How Many Words in the Spanish Language?

If you are wondering how many words in the Spanish language? The Real Academia Española, the official Spanish language dictionary, says that there are over 100,000 words in the Spanish language. But not all are used. Even native speakers only use a handful. 

For a deeper understanding on how many words in the Spanish language, stick around. We will take a look at the total number of Spanish words, including how many words you need to learn to be fluent in Spanish,

How Many Spanish Words Are There?

A teacher teaching Spanish words.


If anyone asks, “how many words in the Spanish Language” one would roughly say over 100000 Spanish words. However, this number is constantly changing as new words are being created and old words fall out of use. 

The Royal Spanish Academy, responsible for monitoring and regulating the language, estimates that there are between 17 and 20 thousand words in everyday use.

One of the reasons why people wonder how many words in the Spanish language is because verbs have dozens of forms. For instance, Spanish’s verb “to be” has over 60 different forms. This is because Spanish verbs change to indicate who is performing the action. Examples include (I am, you are, he/she/it is) and the tense (present, past, future).

It is generally agreed that the English language has more words than the Spanish language. This is because English has borrowed words from many other languages, while Spanish has remained relatively stable. In addition, English speakers are more likely to use slang and colloquialisms, which can add to the number of words in circulation.

The Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE) is the official dictionary of the Spanish language. It was first published in 1780 and has since been revised and republished several times. The most recent edition was published in 2014 and includes over 100,000 entries.

Fun fact: The English language has largest vocabulary in the world, with 1,025,109.8 words. 


What Are the Most Common Spanish Words?

A person holding a piece of paper with hola text written.

Now that you know how many words in the Spanish language, the next step is learning the most common Spanish words so you can carry on a conversation. Ideally, you should know between 3,000 and 5,000 words to be able to communicate basic needs or hold everyday conversations.

  • Hola – Hello
  • Adiós – Goodbye
  • Por favor – Please
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • Lo siento – Sorry
  • Salud – Bless you (after someone sneezes) / Good health
  • Sí – Yes
  • No – No
  • ¿Quién? – Who?
  • ¿Qué? – What?
  • ¿Por qué? – Why?
  • ¿Dónde? – Where?
  • Perdón – Sorry
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • De nada – You’re welcome
  • Familia – Family
  • Hijo – Son
  • Hija – Daughter
  • Amigo – Friend
  • Niña – Girl
  • Niño – Boy
  • Hombre – Man
  • Mujer – Woman

What Are the Common Spanish Phrases?

Paper with a hablas espanol written in pencil

Aside from learning basic Spanish words, phrases are a great way to get started with learning conversational Spanish. They are short and sweet, and they are used in a variety of situations. Additionally, they are easy to remember because they are usually made up of common words. If one is wondering how many words in the Spanish language, they should be pointed to the below.

  • ¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
  • ¿Qué tal? – What’s up?
  • ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
  • Buenos días – Good morning
  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches – Good evening / Good night
  • Muy bien – Very well
  • Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you
  • Encantado/a – Pleased to meet you
  • ¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
  • Soy de… – I’m from…
  • ¿Cuántos años tienes? – How old are you?
  • Tengo… años – I am… years old.
  • ¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
  • Sí, hablo inglés. – Yes, I speak English.
  • No, no hablo inglés. – No, I don’t speak English.
  • ¿Hablas español? – Do you speak Spanish?
  • Sí,hablo español. – Yes, I speak Spanish.
  • No, no hablo español. – No, I don’t speak Spanish.
  • ¿Cuál es tu número de teléfono? – What’s your phone number?
  • ¿Cuál es tu dirección? – What’s your address?
  • ¿Me puedes ayudar? – Can you help me?
  • Disculpa, ¿podrías repetir eso? – Excuse me, could you repeat that?
  • ¿Quieres Bailar? – Do you want to dance?
  • ¿Cuál es tu libro favorito? – What’s yourfavorite book?
  • ¿Cuál es tu película favorita? – What’s your favorite movie?
  • ¿Cuál es tu comida favorita? – What’s your favorite food?
  • ¿Te gusta… música? – Do you like…music?
  • Me gustala música… – I like…music.

What Are the Most Common Spanish Verbs?

Verbs help us describe actions, states of being, and occurrences. And, they are an essential part of any sentence in Spanish. Here are some of the most common verbs in Spanish, along with their conjugations in the present tense:

  • Ser – to be
  • Estar – to be
  • Haber – to have
  • Tener – to have
  • Saber – to know
  • Ver – to see
  • Ir – to go
  • Dar – to give
  • Poder – to be able to
  • Decir – to say
  • Hacer – to do, to make
  • Llevar – to carry, wear
  • Poner – to put, to place
  • Salir – to leave, to go out
  • Traer – to bring
  • Querer – to want
  • Venir – to come
  • Buscar – to look for
  • Llegar – to arrive, to reach
  • Tomar – to take
  • Dejar – to leave, to let
  • Sentir – to feel
  • Seguir – to follow
  • Jugar – to play
  • Preferir – to prefer
  • Entender- to understand
  • permitir – to allow, to permit
  • Importar – to matter, to be important

Learning Spanish: How Many Words Are There?

There are over 100,000 entries in the most recent edition of the Spanish dictionary. If you to be fluent in the language, knowing at least 5,000 words can be useful. You can start by knowing the most basic words and practicing common Spanish phrases.


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