Write an email in Spanish like a Native

So you need to write a letter or email in Spanish? The good thing about letters and emails is you have time to think about what you are going to say.  The bad thing is sometimes the language is very particular.

If you think about letter and email correspondence in English you see vocab not used in everyday speech – words like sincerely, best wishes, or to whom it may concern. Spanish has it’s own versions of these and other expressions used in written correspondence, some similar to English and some not. Find below the most common terminology used for letters and emails in Spanish, along with a final summary and example emails at the end.

Levels of Formality in Spanish

Keep in mind differing levels of formality, because it affects the appropriateness of which greetings and sign-offs to use — usually we don’t want to tell our boss ‘kisses’, or our significant other ‘best regards’. In addition, some of the phrases include possessive adjectives tu or su which translate to ‘your’ in English or the indirect objects te or le which mean ‘to you’. These are interchangeable depending on how you choose to address someone. When addressing someone informally (), use  tu and te.  When addressing someone formally (usted) use the adjective su or le.

For subscribers review:
Spanish possessive adjectives in course lesson 5
Spanish indirect object pronouns in course lesson 16
How to write an email in Spanish in course lesson 30

We’ve divided the email terminology into 3 levels of formality defined below:

Formal

Use formal terms when talking to your boss or future employer, business relations or people you haven’t met etc.

Informal

Use informal terms when talking to a colleague or acquaintance, peers etc.

Casual/Close

Only use these terms when talking to someone you know very well, as in significant others and close friends.

Email Greetings in Spanish

Starting an letter or email in Spanish means you need a greeting. Many Spanish greetings are similar to those in English, like ‘dear’ (querido) or ‘hello’ (hola) but several are less familiar to English speakers. Note the greetings below, designated by whether they are used in more formal or informal situations.

Formal

A quien corresponda
= To whom it may concern

This is the standard non-specific introduction when you don’t know to whom you are writing.

Muy señor mío
= Dear Sir

This introduction again does not use a specific name, but implies a distinct formal tone.

Estimado Señor (apellido)
Dear Mr. (last name)

Using estimado (esteemed) may seem a bit grand for some English speakers, but isn’t as formal as it might feel in English.  It is much closer to saying ‘dear’ in English rather than esteemed, but should be reserved for more formal correspondence and also with someone whose name is known. It can also be used with señora, or you can substitute in a first name for a last name to make it less formal.

Don (nombre)
= Dear (first name)

While Don has traditionally been more of an honorific title, it is now often used as a standard formal ways of addressing someone in Spanish.

Informal

Querido (nombre)
= Dear (name)

This is the closest to the direct translation of ‘dear’ in English. In Spanish, like English, it is followed by a first name or sometimes señor/señora + a last name.

Buenos (dias / tardes)
= Good (morning / afternoon)

These are pretty standard greetings.  One thing to remember is that in Spain trades is not strictly for around lunchtime. As a general reference, use dias until around 2pm, then tardes from about 2-8 p.m.  Also, a literal ‘good morning’ (buenas mañanas) is not as often used, even if it is morning.

Casual / Close

Hola
= Hello

Standard. No specifics needed here.

Buenas
Hey there

Buenas seems to have been shortened from the slightly more formal buenas dias.  Since it’s been shortened it’s more like slang and more casual.

Ey
= Hey

Remember in Spanish there is no ‘h’ sound like we have in English, though they use something very similar to the English ‘hey’ that being ‘ey’.

Cariño
Darling / Sweety

You can use cariño with people other than your ‘sweetheart’, but it is more common in romantic relationships

Guapo
= Handsome/beautiful

You can use this when you want to compliment or flirt with someone, but you can also use it as a term of endearment between friends and loved ones.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be true either ;).

Email Sign-Offs in Spanish

To end a letter in Spanish, there are several different sign-off options. Some are used only to significant others, so be sure to take note.

Formal

Saludos cordiales
Best regards

Saludos cordiales literally means cordial greetings, but probably more akin to the English version of ‘best regards’ or ‘warm regards’.

