How to Write an Email in Spanish: Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
As a Spanish learner, it’s very likely that you will, sooner or later, have to write an email in Spanish.
Whether you need to keep in touch with an online friend, close an important deal, or just send an email greeting Spanish-speaking coworkers, there are specific phrases and expressions that you need to learn.
This post will cover both formal and informal messages so you can write the best emails in Spanish for every audience.
Are you taking a university program in Spanish? Are you eager to show people at your new job how friendly you can be? There are a few things you should know first.
There may well come a time in which you and your teachers and coworkers reach a first-name basis, but if you’re just getting to know them, it’s advisable to play it safe and keep things formal.
In Spanish emails, the level of formality that you choose for your message will be reflected in your choice of vocabulary (you wouldn’t end a formal email with “Kisses,” would you?), but also in the grammatical forms that you use to address your recipient.
In English, there is only one “you” form, no matter how familiar speakers are to each other or how formal they want to sound. In Spanish, on the other hand, people use usted instead of the more casual tú to show respect and set a formal tone.
But that’s not the difficult part. When we use usted, the verbs and possessive adjectives change from the first person singular to the third person singular. Let’s see it with an example from an email in Spanish.
Estás invitado al evento del miércoles. Puedes traer a tu pareja. Te envío mi dirección.
Está invitado al evento del miércoles. Puede traer a su pareja. Le envío la dirección.
You’re invited to the party on Wednesday. You can bring your partner. I’m attaching the address below.
How you start an email in Spanish will depend on how much you know about your addressee, and what degree of familiarity exists between you two. If you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should start your letter with:
A quien corresponda: (To whom it may concern,)
(Spanish speakers use a colon, not a comma, after the name of the addressee).
Sometimes, you know the name of the other person but you don’t think it’s appropriate to use their first name. This is usually because it’s the first time writing to this person, or because there is a hierarchical relationship between both parties.
Whatever the reason, if you want to avoid sounding too casual, start your email with:
Estimado señor López:(Esteemed Mr. López)
A big difference between English and Spanish is that Spanish adjectives change according to the gender of the person you’re talking about. So, if you’re writing to a woman, say Estimada señora López instead.
One of our top Spanish teachers, Juan, says he always makes his students focus on a curious difference between English and Spanish: capitalization. In Spanish, since señor is a common noun in the middle of a sentence, it is not capitalized. You should use the uppercase only if the word is at the beginning of a sentence. English, in contrast, always capitalizes the word “Mister” or “Mr”.
Also useful to know is that Spanish titles, just like English titles, are usually abbreviated in Spanish emails.
Señor – Sr. (Mr.)
Señora – Sra. (Mrs.)
Señorita – Srta. (Miss)
Doctor – Dr. (Doctor – masculine)
Doctora – Dra. (Doctor – feminine)
In Spanish, abbreviations always go with an uppercase letter, no matter their position in a sentence. So, you should say “Estimado Sr. Lopez” or “Concuerdo completamente con lo que mencionó la Dra. Gonzalez.”
Now let’s imagine that you have been working in a company (or studying a course!) for a few weeks. If you feel you’ve reached a point where you can call a person by their first name but you still want to keep things a bit formal, you can use the word for “dear,” as in these examples from Spanish emails:
Querida Matilde: Espero que tus cosas estén bien. (Dear Matilde, I hope everything is going well.)
Querido Julio: Gracias por enviarme la información con tanta puntualidad. (Dear Julio, thank you for sending me all the information with such punctuality.)
In conclusion, in order to find the best beginning for your emails in Spanish you will need to decide what is the most appropriate register for your communications, based on how formal or informal you think you can be with the person you’re writing to. Whichever greeting you choose, we assure you your Spanish coworkers will appreciate your efforts.
While you are at it, see why our teacher Anna insists on using Spanish in multilingual work environments.
In English, it’s very common to include a farewell before signing off our emails. We say things like “Best regards,” “Yours sincerely,” or “Have a nice day” to end our message in a nice, friendly note. Ending an email in Spanish is no different. All you have to do is decide whether you will go for a formal or an informal farewell (something that should be pretty clear at this point anyway!), and choose the most appropriate Spanish email greeting from the table below:
Formal farewell greetings for your emails in Spanish:
|Gracias de antemano
|Thank you in advance
|Muchas gracias por su ayuda
|Thank you very much for your help
Informal farewell greetings for your emails in Spanish:
|Nos vemos pronto
|See you soon
|Saludos a tu familia
|Send my love to your family
|Que tengas un lindo día / fin de semana
|Have a nice day / weekend
Still not sure you could write a formal email in Spanish? Read the example below so you can see how everything we’ve said so far is applied in a real business letter. We have also highlighted key vocabulary.
