There are generally no hosts or hostesses in Spain, which is why there is no word to differentiate them from waiters or waitresses. No busboys either. “Camarero/a“, depending on gender, is what you call your server. If you have no idea a table is feminine and a fork is masculine in Spanish, read the grammar point on the topic before continuing. Then come back to learn that while the concept of a host or hostess doesn’t generally exist in Spain, it’s still a good idea to wait to be seated.
One of the waiters (camareros) will eventually ask:
Buenos días / Buenas tardes, ¿cuántos son?
You could reply:
But if your greeter had spoken English, he or she probably would have welcomed you with, “Hello. How many are you?” the “-h” closer to the “-ch” in Loch Ness than the one in help.
Somos dos, tres, cuatro…
… is the correct response in Spanish when asked “¿Cuántos son?” Make sure you write that down and repeat it, as “Somos” [pronounced: so-mOs], plus a number, is the first sentence you’ll speak at a restaurant.
Traducción literal: “We are two, three, four…”
Traducción correcta: Party of two, three, four…”
If the place is busy, you can ask…
¿Hay una mesa libre?
El camarero will either answer…
“No hay por ahora.”
“Sí, hay. Síganme.”
Meet the three “be’s” of Spanish:
The topic is discussed more in-depth here. Don’t jump ahead yet, however. Here is the first rule.
Estar is for current location
- Estoy en España este mes.
- Estamos en un restaurante.
- Están de vacaciones.
- hay (there is/are)
- había; hubo (there was/were)
- habrá (there will be)
- habría (there would be)
- ha habido (there has/have been)
- había habido (there had been)
- habría habido (there would have been)
Take the time to write down the first form “hay” [pronounced: eye]. It will come in handy in many situations as you will see in the upcoming lessons.
… is also the basis for the quintessential Spanish expression:
Es lo que hay
Sugerencia de Paco. Antes de leer la próxima lección: “How to order a meal“, pasa algunos minutos con el apartado de la gramática que explica más sobre ser, estar y haber. Memoriza sus conjugaciones e intenta comprender sus diferencias. Los tres verbos aparecerán en otras lecciones que te ayudarán a ver cuándo usar uno o el otro.
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Question 1 of 10
1. Question1 points
How will the waiter greet you?Correct
Question 2 of 10
2. Question1 points
How do you say, “Party of three” or “There are three of us” in SpanishCorrect
Question 3 of 10
3. Question1 points
The correct translation for, “Is there a table available?”Correct
Question 4 of 10
4. Question1 points
“Hay” is pronounced like…Correct
Question 5 of 10
5. Question1 points
“No hay por ahora” means…Correct
Question 6 of 10
6. Question1 points
“Follow me” in Spanish…Correct
Question 7 of 10
7. Question1 points
How many different verbs are there for “to be” in Spanish?Correct
Question 8 of 10
8. Question1 points
“Ser” is used to say where you are from.Correct
Question 9 of 10
9. Question1 points
“Estar” is used to say where you are at.Correct
Question 10 of 10
10. Question1 points
“There is / are…” in Spanish.Correct