Atentamente
Sincerely

Atentamente could mean ‘attentively’ in English, which exists, though is less common.  Since atentamente is quite commonly used in Spanish, we’d say it’s more comparable to ‘sincerely’.

Cordialmente
Cordially

The same as in English

Sinceramente
Sincerely

The same as in English

Para cualquier cosa estoy a su disposición
I am at your disposal for anything you need

A common formal sign-off which can be in the form, but for formal cases use the Usted form (su).

Agradeciéndole de antemano su cooperación
= Thank you in advance for your cooperation

This is a very formal way to say thank you (agradeciéndole).  The formal ‘le‘ is the indirect pronoun for usted.  And antemano literally means ‘before-hand’.

Informal

Gracias
Thanks

This is a standard way to end a letter or email.  But you can always add more, like gracias for tu/su tiempo (thanks for your time) or gracias for tu/su ayuda (thanks for your help)

Muchas Gracias
Many thanks

Extra gracias 😉

Un saludo
Cheers

Very commonly used since it’s a nice mix between being not too formal and not too casual.

Espero tus noticias
Looking forward to hear from you

Even though this literally means ‘I am waiting for your news’, it’s not necessarily  that you expect a response.

Espero tu respuesta pronto
Hope to hear from you soon

Again this may feel a little demanding when you read literally – ‘I am waiting/hoping for your quick response’ – but again it’s a more causal way of saying that you hope to hear from someone soon.

Avísame
Let me know

This one is very common and useful.  Don’t try to literally translate ‘let me know’ into something like ‘dejame saber’, since that doesn’t work.  You could say something like ‘hazmelo saber‘ (which we address later) but avísame is easier and more common.  Avisar can mean to warn or to notify on it’s own.

Nos vemos pronto
See you soon

Very commonly used in both letters and speaking.  This is one of those cases where a direct translation can be confusing, like ‘we see us soon’, which is strange. In Spanish this is a specific construct using reciprocal or reflexive forms to signify ‘each other’, which we don’t use the same way in English for this expression.

¡Ya hablaremos!
= Talk soon!

This is another one with a very simple meaning but an awkward literal translation.  We’ve seen before that the word ya can take on many different meanings.  Here we are using it to indicate something that is going to happen soon. Yo can also say hablamos pronto, but ya hablaremos gives you a chance to show off your Spanish skills 😉

Mantenme informado
Keep me posted

The Spanish don’t use this one as much as we might use it in English, but it’s useful. Manter is reflexive and means ‘to keep’ or ‘to support’.

Casual / Close

Que tengas un buen día/finde/ una buena noche
Have a good day / weekend / night

This common English expression is more and more common in Spain, but make sure to use the subjunctive (tengas) so you sound more natural.

Pásalo bien
= / Have fun 

You cannot directly translate ‘have fun’ in Spanish as tener divertido. This is a very common mistake made by English speakers. Instead use pásalo bien, which means ‘to pass it well’.

Cuidate
Take care of yourself

Cuidate means take care of yourself, using a combination of the verb cuidar (to look after or care) and the direct object te (you).  But don’t mistake this for cuidado, another common Spanish phrase from the verb cuidar. Cuidado means ‘watch out’ or ‘be careful’.

Un beso
xoxo

In Spanish they talk about besos, or kisses, a lot, but it’s translated more as ‘xoxo’ in English.  It’s more common to talk about platonic kisses in Spanish, though only use it for people you are close with.

Un abrazo (fuerte)
hug (big)

Funny enough this is a very common expression even though the Spanish don’t actually do a lot of hugging – mainly because they typically do the 2 kisses when they see each other. But they definitely use it in their sign-offs. This you can use with people you are close with. Include the fuerte for an extra big hug 😉

Con cariño
With love

Con cariño means ‘with caring’ in Spanish, and most closely translated to the common English refrain ‘with love’.  Like in English, the Spanish version doesn’t necessarily mean its for someone for whom you have romantic feelings.

