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How Do You Say "Good Luck" in Spanish?

According to Holden Caulfield in J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: "I'd never yell, 'Good luck!' at anybody. It sounds terrible, when you think about it." Well... whether or not you agree with this somewhat cynical viewpoint, most of us can concur that everyone could use a little extra luck, and every culture employs different expressions to wish others well. In fact, Spanish-speakers are very likely to use many of these daily! So... how do you say "good luck" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach you a plethora of ways.

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Buena suerte

The most literal translation for "good luck" in Spanish is buena suerte. Let's hear it in action:

 

¡Buena suerte!

Good luck!

Caption 91, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2: Sam va de compras - Part 6

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There are many variations of (buena) suerte, including mucha suerte (lots of luck), which are often used with the subjunctive form of the verb tener (to have) in expressions like Que tengas mucha suerte (I hope you have a lot of luck) or the verb desear (to wish) as in Te deseo mucha/buena suerte (I wish you a lot of/good luck). 

 

Suerte

Another way to say "good luck" in Spanish is to say simply "Suerte," which literally means just "Luck." 

 

Suerte, Fernando. 

Good luck, Fernando.

Caption 23, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 8

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In Latin America, you might notice that both people you know well and people you just met, such as store clerks and taxi drivers, will often say this to you when you depart. 
 

La mejor de las suertes

Another common expression to wish someone "the best of luck" in Spanish is La mejor de las suertes, which could be said alone or with the verb desear :

 

te deseamos la mejor de las suertes, ¿oís? 

we wish you the best of luck, you hear?

Caption 47, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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Éxito(s)

Saying ¡É​xito! (Success!) to someone in the singular or plural is another way of wishing someone "good luck" in Spanish, which could also be used with the verb desear:

 

Les deseamos muchos éxitos, ehm... 

We wish you a lot of success, um...

Caption 68, Doctor Krápula Entrevista

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Así que les deseo lo mejor, éxito en todo

So I wish you the best, [I wish you] success with everything

Caption 66, Outward Bound Danny

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Note that this second example contains yet another way of wishing someone well in Spanish: desear(le a alguien) lo mejor, or "wishing (someone) the best." Another alternative to this manner of wishing someone good luck and best wishes in Spanish is to say simply Mis mejores deseos (My best wishes). 

 

Que te vaya bien

Que te vaya bien is yet another expression that friends and strangers alike often utter to wish you good luck and best wishes in Spanish. It's literal meaning is "(I hope) everything goes well for you," but it might sometimes be translated with the similarly well-wishing English phrase "Take care":

 

¡Qué te vaya bien! -¡Qué te vaya bien! ¡Qué tengas suerte! -¡Chao! -¡Chao! ¡Suerte! ¡Chao! 

Take care! -Take care! Good luck! -Bye! -Bye! Good luck! Bye!

Captions 67-69, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 5

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Cruzar los dedos 

Just like English-speakers, Spanish speakers sometimes use the phrase cruzar los dedos (to cross one's fingers) to describe a superstitious action thought to promote good luck.

 

Bueno pues, crucemos los dedos para que todo salga bien

Well then, let's cross our fingers for everything to go well

Caption 17, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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(Mucha) mierda

Yep, you read that right! Although it literally means "crap" or "shit," telling someone ¡Mierda! or ¡Mucha mierda! (A lot of crap) is one to say "good luck" in Spanish slang and can be thought of as an equivalent expression to the English "Break a leg!" Interestingly, in the theater world, Spanish speakers often use the French version, merde.

 

Now that you know how to say "Good luck" in Spanish, we'd like to leave you with the following:

 

OK, buena suerte al aprender español.

Okay, good luck learning Spanish.

Caption 29, Cabarete Escuela de trapecio

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And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments!

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