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The 50 most common words in Spanish

The 50 most common words in Spanish.

This is the 50 most common words in Spanish.

The vocab is taken from a word frequency list. It is not perfect because many of the words have multiple meanings. Words with several meanings will get higher up the list because they will appear more often in frequency testing.

Instructions:
The first word that appears is a sentence in English. At the end of the line is a word in Spanish (in brackets)
The word in brackets will appear in the Spanish translation in the next screen.
The final screen is some explanatory notes.

Note that many of the words have multiple meanings and uses. We have chosen the meaning that is most useful at this level of Spanish.
The words are ordered according to their frequency taken from a sample of over 25 million words.

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EXPLANATION:
The first line is word in English. With a Spanish word in brackets.
The second line is the translation of the sentence in Spanish. It contains the word in brackets from the previuos line.
The thrid line is an explanation or useful notes.

Use this lesson to learn the 100 most popular words in Spanish.

Related Links
Por and Para tutorial

The Contents

My car is better than your car (que)
Mi coche es mejor que tu coche.
"que" is the most common word in Spanish. It is used in many contexts and can mean many things. The most common translation of "que" is "that" but there are many more.
A bottle of wine. (de)
Una botella de vino.
The most common use of "de" is with possessions for example. "la casa de mi hermano" The house of my brother. In English we would say My brother's house but that little trick with the saxon genitive (') is not possible in Spanish.
There is no cheese (no)
No hay queso.
The third most popular word in Spanish is the same as English. Congratulations! (¡felicitaciones!)
We are going to the beach (a)
Vamos a la playa
"a" means several things in Spanish but quite a common one is when it means "to" It can also mean "at" eg "abren a las ocho" They open at eight.
The bed is big (la)
La cama es grande.
"la" is the singular feminine version of "the". You often see it before singular feminine nouns eg la mesa, la casa, la chica etc.
The book is red (el)
El libro es rojo.
"el" is the singular masculine version of "the". You often see it before singular masculine nouns eg el dinero, el hombre, el mundo etc.
My father is a teacher (es)
Mi padre es profesor.
"es" can be "it is, she is, he is ". It is from the very irregular verb Ser (to be) Note we don't use "a" (the indefinite object) with professions in Spanish.
Black and white (y)
Blanco y negro.
Note: Y becomes e when it precedes a word that begins with the i sound. For example: cruel e inhumano (cruel and inhumane)
I live in France (en)
Vivo en Francia.
"en" is very similar to the English "in" Note: "inside" is often translated as "dentro" EG. Mi madre está dentro. (my mother is inside)
I don't understand what you are saying. (lo)
No entiendo lo que dices.
"lo" means many many things. Here are two useful ones: When you see "lo que" it probably means (the thing that) - If you use lo + adjective eg "lo dificíl" It means the + adjective thing. eg The difficult thing.
An important matter (un)
Un asunto importante.
"un" is the masculine version of "a" and is used before masculine nouns eg. un libro, un momento, un amigo, un camino etc.
It is for that reason / It is because of that (por)
Es por eso.
The use of "por" and "para" are one of the things in Spanish that cause a lot of mistakes. It sort of means "for" but is much more complicated. I have put a link to a tutorial.
What is that? (qué)
¿qué es eso?
The word "qué" has an accent when it is used in a question or it is part of an exclamation eg ¡Qué sorpresa! (What a surprise!)
She loves me (me)
Me ama.
"me" is an object pronoun. Quick grammar lesson. You love me = Subject verb Object. In Spanish the object pronouns often come before the verb not after like in English so "You love me" = (me amas) Note "amas" = you love. The subject is included in the verb.
a house in the village (una)
Una casa en el pueblo.
"una" is the feminine version of "a" and is used before feminine nouns eg. una chica, una revista, una casa, una cama, una puerta etc.
Do you like the hotel? (te)
¿Te gusta el hotel?
The verb "gustar" is too difficult to explain here but if you want to ask Do you like something? You can say "te gusta" + a singular thing. The "te" refers to you.
My wife's grandparents (los)
Los abuelos de mi mujer.
"los" is the plural masculine version of "the". You often see it before plural masculine nouns eg los hombres, los juegos, los chicos etc.
How do you say hello in Italian? (se)
¿Cómo se dice hola en italiano?
"se" is very common in Spanish. It can be used to make things impersonal (if we are not interested in who did/does the action) "se dice" = it is said. "Se" is also used in reflexive verbs eg "hay que afeitarse antes de tatuarse" = One must shave oneself before tattooing oneself.
I want a coffee with milk (con)
Quiero un café con leche.
Very simple just a straight translation of "with".
What do you want it for? (para)
¿para qué lo quieres?
"para" often explains the reason for something. ¿para qué? = For what purpose? You need a good tutorial for this one.
My sister is pretty. (mi)
Mi hermana es guapa.
The most common use of "mi" is just like "my" in English. Note if it is plural then it would be "mis" eg "mis padres" = My parents.
The coffee is not hot. (está)
El café no está caliente.
This is the third person of the verb estar. Note that it has an accent to distinguish it from esta (without an accent) which means "this". Note that we are using estar not ser because temperature in this case is a temporary state and not a permanent characteristic.
There is desert if you want. (si)
Hay postre si quieres.
Remember that "si" with no accent means "if". "sí" with an accent means "yes".
You dance well (bien)
Bailas bien
"bien" is an adverb. In English mainly due to American influence we have started to mix up adverbs and adjectives. eg "She dances good". In Spanish people use "bien" = (well), "bueno, buena, buenos and buenas" = (good) correctly.
I want to go to the party but I have no shoes. (pero)
Quiero ir a la fiesta pero no tengo zapatos.
Be careful. "pero" = (but) "perro" = (dog) One "r" or two "r's"
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