Estimada señora Andrea (1):
He leído su anuncio en el que solicitan un profesor de español bilingüe.
Soy de Madrid, España, y tengo más de 10 años de experiencia trabajando tanto con niños como con adultos.
Me gustaría tener una entrevista con usted (2) para contarle cuáles han sido mis logros como maestro y para compartir miradas sobre la enseñanza de idiomas.
Le adjunto mi Currículum Vitae y una carta de recomendación.
También añado mi número de contacto: +34 637 13 97 16
Saludos cordiales (3),
José Luis Amador
(1) Start your email with a formal greeting. Use either estimado/a (esteemed), or querido/a (dear.)
(2) Use the formal usted instead of tú.
(3) Finish your email with a formal farewell sentence.
Useful vocabulary for formal emails in Spanish:
He leído su anuncio: I’ve read your ad.
Me gustaría tener una entrevista con usted: I would like to have an interview with you.
Carta de recomendación: recommendation letter.
Need to include more specific phrases related to the workplace? Before you move on to the next section, make sure you save our blog on business Spanish idioms.
If you’re writing to friends and family, the first thing you’ll need to do is get rid of the formal usted and just use the casual tú form. Remember that this will affect the verbs and grammatical words that you put next to the pronoun. For example, instead of saying “he leído su anuncio” (third person singular), like in the example above, you would say “he leído tu anuncio” (second person singular).
Having said that, keep reading to find out the best greetings and endings for your informal emails in Spanish.
Are you looking for original Spanish greetings for emails to surprise your friends and family? Try one of these colorful expressions:
¿Cómo está mi prima favorita?
How is my favourite cousin doing?
Buen día, guapo.
Good morning, handsome.
Ey, familia, ¿cómo están?
Hey, y’all, how’s everyone doing?
Hola a todos, espero que estén pasando un domingo increíble.
Hello everyone, I hope you’re having an amazing Sunday.
Thinking about a nice ending for an email in Spanish is a great way to have a bit of fun with the words of the language you’re learning. Instead of saying Nos vemos (see you), why not try a more dynamic, upbeat greeting? These are just a few suggestions from our Spanish teacher, Juan. You can add your first name in a different line below any of these and you’re good to go!
Chau, bebé, espero que te quedes pensando en mí.
Bye, babe, I hope you think of me after reading this.
Espero verte pronto. Todo es mejor cuando estamos juntos.
I hope to see you soon. Everything’s better when we are together.
Hasta tu próxima carta. Mi mejor consuelo hasta que pueda escuchar tu risa otra vez.
I’ll be waiting for your next letter, my greatest comfort until I can hear your laughter again.
So, you still want to see how the whole thing would look? No hay problema. Read this real example of a Spanish informal email and memorize the key words and phrases we have highlighted for you.
Hola, prima hermosa (1). ¿Cómo va todo por allá?
Te escribo para contarte que el 16 de julio llego a Madrid. ¿A dónde me vas a llevar? Me acabo de separar así que no me vendría mal un poco de diversión.
¿Me das tu número de teléfono así te escribo ni bien llegue?
Muero de ganas de verte (2).
- Start with an informal greeting. Hola, prima hermosa = Hello, my beautiful cousin.
- Think of a nice ending for your email in Spanish. Muero de ganas de verte = I’m dying to see you!
- Sign your email off with your first name.
Useful vocabulary for informal emails in Spanish:
¿Cómo va todo por allá?
How are things over there?
¿A dónde me vas a llevar?
Where will you take me?
No me vendría mal un poco de diversión.
I could use a bit of fun.
¿Me das tu número de teléfono así te escribo ni bien llegue?
Can you give me your phone number so I can text you as soon as I get there?
As you can see, emails in Spanish can get as formal, friendly, or creative as you want them to. If you need an extra with an especially difficult email, don’t worry. We are here to help. Our native Spanish tutors can prepare a tailor-made syllabus based on your needs so you can become an expert in email writing. Contact us now and we’ll pair you up with a qualified Spanish teacher so you can wow both your boss and your pen friends with your writing skills! Try a free lesson, no strings attached. We’re sure you’ll want to come back for more!