Phrases for Wishing Happy Birthday in Spanish

¡Feliz Cumpleaños! is one of the most popular phrases for wishing happy birthday in Spanish. Birthdays  normally include a cake (un pastel), good music (buena música) and perhaps as a surprise a friend who can speak a foreign language and wants to wish you a happy birthday in Spanish. Anything could happen, so why not learning a few phrases and questions for a special occasion like this.  This lesson will teach you how to say happy birthday in Spanish and respond the right way when you hear ¡Feliz cumpleaños! You will have the opportunity to test your listening ability with a main conversation and a simple quiz too.

How to say happy birthday in Spanish
Deseando un feliz cumpleaños en español

Questions and Phrases for Wishing Happy Birthday in Spanish

Common verbs and Spanish time expressions

First of all, to say BIRTHDAY in Spanish, we will use the word CUMPLEAÑOS, which in a certain way is a compound noun made out of “CUMPLIR” (accomplish) plus “AÑOS” (years). Some verbs that will come handy for wishing happy birthday in Spanish are: CELEBRAR (to celebrate), DESEAR (to wish), RECORDAR (to remember), SER (to be) and OLVIDAR (to forget). It is great to know how to talk about dates as well, particularly to say what month you are in and the specific day, in case you want to write a card or something more elaborate. Keep in mind the Spanish time expressions “Este mes” (this month), “El mes pasado” (last month), “El próximo mes“, “Hoy” (today), “Mañana” (tomorrow) and “Ayer“.

Sometimes people will use different tenses to talk about birthdays in Spanish, for example: “Hoy es mi cumpleaños“(present tense), “Ayer fue tu cumpleaños” (past tense) and “El próximo mes ella cumplirá 5 años” (future tense). Listen to the first mini-conversation below and see how these phrases were used in a very interesting situation.

Example No. 1

  • Claudia: ¿Sabes qué fecha es hoy?
  • Itzan: No… ¿Qué fecha es?
  • Claudia: Hoy es mi cumpleaños… ¿Lo olvidaste?
  • Itzan: ¡Claro que no! Tengo un regalo para ti por aquí… ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
Read English translation
Claudia: Do you know what date is today?
Itzan: No… what date is it?
Claudia: Today is my birthday… ¿Did you forget it?
Itzan: Of course not! I have a gift for you right here… Happy birthday!

Asking “When is your birthday?” in Spanish

To ask people “when is your birthday?” in Spanish, we can use two questions¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?” and also “¿Cuándo cumples años?”. The phrase “my birthday is” corresponds to “Mi cumpleaños es + fecha”. To return the question and ask for someone’s birthday in Spanish, you can use “¿Cuándo es el tuyo?” (When is yours?). Check how one of these questions and expressions was used in the short conversation below.

Example No. 2

  • Itzan: ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
  • Claudia: Mi cumpleaños es el 15 de Noviembre. ¿Cuándo es el tuyo?
  • Itzan: El mío es el 25 de octubre.
  • Claudia: ¡Genial! Tenemos que hacer una fiesta para celebrarlo.
Read English translation
Itzan: When is your birthday?
Claudia: My birthday is on November 15th, when is yours?
Itzan: Mine is on October 25th
Claudia: ¡Cool! We have to make a party to celebrate it

Wishing happy birthday in Spanish

The easiest way for wishing happy birthday in Spanish is by using the expression ¡Feliz cumpleaños! The translation of the phrase is literal. However, this is not the only thing you should say, so apart from saying ¡Feliz cumpleaños!, make sure to add one or two simple phrases to say what your wishes are, for example: “Te deseo lo mejor” (I wish you the best), “Que Dios te bendiga” (God bless you), “Que cumplas muchos más” (May you have many more), “Espero que disfrutes de tu día especial” (I hope you enjoy your special day) and so on.

Two other important words you will need, especially when planning a birthday party, are REGALO (gift) and PIÑATA, the last being a traditional toy in parties in some Latin American countries. There is a lot more vocabulary and phrases you can learn, but now it is time for you to discover a few of them by reading and listening to two more conversations of people talking about birthdays in Spanish.

Example No. 3

  • Claudia: ¡Feliz cumpleaños Itzan! Te deseo lo mejor en tu día especial.
  • Itzan: Gracias Claudia… Me pregunto si tienes algún regalo para mí.
  • Claudia: Lo siento, no pude comprarte nada pero podemos salir a cenar después
  • Itzan: Está bien. Acepto eso como mi regalo de cumpleaños, solo que tú pagas.
  • Claudia: Claro que sí Señor cumpleañero
Read English translation
Claudia: Happy birthday Itzan! I wish you the best in your special day.
Itzan: Thanks Claudia… I wonder if you have any gift for me.
Claudia: I’m sorry, I couldn’t buy anything for you, but we can go out to dinner later.
Itzan: That’s ok. I will accept it as my birthday gift, but please pay the bill.
Claudia: Of course, Mr. birthday

Example No. 4

  • Itzan: ¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti, feliz cumpleaños querida Claudia, feliz cumpleaños a ti!
  • Claudia: Gracias Itzan… Eso es muy lindo.
  • Itzan: Espera, espera todavía falta. ¡Ya queremos pastel, aunque sea un pedacito pero queremos pastel!
  • Claudia: Ah por esa canción te mereces un buen pedazo de pastel
  • Itzan: Que Dios te bendiga y cumplas años muchos más!
Read English translation
Itzan: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Claudia, happy birthday to you.
Claudia: Thanks Itzan…. That’s very cute.
Itzan: Wait, there is more to come. We want cake, even a bit, but we want cake!
Claudia: You deserve a good piece of cake.
Itzan: May God bless you and give you many more years!

Listening Activity No. 1: Talking about birthdays in Spanish

Listen to a conversation between two friends talking about birthdays in Spanish – “hablando del cumpleaños de alguien”. Take notes of the information you consider important, and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented in the sample conversations above. Press PLAY to listen to the conversation.

Key expressions in the conversation:

  1. Siento que olvidé algo means “I think that I forgot something”
  2. No pude escucharte means “I couldn’t hear you”
  3. No es nada means “It’s nothing!”
Read conversation translation
Itzan: Siento que olvidé algo hoy… ¿Qué es?
Claudia: Hoy es mi cumpleaños Itzan ¿Lo olvidaste?
Itzan: ¡Ah sí, era eso! ¡Feliz cumpleaños Claudia! Disculpa, es que he estado muy ocupado. ¿Piensas celebrarlo?
Claudia: Si, lo voy a celebrar esta noche con una pequeña cena en mi casa. Estás invitado.
Itzan: Gracias por invitarme. Uhmm… pero necesito un regalo para ella…
Claudia: ¿Qué dices?… No pude escucharte
Itzan: No es nada… Que cumplas muchos años más y lo mejor para ti en tu día especial. Que Dios te bendiga con un año más de salud y felicidad.
Claudia: Gracias Itzan… Eso es muy lindo. Te mereces un buen pedazo de pastel
Itzan: Eso espero señorita cumpleañera.

Listening Activity No. 2: Listening for the right birthday phrases in Spanish

We hope you found the first listening activity easy to solve. The conversation is based on the examples provided, so it includes a lot of the birthday phrases in Spanish we explained.

Hopefully, you will be able to reproduce this knowledge and use it very soon to talk about your birthday in Spanish or someone else’s. Before you go, check if you are able to remember the most important phrases and questions in the lesson with the interactive quiz below. ¡Hasta pronto!

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