7. Asking for recommendations


The Spanish verb for “to suggest” is sugerir, which has the “-ge“, almost jota sound, in the middle and is irregular. The verb for “to recommend”, meanwhile, is recomendar. Much easier to say, although it too has irregular tendencies.

Pulsa aquí para ver la conjugación

recomendar present

recomendar (present tense)

Haz click para información importante

For the purposes of ordering at a restaurant, you really only need to know the second person informal, which means “recomendar” isn’t a key verb. If you want to be more polite, you could use the conditional form instead of the present tense:

¿Qué recomendarías [pronounced: rec-om-end-ar-ee-ahs]? (What would you recommend?)

But since it’s a bit of a mouthful and we haven’t got to that form in these lessons, the examples will not use it. Also, in general, the object pronoun is spoken in Spanish, when in English we might omit it.

The pronunciation of “recomiendas” is: rec-om-eeend-ahs.

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¿Qué me recomiendas?

 

… is how you can ask for a recommendation for yourself.

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¿Qué nos recomiendas?

 

If you’re speaking on behalf of yourself, your partner and/or the rest of the family.

 

question

¿Qué?
vs ¿Cuál?

 

There is a difference and it’s important…

Qué (what) is often the question word when in English “which” is used for choices.

Pulsa para ver ejemplos

  • ¿Qué
    marisco me recomiendas?
  • ¿Qué
    vino nos recomiendas?
  • ¿Qué
    plato me recomiendas de primero?

To be more specific, a phrase we saw at the end of “How to ask for items?” — ¿Qué tipo de…

Más ejemplos

  • ¿Qué tipo de pescado nos recomiendas?
  • ¿Qué tipo de vino recomiendas con la carne?
  • ¿Qué tipo de postres recomiendas para un diabético?

To ask “What’s better?”, cuál (which) is the question word.

Haz click

  • ¿Cuál
    es mejor? (la carne o el pescado)
  • ¿Cuál
    es mejor? (el vino de Galicia o de Valencia)
  • ¿Cuál
    es mejor? (el queso de cabra o el queso de vaca)

Cuál is also the how you ask about the specialty, soup of the day, first course, etc.

Haz click

  • ¿Cuál es la especialidad de la casa?
  • ¿Cuál es la sopa del día?
  • ¿Cuáles son los primeros platos otra vez?

Watch out

¿Has observado el uso de ser?

Pulsa aquí para leer más

Have you noticed the use of ser for these situations? That’s because we’re talking about the food and wine in general terms, even if they are seasonal and temporary by nature. So again, remember: “ser” for before the food arrives at the table.

 

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After asking for a recommendation, the waiter will then describe the various dishes and offers his or her sugerencias (suggestions).

Ejemplos:

  • La especialidad de la casa es…
  • Nuestras especialidades son…
  • Hoy tenemos un pescado muy fresco, rico, etc.
  • Hoy recomendamos…

The words and language used, however, can vary depending on the type of restaurant. In the video and quizzes section there are clips to help you get used to the speed of Spanish speech, which will improve your comprehension, more than any lesson ever can.

When the moment arrives to make your choice, you’ll need to be familiar with this grammar point, which also looks at demonstrative adjectives (this wine or that beer or that whisky way over there [in the cellar]).

Take a moment to review the lesson

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