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The 100 Most Common Words in Spoken Spanish

There are so many words in the Spanish language, that learning vocabulary often feels like an overwhelming task. It’s confusing. It feels like trying to find the right book at a library that is completely dark.

Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a clear path you could follow? If you could just have a list of words used in everyday conversations?

That’s the purpose of this post where you’ll find the 100 words used most often in spoken Spanish.

Why these 100 words?

Lets imagine you want to learn how to be a bartender quickly in order to get a job around town. Would you start by learning hundreds of drinks from around the world? or would you find out which are the most popular drinks around your area, and learn those first?

Probably the second option, right? Like this, you’d get the job and learn more as you go.

The idea behind this list of words is similar. Find out what’s useful and used most often, so you can focus on that first to improve your Spanish faster. It’s classic 80/20.

 

By the way… Want to understand more Spoken Spanish?

Does it sound like fast mumbo jumbo to you?

Having listening materials with “audible training wheels” is an easy way to make it happen. You can practice your listening skills using your phone during the day.

It’s easy! If you are interested in practice materials to help you understand more spoken Spanish that are also easy to use, you can take a look over here: Spoken Spanish Listening Materials

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The 80/20 Principle:

According to Entrepreneur and Author, David Koch; “The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs or efforts usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards” (David Koch, The 80/20 Principle, Doubleday Publishing.)

In other words, it’s the few things that matter most.

We can use the 80/20 Principle in Spanish to prioritize in order to move faster. In this case, by determining a subgroup of words  (which is usually around 20%) that are used most often in common conversations.

By focusing on that 20% you can get disproportionate results in the progress of your language skills and move faster.

 

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Get a Copy of the List and an Downloadable Audio File so you can Practice later:

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The 100 Most Common Words in Spoken Spanish

Now, it’s time to review the full list of words. If you are just getting started, focus on the first 50 words on the list. After you memorize those, move on to the full list. Here it is (have fun!)

 

Rank

        Word in Spanish                                       

Meaning in English

1

que

that

2

de

of, from

3

no

no

4

a

to

5

la

the

(for singular feminine nouns)

6

el

the (for masculine singular nouns)

7

es

he is, she is, it is (for essential characteristics)

8

y

and

9

en

in, on, at

10

lo

it, him (direct-object pronoun)

11

un

a, an (for singular masculine nouns)

12

por

for, by, through

13

qué

what / how (as in “how nice!”)

14

me

me, myself

15

una

a, an (for singular feminine nouns)

16

te

you (direct-object pronoun)

17

los

the (for plural masculine nouns)

18

se

himself, herself, itself

19

con

with

20

para

for, to

21

mi

my

22

está

he is, she is, it is (non-permanent characteristics)

23

si

if

24

bien

well, good

25

pero

but

26

yo

I

27

eso

that

28

las

the (for plural feminine nouns)

29

yes

30

su

his, her, its

31

tu

your

32

aquí

here

33

del

of the, from the, in the

34

al

to the

35

como

how, as, like

36

le

him, her, formal you (indirect object pronoun)

37

más

more

38

esto

this (for singular masculine nouns)

39

ya

already

40

todo

everything

41

esta

this one (for singular feminine nouns)

42

vamos

let’s go, come on

43

muy

very

44

hay

there is

45

ahora

now

46

algo

something

47

estoy

I am (non-permanent characteristics)

48

tengo

I have

49

nos

us

50

you

51

nada

nothing

52

cuando

when

53

ha

he has, she has, it has (auxiliary)

54

este

this one (for singular masculine nouns)

55

I know

56

estás

you are (non-permanent characteristics)

57

así

like this

58

puedo

I can

59

cómo

how

60

quiero

I want

61

sólo

only, just

62

soy

I am (for essential characteristics)

63

tiene

he has, she has, it has

64

gracias

thank you

65

o

or

66

él

he

67

bueno

good

68

fue

he was, she was, it was

69

ser

to be (for permanent characteristics)

70

hacer

to do, to make

71

son

they are (for permanent characteristics)

72

todos

all of us, all of them

73

era

he was, she was, it was (permanent characteristics)

74

eres

you are (permanent characteristics)

75

vez

time (as in “one time”)

76

tienes

you have

77

creo

I believe

78

ella

she

79

he

I have (auxiliary)

80

ese

that one

81

voy

I go

82

puede

he can, she can, it can

83

sabes

you know

84

hola

hello

85

sus

his, her (for plural nouns)

86

porque

because

87

Dios

God

88

quién

who

89

nunca

never

90

dónde

where

91

quieres

you want

92

casa

house

93

favor

favor

94

esa

that one (for singular feminine nouns)

95

dos

two

96

tan

so

97

señor

mister

98

tiempo

time

99

verdad

truth

100

estaba

I was (non-permanent characteristics)

Get your Copy of this List (with additional examples!) and a Downloadable Audio File so you can Practice later:

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12 thoughts on “The 100 Most Common Words in Spoken Spanish

  1. Does que mean ‘what’, not ‘that’?

    1. It can mean both, but it usually means “what”

      For example:

      Most common usage:
      “What” is that? – ¿”Qué” es eso?

      Less common, but frequent:
      That thing “that” is over there – Eso “que” está ahí

      ¡Saludos!

  2. Number 11 “un” should be “for singular masculine nouns”

    1. I appreciate the comment. I’ve corrected the typo. ¡Gracias!

  3. I appreciate your work

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your kind words! 🙂

  4. 87-91 spell out a sentence that may upset some people. But overall this was very helpful

  5. This helped me alot thank you :3

  6. I appreciate this so much! Can you explain what is meant by “auxilery”? Thanks again

    1. ¡Hola Jay!

      What I mean is that some of these words are used as auxiliary verbs.

      For example, the verb haber in cases such as “yo HE caminado”

      Thank you for your kind words Jay! I appreciate them!

      ¡Saludos! 🙂

  7. I’m trying to learn spanish and develop like my own first lesson plan. I made flash cards with this first 100 words but I was wondering if there was more or could make more with like nouns…cat..house…store etc…or a list of most common phrases too? Sorry thank u so much!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I’m currently working on more lists for an upcoming course but I don’t have them available yet. Sorry about that!

      The fact that you’re taking that approach is a great sign of a committed student will help you learn faster.

      Keep going!

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