One of the most important aspects you should learn in the Spanish language is how to greet someone correctly, and saying things like buenas tardes (good afternoon) is a perfect way to do so.
In Spanish-speaking countries, phrases like buenas tardes and related expressions are an easy way to greet just about anyone you come across.
In this quick article, we’ll be going over the proper vocabulary of how to say things like “Good Afternoon”, “Good Morning”, “Good Evening”, etc. This way, you’ll be able to politely greet someone without always needing to fall back on the basic, “hola”.
So let’s get started:
Buenas Tardes & Similar Phrases
Just like in English, the Spanish language uses different types of greetings for different times of the day. If you want to say “Good Afternoon” in Spanish, that would be different than saying “Good Morning” or “Good Evening”.
The tricky part for Spanish learners is that there are different forms based on the grammatical rules, which is why we say buenas tardes, but buenos días.
Saying something like Good Afternoon in Spanish can also be just slightly confusing for some people because, depending on the country, the people there may have a different perception of what counts as the afternoon.
So here are some of the most common ways to say “Good Afternoon” in Spanish, as well as some alternatives for different times of the day:
|Buenos días||Good morning / Good Day|
|Buenas tardes||Good afternoon|
|Buenas noches||Good evening / Good night|
|Buen día||Good day|
As you can see, these five ways to say Good Afternoon are all very similar, but they change slightly because of how the Spanish language works with adjectives. So let’s go over each phrase and see why they’re different.
This is the first time-dependent phrase and one of the most common ones to hear. You might hear people say this expression for both Good Afternoon and Morning, depending on the time.
Typically, in a Spanish-speaking country, you could use this phrase from early in the morning until around 3 p.m. This is because, in many countries, lunch is a little later than it is in English-speaking countries. And until lunchtime, many languages still consider it to be the morning.
Also remember, Días is a plural masculine noun, so you’ll need to use Buenos to accompany it.
Here are a few common examples:
- Buenos días, ¿has dormido bien? – Good morning, did you sleep well?
- Buenos días, quería hablar con … – Good afternoon, I wanted to speak with…
- Buenos días, Patricia, ¿cómo estás? – Good morning, Patricia, how are you?
To say Good Afternoon in Spanish when it is very clearly the afternoon, you’ll use “buenas tardes”.
You can use Buenas Tardes anytime between 3 p.m. to around 8 or 9 p.m. This may vary between countries and even the time of the year. Basically, between lunchtime and (Spanish) dinnertime, you’ll say Buenas Tardes.
Remember that Tardes is a plural feminine noun, so we’ll stick to Buenas to go with it.
- Buenas tardes, ¿qué tal? – Good afternoon, how’s it going?
- Buenas tardes, quisiera reservar una mesa para esta noche. – Good afternoon, I would like to make a reservation for tonight.
This expression works for any time after dinner to both greet and say goodbye to someone at night. Although in English we typically only say “good night” before someone goes to sleep, in other languages you can say this just as you would say Buenas Tardes.
As you learn Spanish, you’ll realize that there are many little things like this that make it so different from English!
You can use this phrase the same way as Buenas Tardes, since Noches is a plural feminine noun.
As an interesting Spanish fact, this phrase is most commonly heard in peninsular Spain as a shortened way to greet someone. Saying Buenas is a more casual way of saying hello to someone.
The best part is that you can use this at any time of the day, so you don’t have to worry about remembering what time of the day it is!
Finally, this is a great way to say goodbye to someone. This Spanish expression is common in many North and Central American countries and is also a way to wish someone a good afternoon.
As you can see, it’s not so hard to learn how to say Buenas Tardes. This short expression is a perfect way to sound a little more natural in your speech, something that is always welcome as you learn Spanish!
If you want to keep practicing your greetings, go ahead and sign up for a free private class or a 7-day free trial of our group classes so you can open with a “Good Afternoon” in Spanish.
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