Spanish Lessons

Topics

Talking About Hunger and Thirst in Spanish

Let's learn some common expressions to talk about being hungry or thirsty in Spanish (or to say we're not)!

banner3 PLACEHOLDER

Saying "I'm Hungry" in Spanish 

The most common way to talk about "being hungry" in Spanish is with an idiomatic expression with the verb tener, which is tener hambre (literally "to have hunger"). So, if you wanted to say "I'm hungry," in Spanish, you'd say "Tengo hambre."

 

Fede, tengo hambre. Tengo hambre, Fede.

Fede, I'm hungry. I'm hungry, Fede.

Captions 34-35, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

Now, let's listen to this verb in question form, conjugated with (the single familiar "you"):

 

¿Tienes hambre? 

Are you hungry?

Caption 39, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4

 Play Caption
 
 
The more formal usted version would, of course, be "¿Tiene (usted) hambre?

 

An alternative way to talk about hunger in Spanish is with the verb estar (to be) plus the adjective hambriento/a(s). Remember that in the case of adjectives, they must agree in terms of both gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the subject in question. Let's take a look at an example with a single, female speaker:

 

Y yo estoy hambrienta.

And I am hungry.

Caption 7, Cata y Cleer En el restaurante

 Play Caption

 

Now, let's look at some more dramatic ways to say "I'm hungry" in Spanish (something more akin to "I'm starving"). 

 

Sí, ¿y viene la comida o no? Pues yo estoy muerto de hambre.

Yes, and is the food coming or not? I am dying of hunger.

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

The adjective muerto/a(s) literally means "dead," of course, but the expression estar muerto/a(s) de hambre is roughly equivalent to the English "dying of hunger." Let's see a couple more:

 

¿por qué no me invita a desayunar algo que estoy que me muero de hambre?

why don't you serve me something for breakfast since I'm dying of hunger?

Captions 37-38, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

¿Pero será que podemos comer ya, por favor, que me estoy desmayando de hambre?

But could we please start eating since I'm passing out from hunger?

Caption 45, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 12 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

banner PLACEHOLDER

Saying "I'm Thirsty" in Spanish 

Tener sed (literally "to have thirst") is probably the most common way to say "I'm thirsty" in Spanish. In the first person this would be: "Tengo sed(I'm thirsty). Now, let's look at an example with :

 

Es muy útil si tienes sed y necesitas beber agua.

It's very useful if you're thirsty and need to drink water.

Caption 29, El Aula Azul Adivina qué es - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

And, in the same way you could say you are "dying with hunger," you could also use estar muerto/a(s) de sed to say you are "dying of thirst":

 

¡Estabas muerta de sed!

You were dying of thirst!

Caption 1, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Another way to say "to be thirsty" in Spanish is estar sediento/a(s):

 

y yo... yo estoy muy, muy sedienta.

and I... I'm very, very thirsty.

Caption 42, Kikirikí Agua - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

To ask you if you're thirsty, someone might say "¿Tiene(s) sed?(Are you thirsty?) or simply ask:

 

¿Quieres tomar algo, Pablo?

Do you want something to drink, Pablo?

Caption 28, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Although this might initially sound like "Do you want to take something?" to a non-native speaker, remember that the verb tomar additionally means "to drink" in Spanish. The common expression "¿Quiere(s) tomar algo?" is thus used to ask someone in Spanish if he or she would "like something to drink."

banner2 PLACEHOLDER

Saying "I'm Not Hungry/Full" in Spanish

So, what if you want to say you're not hungry in Spanish? You can simply use the verb tener hambre with the word "no" in front of it:

 

Pero igual no tengo hambre.

But anyway, I'm not hungry.

Caption 58, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Another option would be the verb llenarse (to be full). So, if someone asks you if you're hungry, you might use this verb in the preterite (simple past) tense to say:

 

No, gracias. Ya me llené.

No, thank you. I'm full (literally: "I already got full"). 

 

Now let's listen to this verb in the present:

 

Se infla, como que se llena,

You get bloated, like, you get full,

Caption 44, Los médicos explican Consulta con el médico: la diarrea

 Play Caption

 

An additional way to say you are full in Spanish is with the verb estar (to be) plus an adjective. Although you might hear satisfecho/a(s) (literally "satisfied") or, in some regions, repleto/a(s)lleno/a(s) is the most common adjective that means "full" in Spanish, as we see in the following example:

 

Estoy lleno. No puedo comer más.

I'm full. I can't eat any more. 

 

This adjective might also be used with the verb sentirse (to feel):

 

y para mantenerte y sentirte lleno.

and to stay and feel full.

Caption 29, Natalia de Ecuador Alimentos para el desayuno

 Play Caption

 

This brings us to a popular Spanish saying that is reminiscent of the English idiom "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach": 

 

Barriga llena, corazón contento.

Full belly, happy heart.

Caption 36, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

To learn a lot more fun Spanish phrases, check out this lesson on Yabla's Top 10 Spanish Idioms and Their (Very Different!) English equivalents

 

We hope that this lesson has helped you to learn several ways to talk about hunger and thirst in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

banner4 PLACEHOLDER

You May Also Like