Using Spanish greetings and introductions in simple conversations

July 24, 2013 Alex

There are several ways to say our name, greet people and say goodbye. Most of these expressions have been covered in two separate lessons, one teaching how to introduce yourself and another about common greetings and farewells. This time we are going to focus on how to use this vocabulary in simple conversations through several examples and a listening practice activity.  

Simple conversations using greetings and introductions in Spanish

We will review a few basic points about how greetings and introductions work. To introduce yourself, you can start with an expression like “HOLA” or “BUENOS DIAS”. Then, you can say your name with: [ME LLAMO + NOMBRE] or [MI NOMBRE ES + NOMBRE] as in this example: ¡Hola! Me llamo Alex. A simple variation would be using the verb SER to say [YO SOY + NOMBRE] as in Yo soy Alex. To ask someone his or her name we use ¿Cómo te llamas? or ¿Cuál es tu nombre? It is polite to say something like MUCHO GUSTO after you hear someone’s name.

Common greetings and introductions in Spanish

Saludos y despedidas en español

It is time to see how the vocabulary for introductions and greetings can be used in very simple conversations. The first one shows how to say and ask for names and use the greetings ¡Mucho gusto! and ¡El gusto es mío!, which would be the same as ¡Mucho gusto también!

Basic conversation
Carlos: ¡Hola! Mi nombre es Carlos. ¿Cómo te llamas?
Ana: ¡Mucho gusto Carlos! Me llamo Ana.
Carlos: El gusto es mío
Carlos: Hello! My name is Carlos. What’s your name?
Ana: Nice to meet you! My name is Ana.
Carlos: The pleasure is mine

In the second conversation Ana uses a more casual or informal way to talk because she uses TÚ ERES… whereas Carlos replies formally by asking ¿Cuál es SU nombre? instead of the casual question ¿Cuál es TU nombre? The possessive adjective makes a difference here.

Basic conversation
Ana: Tú nombre es Carlos ¿verdad?
Carlos: Sí, así es. ¿Cuál es su nombre?
Ana: Yo soy Ana, la hermana de Jack.
Carlos: Ahh…¡Es un placer conocerla!
Ana: Your name is Carlos, isn’t it?
Carlos: Yes, it is. What’s your name?
Ana: I am Ana, Jack’s sister
Carlos: Ahh.. It is a pleasure to meet you.

In the third conversation we used TANTO TIEMPO SIN VERTE which is the same as LONG TIME NO SEE. Carlos introduces another person to Ana by using PERMITEME PRESENTARTE A + name. This conversation also includes greetings and replies that are very useful when you meet someone for the first time.

Basic conversation
Carlos: ¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?
Ana: ¡Hola! Tanto tiempo sin verte. Yo estoy bien, ¿y tú?
Carlos: Bien. Permíteme presentarte a mi novia. Su nombre es Jennifer.
Ana: ¡Es un gusto conocerte Jennifer!
Jennifer: Mucho gusto conocerte también.
Carlos: Hello! How are you?
Ana: Hello! Long time no see. I am doing fine, and you?
Carlos: I’m good. Let me introduce my girlfriend to you. Her name is Jennifer.
Ana: It’s nice to meet you Jennifer.
Jennifer: Nice to meet you too.

The last conversation features the expression “MI NOMBRE ES + name” and then a few other important phrases that you might not find in a regular conversation of this kind, but are still important such as: UN MOMENTO POR FAVOR (wait a moment please), PUEDES ENTRAR (you can come in) and GRACIAS (thanks).

Basic conversation
Ana: Disculpe, Mi nombre es Ana. ¿Estoy en la lista?
Recepcionista: Un momento por favor… uhmm, si aquí está. Puede entrar
Ana: Gracias.
Ana: Excuse me, My name is Ana. Am I in the list?
Receptionist: One moment please…. uhmm, yes you are here. You can enter
Ana: Thanks!

Language in use: The verbs ENCONTRAR and CONOCER mean TO MEET in Spanish, but ENCONTRAR is used when we meet old friends or people we have met before, eg. Me encontré a Logan, whereas CONOCER is more appropriate when you meet someone for the first time, eg. Conocí a Logan. Both verbs are very common in the language as you can see in the conversations above.

Spanish Listening: Meeting old friends – Encontrando a viejos amigos

Listen to a conversation between some friends meeting in a park. Pay attention to the way they use the vocabulary for greetings, introductions and farewells when talking. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented in the examples.

Useful expressions:
1. Estaba un poco distraido means I was a little distracted
2. Creo que es tiempo de irme means I think it is time to go

Quiz: Greetings and introductions - Saludos y despedidas

Listen to the conversation again and answer the questions in the quiz. You will receive a tip every time you find a correct answer. Press START to begin the listening quiz.
Congratulations - you have completed Quiz: Greetings and introductions - Saludos y despedidas.You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.
Conversation script for greetings and introductions
Ariana: ¿José? ¡Hola! Tanto tiempo sin verte.
José: Ariana… Disculpa, estaba un poco distraído. ¿Cómo estás?
Ariana: Estoy muy bien, gracias. ¿y tú?
José: Muy bien. Permíteme presentarte a mi novia. Su nombre es Jennifer.
Ariana: Hola Jennifer. ¡Es un placer conocerte!
Jennifer: Igualmente. Mi nombre es Jennifer.
Ariana: Bien, creo que es tiempo de irme. Espero verlos pronto.
José: Claro que sí. ¡Fue un placer verte!
Jennifer: Adiós Ariana ¡Qué tengas un buen día!
Ariana: ¡Gracias! ¡Nos vemos!

Review quiz: Spanish introductions and greetings

This quiz will summarize the basic vocabulary we have covered in this and the past two lessons. Move the lines and create a conversation between these three people that makes sense.

Instructions: Find a partner and practice the phrases presented in this lesson through a role play activity. You can choose any of the ones presented below or maybe use your own one.

Role play #1: You are a new student in a Spanish class and meet a new classmate. Tell him your name and ask him how he is doing.
Role play #2: You meet an old friend in a restaurant and introduce your boyfriend/girlfriend to your friend.

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