Te quiero / te amo
I love you

Te quiero means literally ‘I want you’  while te amo means ‘I love you’.  But they would both translate to ‘I love you’ in English, so don’t use it unless you mean it.

Other Useful Phrases

Now that you have your greeting and sign-off picked out, there are probably some phrases that you need for the content of your Spanish email.  Things like, ‘keep me posted’, or ‘please find attached’ which are standard email lingo in English. Check out the most common phrases we’ve included here.  And if you need something else, ask us in the comments!

adjunto
Please find attached

If you’re going to attach something to your email, use adjunto, but pay attention to the prepositions here.  There are a few options.  You can say:
le/te adjunto … (I attached for you (formal/informal)
en adjunto … (as an attachment … pongo en adjunto)

Hazme saber si tienes alguna pregunta
Let me know if you have any questions

Again, don’t be tempted to use dejar for ‘let me know’.  In Spanish we use hacer,  and in this case in the imperative.  For formal context use hágame + tiene.

Quedo a su disposición para cualquier aclaración
I remain at your disposal for any clarification

You can use this in more formal situations to say you’re available for any questions.

Espero que todo vaya bien
Hope you are well

This means in Spanish, ‘I hope everything goes/is going well’, using the vaya – the subjunctive form of ir.

Puedes contactarme en el (numero)
I can be reached at (phone number)

You may want to leave your number, just take note of the prepositions.  To contact someone at … you use en el + the number. You can can also leave mi número de contacto …, just don’t forget the de.

Fue un placer conocerte
It was a pleasure meeting you

You can use the indirect object te following conocer for less formal letters, or le when speaking more formally in usted.

Según nuestra conversación
As per our conversation

Según is typically translated to mean ‘according to’, so the expression in Spanish is ‘according to our conversation’.

Me haré cargo de ello
I’ll take care of it

Cargar in Spanish means to load or carry, and estar a cargar is to be in charge.  So we use this verb when we speak of taking care of or being in charge of something.  In addition ello or ella is a common way to reference ‘it’.

Le agradezco por dedicar su tiempo
Thank you for taking the time

Here again we use agradezco with the direct object le. To be less formal use te, and tu instead of su. In addition, don’t use the Spanish verb for take (tomar) as it’s more appropriate to talk about the time they’ve dedicated (dedicar)

Summary of How to Write an Email in Spanish

Greetings

Formal
A quien corresponda
Muy señor mío
Estimado señor (apellido)
Don (nombre)

Informal
Querido (nombre)
Buenos (dias / tardes)

Casual / Close
Hola
Buenas
Ey
Cariño
Guapo

Sign-Offs

Formal
Saludos cordiales
Atentamente
Cordialmente
Sinceramente
Para cualquier cosa estoy a su disposición
Agradeciéndole de antemano su cooperación

Informal

Gracias
Muchas gracias
Un saludo
Espero tus noticias
Espero tu respuesta pronto
Avísame
Nos vemos pronto
¡Ya hablaremos!
Mantenme informado

Casual / Close

Que tengas un buen …
Pásalo bien
Cuidate
Un beso
Un abrazo (fuerte)
Con cariño
Te quiero / Te amo

Useful Phrases

Adjunto
Hazme saber si tienes alguna pregunta
Quedo a su disposición para cualquier aclaración
Espero que todo vaya bien
Puedes contactarme en el (numero)
Fue un placer conocerte
Según nuestra conversación
Me haré cargo de ello
Le agradezco por dedicar su tiempo

Download a PDF Summary of
How to Write an Email in Spanish Like a Native

How to Write an Email in Spanish

Example Emails in Spanish

Now it’s time to see it all in action.  Spend some time with the example emails in Spanish below – one formal, one informal.  The terms you’ve seen here are shown in bold.

Formal Email in Spanish – Example 1

letters email in spanish formal example

Informal Email in Spanish – Example 2

letter email in spanish informal example

¡Ahora tú!

Do you use other Spanish greetings or sign-offs in your emails?

Or do you have a question about how you should say something in your email in Spanish? Ask us in the comments!

¡Que tengas un buen dia!

Hayley y Maider

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