I’m Mariana, from Spring Spanish, and I think I speak for all Latina women (and men) when I say that we loooooove getting compliments! We might not always know how to react to them well… But yes, a nice cumplido (compliment) can really be the key to unlocking a Latino/a heart… and not only while flirting!
Compliments can also help you get better service at a restaurant or in a shop… or make your cuñada (sister-in-law) instantly like you at your first family dinner. So, today you’re going to learn the top 20 compliments Latinos love to hear… Using them will make you instantly liked by your Latino friends, lovers, and family.
1. Complimenting your crush or significant other
Whether it’s Día de San Valentín (Valentine’s Day) or just any day, if you want to tell that special person how nice they look or how good-looking they are, you may say:
¡Qué guapa/guapo! ¡Te ves espectacular!
(You look very nice! You look spectacular!)
¡Gracias! ¡Qué lindo!
(Thank you! That’s very nice of you!)
(You are very pretty!)
(Do you think so? Thank you!)
Nunca había visto ojos tan bonitos como los tuyos!
(I had never seen eyes as pretty as yours!)
¡Me encanta tu sonrisa!
(I love your smile!)
¡Tú también eres muy guapo!
(You are very handsome too!)
¡Obvio! Caen rendidas a mis pies.
(Obviously! They (women) fall at my feet.)
OR… if you don’t want to exaggerate that much, just use ONE of them.
¡Qué guapa/guapo! is an example of a chunk you may learn by heart. Literally, it means “how hot ” or “how good-looking”, but it is more often used as a synonym of “you look very nice”.
If you learn this chunk by heart, as a whole, not only will you use it correctly every single time without even worrying about knowing the rules behind it, but you will also sound like a native speaker because guess what? We use it very often!
If you want to learn more chunks like this one, why don’t you download our free Spanish Dating Chunks cheat sheet It gives you a list of the most common Spanish chunks you’ll need while you’re on a date or when talking to your significant other in a relationship!
2. Complimenting someone’s cooking skills
Whether you are at a restaurant and want to compliment the chef, or whether you want to say you truly enjoyed the dish cooked by your partner or your partner’s abuelita (grannie), these are the compliments you may use:
- ¡Esto está delicioso! (This is very tasty!)
- ¡Qué cosa tan rica! (What a delicious thing!)
- ¡Esto está exquisito! (This is really tasty!)
- ¡Nunca había probado algo tan rico! (I had never tried something this tasty!)
- ¡Felicitaciones al chef! (Shout out to the chef!)
Sometimes, especially when the chef happens to be the owner of the place, they may come out of the kitchen to thank you for the compliment and, perhaps, gift you something, como un postre o una bebida (like a dessert or a drink). This is obviously not a rule, but it might happen! If it does, ¡qué suerte tienes! (lucky you!)
Now, seguro ya sabes (you probably already know) that food is very important for Latino families. So, if you compliment someone’s cooking skills, they will probably offer you more. Therefore, be prepared to gain some weight or to feel stuffed by the end of the day!
3. Complimenting somebody’s clothes
It’s hard not to tell someone when you like something they’re wearing, right? But what should you say in Spanish if that’s the case? Here are some options:
- ¡Me gusta tu corbata! (I like your tie!)
- ¡Qué bonito vestido! (What a nice dress!)
- ¡Qué chido tu saco! (Your blazer is really cool!)
Another set of chunks that is very useful to compliment how someone looks is:
- ¡Qué bien te queda ese color! (That color suits you very well!)
- ¡Qué elegancia la de Francia! (Lit., How elegant France is!)
¡Qué elegancia la de Francia! is yet another chunk you should learn by heart because you can’t imagine how often it is used and, as you can probably tell, saying “How elegant France is” doesn’t make a lot of sense if you try to translate it into English! This is just a word play that means “you look stunning”.
Now, when you make someone a compliment about their clothes, in addition to gracias, people may also respond using either of these chunks:
- ¡Cuando quieras! (Lit.: Whenever you like!)
- ¡A la orden! (Lit.: At your command!)
Both chunks are used when the other person is sort of offering to lend you the garment you complimented.
4. Complimenting someone’s job
Another situation where compliments come in handy is at work…
If a colleague or someone you supervise did a great job, you may say:
- ¡Excelente trabajo! (Great job!)
- ¡Me encantó tu traducción! (I loved your translation!) — My heart jumps every time someone says this to me!
- ¡Magnífico evento! (Wonderful event!) — This one is especially used to compliment the committee that organized some sort of event, like a party or a conference.
- ¡Qué buen video! (What a good video!)
Now, everyone loves compliments, but what if they just don’t deserve that compliment… and you want to complain about, say, bad behavior or bad service? Click here and let my colleague Cory show you how you can complain in Spanish respectfully and get the treatment you deserve.