Learning how to say hello in Spanish is the first step of many you will take when learning Spanish the path will definitely become harder but these early basic greetings are the food and water of any language and their importance can never be understated.
Do not worry about the formation and the grammar of these early phrases just relax and concentrate on the sound that each of the following phrases makes as you say them, greetings are the first impression you will make when speaking to a Spanish speaker so practice saying them regularly.
When you want to say ‘Hello!’ in Spanish you use the word ‘¡Hola!’
In Spanish the ‘h‘ is silent so you would pronounce ‘Hola‘ as ‘ola‘. This greeting is widely used as in English so you will gain lots of experience using it.
There are of course more formal greetings:
Good Morning which is ‘Buenas días‘.
This is pronounced as ‘bwenas deeas‘. The ‘ue’ is pronounced as a ‘w’ and the accented i in ‘días’ as an emphasized ‘ee‘
Good Afternoon which is ‘Buenas tardes‘.
‘Tardes‘ is pronounced ‘tarrdais‘ with a very slight roll on the ‘r’.
Good Evening or Good Night is “Buenas Noches“.
“Noches” is pronounced ‘notchais‘
If you would like to ask someone how they are you would say:
“¿Cómo estás?” – How are you?
You could also use “está” if you were asking someone you did not know as a sign of respect, however, apart from asking VIP’s, this form is rarely used nowadays.
Another more informal way of asking someone this is to say:
“¿Qué tal?” – How’s it going? or How are you?
When you want to say goodbye to somebody you would say:
“¡Adiós!” – Good bye
Now, not to confuse you too much, it is important should you ever hear it being used in this manner, but “adiós” is also used frequently to say hello in Spanish, but only when passing someone very briefly.