Now that you’ve mastered the basics of Spanish, you’re probably looking for a way to move beyond the beginner level and have more meaningful conversations.
As an intermediate Spanish learner, progress is hard earned.
You can handle common situations in Spanish without thinking, but what you need now is to be able to engage in authentic and meaningful conversations that go beyond the simple phrases you learned in your textbook.
That’s where these intermediate Spanish phrases come in.
This collection of conversational connectors and Spanish idioms will help you not only keep the conversation going, but sound more natural while you do it.
By the time you finish with this article, you’ll be ready to try your hand at talking about new and interesting topics, instead of having the same old conversations over and over again.
To make it as easy as possible for you to practice these intermediate Spanish phrases in your conversations, I’ve created a special PDF version of this article that you can print off or save on your phone to read anywhere, anytime.
In most Spanish conversations, you’ll need to be able to go beyond just factual information.
After all, if you really want to connect with the Spanish speakers you meet you’ll need to be able to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings and opinions.
Asking what others think and giving your own opinions on anything from your friend’s new haircut to the local presidential election is a skill you need to have if you want to start enjoying meaningful conversations in Spanish.
Here are a few key phrases to get you started:
- #1 ¿Qué piensas de…? – What do you think of/about…?
- #2 ¿Qué opinas de…? – What’s your opinion on/of…?
- #3 ¿Tú qué crees? – What do you think?
- #4 ¿Qué te parece? – What do you think? (lit. What does it seem to you?)
- #5 Yo creo que… – I believe that…
- #6 Yo pienso que… – I think that…
- #7 No estoy muy seguro – I’m not entirely sure
- #8 En mi opinión… – In my opinión…
- #9 Opino que… – I think that…
- #10 Desde mi punto de vista… – From my point of view…
- #11 Se me hace que… – I think that…
- #12 Para mí… – To me…/In my opinion,…
Giving advice is a common aspect of everyday conversation. From asking for recommendations for local restaurants to seeking advice on relationship problems, asking for and giving advice is something we do frequently.
- #13 ¿Qué nos recomienda? – What do you recommend to us?
- #14 ¿Que me recomienda? – What do you recommend to me?
- #15 ¿Qué debo hacer? – What should I do?
- #16 ¿Puedes darme algún consejo? – Can you give me any advice?
- #17 ¿Qué me recomiendas hacer? – What do you recommend that I do?
- #18 ¿Qué me aconsejas hacer? – What do you advise me to do?
- #19 ¿Por qué tú no…? – Why don’t you…?
- #20 Tal vez tú debieras… – Maybe you should…
- #21 Tal vez tú pudieras… – Maybe you could…
- #22 Es mejor ir a… – You’d better go to…
- #23 Tú podrías… – You could…
- #24 ¿Sabes qué podrías hacer? – You know what might not be a bad idea…?
- #25 A lo mejor es una buena idea ir a… – Maybe it would be a good idea to go…
- #26 Yo que tú… – If I were you…
- #27 Creo que deberías… – I think you should…
- #28 Tal vez fuese interesante… – It might be a good idea…
- #29 Sabes que encuentro… – You know what I think…
- #30 Bueno, lo que hago es… – Well, what I do is…
- #31 Tal vez tengas razón – Maybe you’re right
- #32 A lo mejor es interesante hacer eso – That might be a good idea
- #33 Buena idea – Good idea
- #34 Yo sé – I know
- #35 Yo no sé – I don’t know
- #36 No estoy muy seguro – I’m not really sure…
- #37 Voy a pensarlo – I’ll think about it
- #38 Capaz que sí – Yeah, maybe
- #39 Vamos a ver – Let’s see
- #40 Yo me las arreglo – I’ll figure something out.
Remember, conversation is a two-way street.
Sometimes you’ll be the one doing the talking and asking the questions, but sometimes you’ll need to sit back and listen to what others are saying too.
In particular, when in group situations, you’ll likely find yourself doing a lot of listening at first.
This means it’s important to listen actively and respond appropriately so you show the person speaking that you’re interested in what they have to say.
This will help you avoid those awkward moments when you just smile and nod because you’re not sure what’s going on!
- #41 ¡qué fuerte! – My goodness!
- #42 ¡qué barbaridad! – How awful! (lit. what barbarity!)
- #43 ¡qué asco! – How disgusting!
- #44 ¡qué horror! – How horrible!
- #45 ¡no me digas! – No way!
- #46 ¡anda ya! – Get out of here!
- #47 ¡madre mía! – goodness me!
- #48 No me lo puedo creer – I can’t believe it
- #49 ¿estás de coña? – Are you kidding me?
- Note: This is a very informal phrase and should only be used with close friends.
- #50 Me quedé asombrado – I was shocked
- #51 Es increíble – That’s incredible
- #52 Me quedé flipado – I couldn’t believe it
Now that you know how to express your opinions in Spanish, it’s good to know hedge your bets with what you say.
You may not always be 100% sure of something, so knowing how to make that clear will help you avoid sounding like a know-it-all or making any embarassing mistakes.
- #53 Si no me equivoco… – If I’m not mistaken…
- #54 Si no estoy equivocado/a… – If I’m not mistaken…
- #55 Corrígeme si me equivoco… – Correct me if I’m wrong…
Of course the one way to instantly sound more like a native speaker than a learner is to throw out a couple of colloquial idioms.
Idiomatic language is difficult for language learners to get their heads around because the literal translations of these phrases are often different to their meanings.
This means it can be tricky to know how and when to use them effectively.
However, once you know a handful of these colloquial intermediate Spanish phrases people and you perfect your accent, you’ll be amazed how quickly you start to get mistaken for a local!
- #56 ¿Qué le hace una mancha más al tigre? – lit. What’s one more stripe on a tiger’s back?
- Practical meaning: More of something that we already have a lot of is not likely to make a difference
- #57 ser pan comido – (to be) a piece of cake
- #58 a las espaldas de alguien – behind somebody´s back
- #59 acostarse con las gallinas – to go to bed early (lit. to go to bed with the hens)
- #60 andarse por las ramas – to beat around the bush (lit. to walk by the branches)
- #61 estar borracho como una cuba – to be drunk as a skunk
- #62 buscarle tres pies al gato – to look for trouble
- #63 quemarse las cejas – to burn the midnight oil (lit. to burn your eyebrows)
- #64 tal para cual – two peas in a pod
- #65 tener agallas – to have guts/to be brave
- #66 no hay pero que valga – no ifs, ands or buts
- #67 peor es nada – better than nothing
So there you go! Take some time to master these intermediate Spanish phrases and you’ll be having longer, more authentic conversations in no time.
Remember, at the intermediate level, you need lots and lots of exposure to real, natural Spanish to help you reach fluency.
That’s why I’ve created the Fluent Spanish Academy, which has everything you need to go from Intermediate or Advanced Spanish to Fluency… and Beyond!
Click here to find out more about the material included in the Academy.
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