In How to Learn a Second Language, Spanish Lessons, Spanish Vocabulary


When time is a limited resource and you are trying to learn a new language it pays to be efficient. Being efficient in learning Spanish means making sure you learn the right things that will help you the most in the “real world”.

When it comes to vocabulary, it’s important to learn the words you are most likely to encounter in Spanish texts or conversations, so why not begin with a list of the most common Spanish words. Textbooks often rely on thematic terms like animals for learning, however the most common Spanish words are not what you may think.  Words like “all” (todo #22) or “thing” (cosa #78) are much more common Spanish words than words like “tiger” (tigre #4,582).

Below a table of the 250 most common Spanish words taken from popular written text and conversation, in a study by Mark Davies.  See how many you know and fill in the gaps of the ones that you don’t, as you’re likely to come across them soon!

*We’ve separated the most common Spanish pronouns  from the list of common Spanish words. Pronouns are quite commonly used, but for studying purposes they fall into grammar lessons more than vocabulary you should memorize.


250 Most Common Spanish Words

Common Spanish Words

Rank Spanish English
1 el,la the
2 de of, from
3 que that, which
4 y and
5 a to, at
6 en in, on
7 un a, an
8 ser to be
10 no no
11 haber to have
12 por by, for, through
13 con with
15 para for, to, in order to
16 como like, as
17 estar to be (location)
18 tener to have
22 todo all, every
23 pero but, yet, except
24 más more
25 hacer to do, make
26 o or
27 poder to be able to; can
28 decir to tell, say
29 este this (m) [esta (f)]
30 ir to go
31 otro other, another
32 ese that (m) [esa (f)]
34 si if, whether
36 ya already, still
37 ver to see
38 porque because
39 dar to give
40 cuando when
42 muy very, really
43 sin without
44 vez time (specific occurrence)
45 mucho much, many, a lot
46 saber to know (a fact), find out
47 qué what?, which?, how?
48 sobre on top of, over, about
50 alguno some, someone
51 mismo same
53 también also
54 hasta until, up to, even
55 año year
56 dos two
57 querer to want, love
58 entre between, among
59 así like that
60 primero first
61 desde from, since
62 grande large, great, big
63 eso that
64 ni not even, neither, nor
66 llegar to arrive
67 pasar to pass, spend (time)
68 tiempo time (general), weather
70 yes
71 día day
72 uno one
73 bien well
74 poco little, few, a little bit
75 deber should, ought to; to owe
76 entonces so, then
77 poner to put (on), get
78 cosa thing
79 tanto so much, so many
80 hombre man, mankind, husband
81 parecer to seem, look like
82 nuestro our
83 tan such, as, too, so
84 donde where
85 ahora now
86 parte part, portion
87 después after
88 vida life
89 quedar to remain, stay
90 siempre always, forever
91 creer to believe, think
92 hablar to speak, talk
93 llevar to take, carry
94 dejar to let, leave
95 nada nothing, not at all
96 cada each, every
97 seguir to follow, keep on
98 menos less, fewer
99 nuevo new
100 encontrar to find
101 algo something, somewhat
102 sólo only, just
103 pues then, well then
104 llamar to call, name
105 venir to come
106 pensar to think
107 aquel that (over there)
108 momento moment, time
109 sino but, except, rather
110 esto this
111 salir to leave, go out
112 volver to return, to to do again
113 forma form, shape, way
114 antes before
115 bueno good
116 casa house
117 aunque although, even though
118 mundo world
119 tres three
120 tal such (a)
121 mejor best, better
122 tomar to take, drink
123 cierto certain, sure
124 conocer to know (someone or place)
125 hacia toward, towards
126 cómo how?
127 mujer woman, wife
128 vivir to live
129 aquí here
130 caso case, occasion
131 sentir to feel, regret
132 luego later, afterwards
133 país country
134 tratar to try, treat, deal with
135 lugar place, position
137 persona person
138 mayor larger, older, main
139 último last, final
140 propio own, proper, typical

Common Spanish Pronouns

Rank Spanish English
9 se reflexive marker
14 su his/her/their/your
19 le he /she/it; 3rd person indirect obj
20 lo it; the (+ neuter)
21 lo it; 3rd person direct object (masc)
33 la it; 3rd person direct object (fem)
35 me me
41 él he,
49 mi my
52 yo I
65 nos us
69 ella she,
136 te you
191 nosotros we


Common Spanish Words (141 to 250)

Rank Spanish English
141 quien who, whom
142 mirar to look, watch
143 hora hour, time (specific)
144 ninguno no, none, nobody
145 trabajo work, job, effort
146 casi almost, nearly
147 punto point, dot, period
148 durante during, for (time)
149 cualquier any, anyone
150 mano hand
151 nunca never, ever
152 manera way, manner
153 cual which, who, whom
154 mientras while, whereas,
155 contar to tell, count
156 fin end
157 tipo type, kind
158 gente people
159 además also, as well, besides
160 solo lonely, alone
161 empezar to begin, start
162 ejemplo example
163 esperar to wait, hope (for), expect
164 hoy today, nowadays
165 lado side
166 hijo son, [pl] children
167 allí there, over there
168 éste this one
169 problema problem
170 cuenta bill, account
171 medio means, middle; pormedio: through
172 contra against, opposite
173 buscar to look for
174 dentro inside
175 largo long
176 palabra word
177 existir to exist
178 niño child, little boy
179 entrar to enter
180 embargo sin embargo: nevertheless
181 único only, unique, sole
182 padre father
183 trabajar to work
184 pequeño little, small, young
185 alto tall, high
186 cambio change
187 escribir to write
188 cuatro four
189 ahí there
190 perder to lose, miss
192 historia history, story
193 idea idea
194 agua water
195 producir to produce, cause
196 noche night, evening
197 ciudad city
198 modo way, manner
199 nombre name, noun
200 ocurrir to happen, occur
201 familia family
202 realidad reality, actuality
203 entender to understand
204 pedir to ask for, request
205 recibir to receive
206 obra work, book, deed
207 importante important
208 medio half, middle
209 verdad truth
210 mes month
211 todavía still, yet
212 razón reason; tener razón: to be right
213 cuanto en cuanto a: in terms of, regarding
214 bajo under, underneath
215 recordar to remember, remind
216 grupo group
217 mil thousand
218 humano human
219 terminar to finish, end
220 permitir to allow, permit
221 aparecer to appear
222 conseguir to get, acquire, obtain
223 comenzar to begin, start
224 varios several, various
225 posible possible
226 servir to serve
227 general general
228 sacar to take out
229 necesitar to need
230 relación relationship, relation
231 cinco five
232 cuerpo body
233 nadie nobody, anybody
234 mantener to keep, maintain
235 hecho fact, happening
236 ante before,
237 principio beginning, principle
238 resultar to result, turn out
239 igual equal, same (as)
240 señor sir, Mr, lord
241 pueblo people, village
242 tarde afternoon, evening
243 segundo second
244 leer to read
245 caer to fall
246 cambiar to change
247 ojo eye
248 calle street
249 presentar to introduce, present
250 blanco white

This list was compiled based on “A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish” by Mark Davies.

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1000 of the Most Common Spanish Words

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