May 27, 2024
Learn how to say "what" in Spanish with ease and break down the language barrier. Explore basic Spanish phrases, colloquial expressions, and techniques for enhancing communication skills with these expert tips.


When communicating with Spanish speakers, English speakers may often encounter difficulties in understanding or being understood. One of the most common words that English speakers struggle with when learning Spanish is “what.” However, knowing how to say “what” in Spanish is a crucial step in building effective communication with Spanish speakers. In this article, we’ll explore different ways of saying “what” in Spanish, and provide tips and techniques for breaking the language barrier.

A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Common Spanish Phrases: How to Say What You Need to Know

Learning basic Spanish phrases is essential for effective communication. Here are some of the most useful Spanish phrases for saying “what” in different contexts:

Asking for Directions:

– ¿Cómo llego a…? (How do I get to…?)

– ¿Dónde está…? (Where is…?)

Clarifying a Statement:

– ¿Qué quieres decir? (What do you mean?)

– ¿Podrías repetirlo, por favor? (Could you repeat that, please?)

Lost in Translation: How to Say ‘What?’ in Spanish and Understand the Response

It’s important to note that Spanish speakers may use different expressions to say “what.” Here are some examples:


This literally translates to “how,” but is often used to mean “what” in Spanish.


This is the equivalent of “excuse me?” but can also be used to mean “what?”.


This is the most common way of saying “what” in Spanish, and is similar to the English equivalent.

It’s also important to note that the response to “what” may contain additional information that clarifies the original question. It’s essential to listen carefully to the response to ensure proper understanding.

Unlocking the Spanish Language: Ways to Say ‘What’ and Improve Your Conversational Skills

Ordering Food:

– ¿Qué recomienda? (What do you recommend?)

– ¿Qué ingredientes lleva? (What are the ingredients?)

Making Appointments:

– ¿Qué día prefieres? (What day works for you?)

– ¿Qué hora te conviene? (What time works for you?)

Here are some additional phrases and common expressions that can improve your communication skills in Spanish:

– ¿Qué tal? (How are you?)

– ¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?)

– ¿Qué te apetece hacer hoy? (What do you feel like doing today?)

Examples can help you see how to use these phrases in context:

– ¿Qué hora es? Son las tres de la tarde. (What time is it? It’s three in the afternoon.)

– ¿Qué te apetece hacer hoy? Podemos ir al cine o dar un paseo. (What do you feel like doing today? We could go to the movies or take a walk.)

Breaking the Language Barrier: Techniques for Expressing ‘What’ in Spanish

Body language and tone of voice can enhance the delivery of “what” in Spanish. Here are some tips to help break down the language barrier:

– Maintain eye contact: Look at the person you are speaking with to show that you are fully engaged in the conversation.

– Use hand gestures: When appropriate, use gestures to clarify your meaning. For example, you can point in the direction of a place you’re trying to locate.

– Speak clearly and slowly: Speaking slowly and clearly can help ensure that you are understood.

Speak Spanish like a Native: Understanding and Utilizing Different Ways to Say ‘What’

Native Spanish speakers often use different colloquial expressions when saying “what.” Here are some examples:

¿Cómo va?

This colloquial expression is often used instead of “¿Qué pasa?” to mean “What’s up?”


This is a polite way of saying “What?” and is commonly used in Mexico.

¿Qué onda?

This is a common expression in Latin America and means “What’s going on?”

It’s important to note that regional differences may exist, and some expressions may not be used in certain areas.


Learning how to say “what” in Spanish is a vital step in building effective communication with Spanish speakers. By mastering these common phrases and expressions, understanding different ways of saying “what,” and utilizing techniques to enhance communication skills, you can begin to break down the language barrier and speak Spanish like a native.

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