Learn Spanish: Common mistakes ordering food in Spanish
Learn Spanish: Common mistakes in ordering food in Spanish
Learn how to order food or drinks in Spanish
If you have been studying Spanish, you have probably learned some polite expressions to order food or drinks. We could guess you have learned or you have used expressions like “¿Puedo tener…?” o “¿Quisiera tener…?”. If we are right, let us say, you are saying it wrong.
If you are coming to a Spanish-speaking country, you should know that our language is very direct, but our culture is not. Actually, Hispanic culture is, in general, very polite.
When you get into a place you must first say hello! Other ways to say that are:
– ¡Buenas! (Hello)
– ¡Buenos días! (Good morning)
– ¡Buenas tardes! (Good afternoon)
– ¡Buenas noches! (Good evening)
– ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
– ¿Qué tal? (How are you doing?)
However, when it comes to ordering food or drinks, our words are not as formal.
We would like to teach you how we ask for food or drinks, but first, let us show you what are the most common mistakes, so you can recognize what you should not say.
The most common mistakes in ordering food or drinks in Spanish:
1. Puedo tener…
This is probably a wrong direct translation from English, but it is not said like that in Spanish.
We do use the verb “¿Puedo…?” (Can I?) to ask for permission (among other uses), but we do not use it to order food and drinks in restaurants or bars.
For the next three expressions we would like to clarify that although these structures are correct, they are not the ones we commonly use in these places.
2. Me gustaría tener…
3. Yo quisiera…
As we said before, these three expressions do exist in Spanish and are correct, but we use them in more formal contexts, like writing an email, or a letter; requesting information in a hotel, a school, etc.
Me gustaría recibir información sobre los precios de las clases.
(I would like to receive information about the prices of the lessons)
Quisiera conocer a los profesores.
(I would like to meet the teachers)
¿Podríamos cambiar la hora de la clase?
(Could we change the time of the lesson?)
But usually, we don’t put the verb “tener” after these expressions when it comes to requesting products or services.
When in a restaurant, a cafe, or a bar, we use other more direct expressions, although they are always followed by the word “please”.
The most common ways to order food and drinks in Spanish:
Do you know other ways to order food and drinks? Leave them in the comments and we will reply to you!
If this article was useful to you, don’t miss our next entry: Common mistakes introducing yourself in Spanish, where we also show you some of the most common mistakes students make trying to introduce themselves in Spanish, and of course, we also show you the correct ways.
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