How to Say What in Spanish?

Hey there, fellow language enthusiast! Are you learning Spanish and finding it challenging to express yourself? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you desperately needed to know how to say “what” in Spanish? Fear not, for we have got you covered! In this article, we will be discussing various ways to say “what” in the Spanish language, so let’s get started!

The Basics

Firstly, let’s start with the most commonly used way of saying “what” in Spanish- “¿Qué?” This is the general way of asking “what” in Spanish and can be used in various situations. For example, if you are confused about what someone said, you can simply ask “¿Qué?” to clarify.Another basic way to say “what” in Spanish is “¿Cómo?” This is best used when you want to ask “What do you mean?” or “What is it like?” For example, you can ask “¿Cómo estuvo tu día?” (How was your day?) or “¿Cómo se dice perro en español?” (How do you say dog in Spanish?)

Expressions that mean “What”

Apart from the basic ways to say “what” in Spanish, there are several expressions that can be used to express the same meaning. Here are a few examples:- “¿Qué pasa?” This is a very informal way of asking “What’s up?” or “What’s going on?” It is commonly used among friends and acquaintances.- “¿Qué tal?” This is another informal way of asking “How are you?” or “What’s up?” It can be used in both formal and informal situations.- “¿Qué onda?” This is a slang expression that is used in Mexican Spanish to ask “What’s up?” or “What’s going on?” – “¿Qué hay de nuevo?” This is a more formal way of asking “What’s new?” or “What’s going on?”

Asking about Specifics

Now that we have covered the basics and some expressions that mean “what,” let’s move on to asking about specifics. Here are a few ways to ask “what” in Spanish when you want to know about something specific:- “¿Qué hora es?” This means “What time is it?”- “¿Qué día es hoy?” This means “What day is it?”- “¿Qué fecha es hoy?” This means “What date is it today?”- “¿Qué quieres decir?” This means “What do you mean?”

Asking for Clarification

Sometimes, you may not understand what someone is saying or what they mean. In such situations, it is helpful to know how to ask for clarification. Here are some ways to do so in Spanish:- “¿Qué quieres decir con eso?” This means “What do you mean by that?”- “¿Qué quieres decir con esa palabra?” This means “What does that word mean?”- “¿Podrías repetirlo, por favor?” This means “Could you please repeat that?”- “¿Podrías explicarlo de nuevo?” This means “Could you explain that again?”

Asking for Permission

Another way to use “what” in Spanish is to ask for permission. Here are some examples:- “¿Qué puedo hacer por ti?” This means “What can I do for you?”- “¿Qué tal si vamos al cine?” This means “What if we go to the movies?”- “¿Qué te parece si vamos a cenar juntos?” This means “What do you think about us having dinner together?”


– Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice speaking Spanish, the more natural it will become to you.- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and it’s how we learn and grow.- Use online resources such as apps, websites, and videos to supplement your learning.


In conclusion, there are various ways to say “what” in Spanish, depending on the context and situation. From the basic “¿Qué?” to expressions like “¿Qué pasa?” and “¿Qué tal?” to asking about specifics or permission, the Spanish language offers different options to express oneself. Remember to keep practicing and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Hasta luego! (See you later!)