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“Please” in Spanish: All the Expressions You Need to Know

Are you in need of a favor from a Spanish-speaking friend? Do you highly value politeness? Great news – you’ve come to the right place!

“Please” is a key term in any language, but Spanish speakers love to be polite. Therefore, learning how to say “please” in Spanish is a key part of your Hispanic education.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways to say “please” in Spanish. We’ll explain the basics and then dive into informal, formal, and over-the-top ways to say “please.” We’ll also cover some other polite expressions you should have up your sleeve.

How to say “please” in Spanish

Saying “please” in Spanish is quite simple. You just need to say two little words: por favor. Easy enough, right?

This section will explain what these two words mean and when to use them.

Breaking down “por favor”

As we mentioned, in Spanish, please is made up of two words. The first one is por, which can translate as for or by. The second one is favor, meaning favor. So por favor literally translates into “by favor”!

When to say “please” in Spanish

Por favor works pretty much the same way as “please” does in English. From asking your dad to pass the salt at the dinner table to asking a stranger for directions, por favor is quite versatile.

In broad terms, we use these two words to make questions and requests more polite.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

  • ¿Me pasas la sal, por favor? (Can you pass the salt, please?)
  • Levántate, por favor. (Please stand up.)

Informal vs. formal ways to say “please” in Spanish

Of course, there are various ways to say “please” in Spanish. These vary depending on the context (formal or informal) and can be longer or shorter. We’ll look at some of these in this section.


As you may know, there are three different forms for the second person (you) in Spanish. These are used for different levels of formality and in different regions. The formal form of you across all Spanish-speaking countries is usted. When it comes to informal speech, there are two options: and vos. The latter one is used only in some Latin American countries, such as Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile.

These levels of formality can be transferred to when we say please. Although por favor has only one form, we can change the conjugation of the verb in your request or question to reflect the level of formality.

Let’s look at an informal request for now. We’ll go over a couple of formal options in the next section.

  • ¿Me lo repites, por favor? (Could you repeat, please?)

This sentence uses the conjugation for and vos, the two informal forms of singular “you” in Spanish.

If you want to be even more informal, you can contract the phrase por favor by combining the two words. The result is porfa. There are also other variants: porfi, porfis, and even por favorcito.

Porfa, porfi/s, and por favorcito are similar to “pretty please” in English, and you’ll hear them in conversations between friends or family. You are not likely to hear them in serious or formal settings.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Mamá, ¿me compras un chocolate, porfis? (Mom, can you buy me some chocolate, pretty please?)
  • ¿Me prestas un boli, porfa? (Can I please borrow a pen?)


If you think the situation calls for a more formal request, we’ll cover some options here.

We often use the verb poder (can/be able to) to be more polite and formal in Spanish, similar to how we use “can” or “could” in English. You can conjugate the verb in the usted form (the formal version of “you” singular in Spanish) to make your request more formal.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

  • ¿Podría abrir la ventana, por favor? (Could you please open the window?)
  • ¿Puede ayudarme, por favor? (Can you please help me?)

Other ways to say “please” in Spanish

Although por favor is the most popular way to say “please” in Spanish, there are some alternatives. We’ll cover four of these below.

Haz el favor de (Do the favor of)

This phrase is used to ask for something more explicitly. It is also often heard by children or teenagers when their parents remind them of chores or their teachers tell them off.

An alternative version would be hazme el favor de (do me the favor of).

Let’s see it in action:

  • Hazme el favor de ordenar tu habitación. (Do me the favor of tidying up your room.)
  • ¿Me haces el favor de ir a buscar leche? (Can you do me the favor of getting some milk?)

Si no te importa (If you don’t mind)

Si no te importa is a great way to be extra polite when making a request. It helps you make sure you are not inconveniencing the other person.

In addition to si no te importa, you could also say si no te molesta (if it doesn’t bother you) or ¿Te molestaría…? (Would you mind?).

Let’s look at some examples:

  • ¿Si no te importa, puedes cerrar la ventana? (If you don’t mind, can you close the window?)
  • ¿Te molestaría si fumo aquí? (Would you mind if I smoke here?)

Sería genial si (It’d be great if…)

If you want to be less direct, sería genial si is the way to go.

For example:

  • Sería genial si recoges tu ropa del suelo. (It’d be great if you picked up your clothes.)
  • Sería genial si pudieras ir a buscar a Estela del cole. (It’d be great if you could pick Estela up from school.)

Agradecer (to appreciate)

We usually appreciate something after it is done, but you can also use agraceder to request something politely. Saying you appreciate that something gets done softens your request.

Here are some examples:

  • Agradecería tu ayuda con la limpieza (I’d appreciate your help with the cleaning.)
  • Te agradecería que bajaras el volumen. (I’d appreciate it if you could turn the volume down.)

Other ways to be polite in Spanish

There are plenty of polite phrases you can add to your vocabulary. In this section, we’ll go over the most important ones. We’ll teach you how to “thank you,” “you’re welcome” and “sorry” in Spanish. Who knows? You might need them all in the same conversation!

“Thank you” in Spanish

You might be familiar with gracias (thank you). However, there are many other ways to show your appreciation in Spanish.

You can use mil gracias (literally, a thousand thanks) if you are extremely thankful. Me alegraste el día (you made my day) is a great way to make someone feel appreciated. And realmente lo aprecio (I really appreciate it) is a more formal option.

Click here for more ways to say “thank you” in Spanish. There are so many!

“You’re welcome” in Spanish

You can use four simple expressions to say “you’re welcome” in Spanish. They are short and sweet and can go a long way. These are de nada (you’re welcome), no hay de qué (don’t mention it/no problem), no es nada (it’s no big deal), and es un placer (my pleasure).

If you want to be a bit extra, you can say no tienes nada que agradecer (there’s nothing to thank) or para eso están los amigos (that’s what friends are for).

This article will give you the full rundown on how to say “you’re welcome” in Spanish.

“Sorry” in Spanish

If you made a mistake, the most common ways to apologize in Spanish are perdón (sorry) and lo siento (I’m sorry). You can also say perdóname (forgive me), a variant of perdón.

If you want to be a bit more formal or are just really sorry, there are plenty of other options. There is te/le pido disculpas (I apologize), no te imaginas cuánto lo siento (you can’t imagine how sorry I am), and lamento lo ocurrido (I’m sorry about what happened).

This article will teach you even more ways to say “sorry” in Spanish.

Bonus: idioms about favors

Before we wrap up this article, we wanted to leave you with two idioms that involve favors.

Un favor por otro favor

This idiom literally translates to “a favor for another favor.” It means that you do someone a favor under the understanding that they will pay you back with another favor at some point.

Hoy por mí, mañana por ti

Literally “today for you, tomorrow for me,” this phrase is commonly used among friends. Though it sounds as if they’re saying you owe them, it just means that friendship is a two-way street, and there will eventually come a time when you’ll offer them help. They are simply doing what you would do for them, too.

How to say “please” in Spanish – Final thoughts

“Please” is one of the key terms to learn when diving into a new language. Not to mention how useful it can be when traveling! It’s definitely a big part of our vocabulary.

Could you tell us what you thought of this article, porfis? We hope you found it helpful and that you learned something new!

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