «¿podría ayudarme?» (could you help me?) and to express desire, for example, if you are in a cafe and you already know what to order, use the conditional verb: «me gustaría tomar un café, por favor» (I would like to have a coffee, please).

When you’re planning to travel within Spain, these questions can be your lifesavers: «Dónde se pueden comprar los billetes de bus/tren?» (Where can I buy bus or train tickets?) and «a qué hora sale el próximo tren a Madrid?» (What time does the next train to Madrid depart?).

I hope these tips are helpful for your practice and your next vacation. Remember that the key to learning Spanish, as with everything in life, is motivation, which is entirely up to you.

Keep learning curiosities about the language and the Spanish language, visiting and reading the articles we publish weekly on the iScribo blog. If you want to improve your Spanish writing and correct a specific variant of this language, subscribe to our superb grammar checker. We are waiting for you!

Want more Spanish tips?

Get them direct to your inbox

Sign up for tips and tricks to perfect your Spanish writing skills. You’ll be writing like a native in no time.

Free Trial until 30 September 2021: Our subscription programme does not start until 1 October 2021. So, as long as you provide us with a feedback you can use our site for free until noon 30 September 2021 (GMT)