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American Lingo - USA Gap Year Destination Guide

English and Spanish

In a nation as ethnically diverse as the USA, it's no surprise that there is no single official language for the country. The majority of people in the States speak American English and/or Spanish, but there are literally hundreds of other languages spoken by people as their first language at home. Being the helpful people we are, we've provided a collection of useful phrases in Spanish, as well as clearing up a few areas of confusion between American and British English - there is a difference!

Below we detail our guide to learn some basic Spanish phrases and what “we say” and “what they say”...

Some basic Spanish phrases

  • Yes - Sí

  • No - No

  • Please - Por favor

  • Thank you - Gracias

  • Sorry - Disculpe

  • You're welcome - De nada

  • Hello - Hola

  • Good morning - Buenos días

  • Goodbye - Adiós

  • Good evening - Buenas noches

  • See you later - Hasta luego

  • Please speak more slowly - Hable más despacio, por favor

  • I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish - Lo siento, no hablo español

  • Do you speak English? - Habla usted inglés?

We say, They say

The English that our friends in the US speak is not the same as British English, and it's worth remembering a few of the differences to prevent confusion.

We Say They Say
aubergine eggplant
autumn fall
bum bag fanny pack
cafe diner
current account checking account
engaged (on phone) busy signal
indicator (on car) turn signal
petrol gasoline/gas
roundabout traffic circle
tap (for water) faucet
tights pantyhose
pavement sidewalk
sweets candy