This is the third class in our short course on Basic Spanish. In the first class we learnt how to introduce yourself in Spanish, while in the second we saw – surprise, surprise – how to introduce others.
Now, let’s take things up a notch, and look at how to ask for, and give, personal information in Spanish.
Whenever we sign up for something new -a course, a new gym membership, or even when you open a bank account-, we need to give some personal information.
Or sometimes we meet someone new and we’d like to keep in touch, so we need to ask them for their contact information. Here’s how to do it in Spanish.
¿Cómo te llamas?
Here are some common questions to find out a little more about someone you’ve just met.
|¿Cómo te llamas?||What’s your name?|
|¿De dónde eres?||Where are you from?|
|¿Cuántos años tienes?||How old are you?|
|¿Dónde vives?||Where do you live?|
Now read the dialogue and find out how to answer these questions.
|¿Cómo te llamas?
Me llamo Ana.
|What’s your name?
My name is Ana.
|¿De dónde eres?
Soy de Colombia.
|Where are you from?
I’m from Colombia.
|¿Cuántos años tienes?
Tengo 32 años.
|How old are you?
I’m 32 years old.
Vivo en Medellín.
|Where do you live in?
I live in Medellin.
If you want to ask your speaker the same information they’ve just asked you, you can simply add ¿Y tú? to your answer. That way you’re simply asking “And you?” and getting them to tell you the same thing they’ve just asked you.
-¿Cómo te llamas?
-Me llamo Ana. ¿Y tú?
-Soy Carlos. Encantado de conocerte. (“I’m Carlos. Nice to meet you.”)
Subject pronouns and verbs
If you look closely at the questions and their answers, you’ll notice that the subject pronouns yo (“I”) and tú (“you”) are missing. That’s because in Spanish it’s not necessary to include them in a sentence. Verbs are always conjugated to show each person and each tense. That way, you don’t need to use the subject pronoun in every sentence.
You only need to make sure you use the right conjugation! When you say your name, you’ll say Me llamo… But when you ask somebody their name, the form of the verb changes from me llamo to te llamas.
¿Cómo te llamas? not ¿Cómo me llamo?
These changes might seem small but they are extremely important. They’re the difference between yo and tú, i.e. the difference between talking about yourself or about the person you’re speaking to!
Hola, cómo te llamas? …eres un gato? pic.twitter.com/26KpOVtdMS
— ¡¡ANIMALITOS!! (@SonAnimalitos) August 6, 2017
Yes, we all ask the same questions on our first day at university. But that’s no excuse!
— – Lorena (@LooSilv) August 7, 2017
Asking and giving contact details
In some situations, you might need to fill in a form or perhaps ask somebody for their contact details. There are several ways to do so.
Here are some of the most common:
|¿Cuál es tu dirección?
|What’s your address?|
|¿Cuál es tu número de móvil?
|What’s your mobile number?|
|¿Cuál es tu correo electrónico?
¿Tienes correo electrónico?
|What’s your email address?|
Real life examples
Here are some examples we’ve found on social media:
#PreguntaRubius ¿Cuál es tu número de móvil?😏😏❤️❤️
— 💚✨Rubius_ft_Yo✨💚 (@Mariana_Doblas_) March 18, 2017
Conversación de ahora mismo:
-¿Cuál es tu número de móvil?
-Empieza por 6 y acaba en 22. pic.twitter.com/TzH5vXxSFR
— Dri (@Dri69) November 16, 2016
Queremos ayudarte con esto! ¿Cuál es el correo electrónico que usas para tu perfil de Airbnb o el código de la reserva?
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) July 1, 2017
Remember the numbers in Spanish!
When giving your phone number, you’ll have to make sure you say the right numbers.
|1 uno||6 seis|
|2 dos||7 siete|
|3 tres||8 ocho|
|4 cuatro||9 nueve|
|5 cinco||0 cero|
However, Spaniards often give their telephone numbers in groups of two, so you’ll need to know your Spanish numbers up to 99, not just up to 9
- 123 456 789
- 12 34 56 78 9
This can be tricky if you can’t distinguish between 60s and 70s.
Giving your email address in Spanish
If you need to give your email address, here are some words that will come in handy:
We’ve just learnt how to ask for personal information and contact details. We’ve also looked at numbers from 0 to 9 and some basic yet vital words related to email addresses.
Use your common sense and intuition about when to use these questions. Not everybody likes to divulge their age, for example! Also, there might be a situation where asking for a phone number may lead to a misunderstanding. But this has nothing to do with the language itself. Trust yourself and you’ll be just fine. Check out our video of native Spanish speakers talking about themselves or review our section on Spanish phrases for more real-life examples.