June 4, 2022 by Michelle Margaret Fajkus Spanish Instruction, Spanish Vocabulary 0 comments
Friendliness is a universal virtue. Although the phrase “have a good day” in Spanish has become a bit of a cliche, it is still useful to know how to say. It’s always meaningful when said in a heartfelt way in any language.
You could argue that the concept of wishing someone a “nice day” isn’t really part of Latin American culture. In that case, que tenga un buen día would be considered an Anglicism—a word or expression that has been directly translated from English into another language without taking the other language into account.
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It’s exciting to understand that lots of unique (yet similar) sayings exist in Spain and Latin America, the most popular being ¡Que te vaya bien! ( meaning “hope things go well” or “have a good one”).
Read on to learn more about the essential “have a good day” phrases and practice for your upcoming conversations in Spanish!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How do you say ‘have a good day’ in Spanish?
- Transition Words
- Have a Conversation in Spanish
How Do You Say ‘Have a Good Day’ in Spanish?
The literal translation of that friendly, frequently used phrase in the U.S. is ¡que tengas un buen día! To break it down grammatically, let’s look at each part of the phrase separately.
Que is used at the beginning, because this phrase is actually a shortened version of “I hope you have a good day,” or Espero que tengas un buen día.
tenga / tengas
Tenga is the subjunctive form of the verb tener being used as an imperative. Learn more about these types of commands here.
un buen día
Un buen día is the proper way to say “a good day” here, rather than un día bueno, because bueno/a—like mejor and nuevo/a—is an exception to the rule in Spanish that requires the adjective to be placed after the noun (as in la casa verde – the green house)
Which ‘You’ to Use
“You” is translated into Spanish in a variety of ways. Use this table to know which form to use in different situations.
|Spanish Phrase||Form of “You”||Used With|
|¡Que tengas un buen día! |
¡Que te vaya bien!
|Tú||a single person who is the same age as you or younger|
|¡Que tenga un buen día!|
¡Que le vaya bien!
|Usted||a single person who is older than you or to whom you want to show respect|
|¡Que tengan un buen día!|
¡Que les vaya bien!
|Ustedes||more than one person|
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In addition to “have a good day” in Spanish, check out these other parting words and phrases you’ll want to know in order to complete a basic conversation en español.
- Adiós – Goodbye
- ¡Hasta luego! – See you later.
- ¡Hasta pronto! – See you soon.
- ¡Feliz día / tarde / noche! – Happy day / afternoon / night
- Que lo pase(s) bien / bonito – Have a good one.
- Chao – Bye
- Que descanses. – Rest up.
- Que este(s) bien. – Be good
- Que disfrute(s) – Enjoy.
Greetings are incredibly important in Spanish. In Latin American culture, greeting another person is a way of showing respect.
- Buenos días – good morning
- Buenas tardes – good afternoon
- Buenas noches – good evening
- (Muy) buenas – a shortened version of the above three greetings, suitable anytime
- Hola – hello
It’s customary to ask a follow up question after a greeting. Use one of the following.
- ¿Cómo estás? – How are you? (used with friends or family)
- ¿Cómo está usted? – How are you (formal)?
- ¿Cómo te va? – How’s it going?
- ¿Cómo le va a usted? – How’s it going?
- ¿Cómo has ido? – How’ve you been?
- ¿Qué tal? – What’s up?
- ¿Qué pasa? – What’s happening?
- ¿Qué haces? – What are you doing?
- ¿Y tú? – And you?
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- Bien, gracias. – Well, thanks.
- Muy bien. – Very well.
- Como siempre. – As always.
- Un poco cansado/a. – A little tired.
- Estoy enfermo/a. – I’m sick.
- Más o menos. – Okay.
- Mal. – Bad.
- Todo bien. – All good.
- Nada. – Nothing.
Transitions and Filler Words
Learn these Spanish transition words, or muletillas, so that you can sprinkle them into your sentences and conversations!
Bueno – well
Bueno, tengo que ir.
Well, I have to go.
Mira – look / look here
¡Mira, si no limpias eso voy a enojarme!
Look, if you don’t clean that, I’m going to be mad!
Pues – well
Pues, no sé.
Well, I don’t know.
La verdad es que – the truth is / actually
La verdad es que no me siento bien.
Actually, I don’t feel well.
Entonces – then
Entonces ¿no vienes?
Then, you’re not coming?
O sea – in other words / that is to say / I mean
Escribir es mi vocación, o sea es mi llamado.
Writing is my vocation; in other words, it’s my calling.
Luego – later
Luego te digo.
I’ll tell you later.
Actualmente – currently
Actualmente hace buen tiempo, pero podría llover más tarde.
Currently the weather is nice, but it may rain later.
Por lo menos – at least
¡Por lo menos pregúntale su nombre!
At least ask her name.
Así que – so
¿Así que vienes?
So, you’re coming then?
Aunque – although / even though
Aunque me dicen que estoy flaca, voy a hacer una dieta.
Although they tell me I’m thin, I’m going on a diet.
Además – moreover / besides / also
Además, voy a mudarme de aquí.
Besides, I’m moving away from here.
Ni modo – no way
Ni modo que yo pueda ir contigo, lo siento.
No way can I go with you, sorry.
Menos mal – good thing
Menos mal que no olvidaste.
Good thing you didn’t forget.
Lo bueno – the good thing
Lo bueno es que vamos de vacaciones.
The good thing is that we’re going on vacation.
Lo malo – the bad thing
Lo malo es que se nos perdieron las maletas.
The bad thing is they lost our suitcases.
A ver – let’s see
A ver si mi paquete ha llegado.
Let’s see if my package has arrived.
Con razón – no wonder / little wonder that
Con razón tu helado se derritió, ¡lo dejaste al sol!
No wonder your ice cream melted, you left it in the sun!
Por eso – because / that’s why
No me gusta ese lugar. Por eso no quiero ir.
I don’t like that place. That’s why I don’t want to go.
Let’s Have a Conversation
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Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Editor & Writer at Homeschool Spanish Academy
Michelle Margaret Fajkus is a bilingual writer and longtime yoga teacher. A former advertising copywriter turned bilingual elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer, editor and translator. A native Texan, Michelle has Mexican roots and learned Spanish in middle and high school. She has become more fluent thanks to living as an expat in Guatemala. She lives with her family on beautiful Lake Atitlan.
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