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Compliments in Spanish

When it comes to bringing good vibes and positive energy, there's nothing better than a nice compliment. In fact, we use compliments when we want to express respect, approval, or admiration for someone. With that being said, let's learn some easy ways to express compliments in Spanish.

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How do you say 'compliment' in Spanish?

First things first. There are various terms you can use for the word compliment in Spanish. The following are your options:

- Cumplido

- Elogio

- Halago

- Piropo

 

Keep in mind, however, that the word piropo is mostly used to indicate a short sentence that is concerned with the beauty of a woman:

 

En cambio vos no cambiaste nada;

On the other hand you haven't changed a bit;

estás más hermosa que nunca.

you're more beautiful than ever.

Caption 56, Yago - 11 Prisión

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Expressing congratulations before compliments in Spanish

Very often, compliments are preceded by some form of congratulations. Let's see that in action:

 

Los felicito, muchachos; eso está muy bien.

I congratulate you, kids; that's great.

Caption 36, Tu Voz Estéreo - Feliz Navidad

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Enhorabuena, Amaya... -Muchas gracias. -...por tu primera venta.

Congratulations, Amaya... -Thanks a lot. -...on your first sale.

Caption 77, Santuario para burros - Tienda solidaria

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Good job!

Do you know how to say 'good job' in Spanish? Let's see how to express one of the most common compliments:

 

Te felicito; buen trabajo, ¿eh?

I congratulate you; good job, huh?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava - 47 Esperanzas

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Debo admitir que hiciste un excelente trabajo, realmente.

I must admit that you did an excellent job, really.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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Hello beautiful in Spanish

There are many ways to compliment a woman on her looks. Let's see some examples of compliments for women in Spanish:

 

Hola, guapa.

Hello, beautiful.

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3

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Pasa. -Qué bonita que estás, ¿eh?

Come in. -How pretty you look, huh?

Caption 1, Yago - 12 Fianza

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Yo jamás dejaría plantada a una mujer tan guapa como esta.

I would never stand up a woman as beautiful as this one.

Caption 67, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capitulo 5

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Compliments with the verb gustar

The verb gustar (to like) is very useful when it comes to express compliments. Just like English, what you want to say is 'I like this of you':

 

Me gusta como sos. Me gusta tu pelo.

I like how you are. I like your hair.

Captions 80-81, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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You can also use similar verbs to express compliments in Spanish:

 

Es que me encanta cómo hablas.

It's just that I love the way you speak.

Caption 49, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2

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¡Hey! Adoro tu caminar

Hey! I adore your walking

Caption 34, Huecco - Dame Vida

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Encouraging in Spanish with compliments

There are lots of compliments you can use when you want to encourage someone. Teachers, for example, use these kinds of compliments often with their students:

 

Perfecto, chicos. Muy bien.

Perfect, guys. Very good.

Caption 57, Clase Aula Azul - El verbo parecer

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Qué + positive word

A very common way of expressing compliments in Spanish consists of using the word qué (what) followed by a positive word (most of the time an adjective):

 

¡Qué buen observador eres!

What a good observer you are!

Caption 30, Guillermina y Candelario - El Mar enamorado

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¡Pero qué lindo dibujito!

But what a nice little drawing!

¡Mateo, qué bien está dibujado, che!

Mateo, how well it's drawn, wow!

Captions 41-42, Yago - 4 El secreto

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Quiero que todo el mundo sea feliz y contento.

I want everyone to be happy and content.

¡Muy bien! Qué bonito, ¿mmm?

Very good! How nice, hmm?

Captions 34-35, Clase Aula Azul - Pedir deseos

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Indirect compliments

Sometimes, we can express compliments or flatter someone by saying good things about something that is connected to that person:

 

Ay, me encanta tu camiseta azul. Gracias.

Oh, I love your blue shirt. Thank you.

Captions 3-4, Español para principiantes - Los colores

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Si, si lo criaste vos, tiene que ser un buen pibe.

If, if you raised him, he must be a good kid.

Caption 33, Yago - 6 Mentiras

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And that's it for today. Try practicing some of these compliments in Spanish and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

 

¡Hasta la próxima!

Vocabulary

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Combining Verbs in Spanish - Part 1 - Infinitives

In Spanish, many useful expressions are formed by combining two verbs. This type of expression is called a perífrasis verbal (verbal periphrasis) and is formed by combining a conjugated verb with a verb in the infinitive (or a gerund or participle), sometimes with a linking word between the two. A verbal periphrasis helps us to express subtle aspects of a verb's action, for example, its beginning, ending, duration, progression, etc. Let's review some examples:

In one of our videos, Leire, the lead singer of the Spanish pop band, La Oreja de Van Gogh, uses a periphrasis to express the ending of an action with the verb acabar (to finish), the preposition de, and the verb llegar (to arrive):

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Acabamos de llegar al hotel.

We just arrived at the hotel.

Caption 3, La Oreja de Van Gogh - Recién llegados a México tras 12 horas de avión...

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Therefore, you can use acabar de + a wide variety of verbs to express the ending of an action. Some examples (for the first person singular) are acabo de comer (I just ate), acabo de salir (I just went out), acabo de decir (I just said), etc.

Similarly, you can combine the verb empezar (to begin), the preposition a, and a verb in the infinitive to express the beginning of an action:
 

Si nos comemos una seta de éstas, empezamos a ver aquí pitufos de colores

If we eat one of these mushrooms, we start to see colorful smurfs here

Captions 47-48, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 11

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To express repetition, you can use the verb volver (to go back), the preposition a, and a verb in the infinitive:
 

Si no te resulta, vuelve a empezar.

If it doesn't work for you, start over.

Caption 37, Alex Sandunga - Déjala

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Ya después me pasé a otra banda en la que... en la que volvimos a hacer covers.

Later on, I changed to another band in which... in which we did covers again.

Captions 49-50, Willy - Entrevista - Part 3

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To express intention, you can use querer (to want) and a verb in the infinitive:
 

Pero nosotros al decir en tu casa, nosotros queremos decir en la nuestra.

But we, in saying at your house, we mean at ours.

Caption 43, La Banda Chilanguense - El habla de México - Part 3

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The verb estar (to be), the preposition para, and a verb in the infinitive can be used to express intention as well:
 

No estoy para perder todo el día, ¿me entendiste?

I'm not up for wasting the whole day, do you get it?

Captions 41-42, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 8

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Pues claro, aquí estamos para ayudarte a encontrar lo que tú necesitas.

Well of course, we're here to help you find what you need.

Captions 11-12, Raquel y Marisa - Agente del concesionario

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In previous lessons, we explored the use of verbs like deber (to have to, must), tener (to have), and haber (to have) to express duty, necessity, or obligation. These are additional examples of verbal periphrases that sometimes employ prepositions or pronouns such as de or que as a link and other times stand on their own. Plenty more examples of verbal periphrases can be found in the lessons Deber / Deber De + InfinitiveHaber + De + Infinitive: Something you should learn, and Imperative Constructions

 

To conclude, we'll leave you with one more example that utilizes the verb tener (to have), the preposition que, and the infinitive buscar (to look for):
 

Tenía que buscarme la vida, ¿sabes?

I had to make a living, you know?

Caption 56, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 3

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That's all for today. Thank you for reading this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

 

Combining Verbs in Spanish - Part 2

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Grammar Verbs

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