The Most Basic Vocabulary in Spanish that Surprisingly No One Knows

Basic Vocabulary in Spanish Across the World

Vocabulary in Spanish is diverse. Spanish is the official language for 20 countries. There are also other countries, like the United States, where Spanish is spoken as a second language by a large community. Therefore, around 500 million people in the world speak Spanish. Is it possible for all those speakers to speak exactly the same Spanish variant? Maybe on another planet, but not on this one! 

Argentina isn’t the only country that speaks “differently”. Every Hispanic country has its own Spanish variant or variants. I say variants in plural because most of the time people who live in different provinces or states of one country don’t speak the same way.

All languages have different variants. The English from England isn’t the same as the one in New Zealand. A person born in the North-East of the United States doesn’t speak like a person from the South of that same country. Sometimes words change, accents change, even the slang might change. Therefore, we could be all year long making comparisons when it comes to vocabulary.

Comparing Spanish From Europe vs America

The most common comparison teachers make when it comes to Spanish is that between Europe and America. In this case, we will compare Spain’s vocabulary to Argentina’s vocabulary. 

For those of you who have read Spanish books from Spain, some of these words might be familiar. But now is the time to learn how to say these words in Argentina. 

Please don’t feel frustrated or overwhelmed. Making comparisons gives you a better idea of what to expect when you travel to a Hispanic country. There is no need to learn all these words by heart. 

I will categorize the vocabulary into 5 groups: 1) food and beverage, 2) items in the house, 3) clothing, 4) stores and buildings, and 5) others. 

Food vocabulary in Spanish

La fresaLa frutilla
El melocotónEl durazno
La piñaEl ananá
El plátanoLa banana
El aguacateLa palta
El pimientoEl morrón
El cacahuateEl maní
El maízEl choclo
Las palomitas de maízLos pochoclos
La goma de mascarEl chicle
El zumoEl jugo
El batidoEl licuado
La cañaLa pinta
La patataLa papa

House words in Spanish

La neveraLa heladera
La piscinaLa pileta
El grifoLa canilla
El fregaderoLa pileta
Los fogonesLa hornalla
La encimeraLa mesada
El cojínEl almohadón
La cobijaLa manta

Clothes vocabulary in Spanish

La camisetaLa remera
La chaquetaLa campera
La faldaLa pollera
Los calcetinesLas medias
La bragaLa bombacha
El sosténEl corpiño
El brazaleteLa pulsera
Los pendientesLos aros

Stores and Buildings Vocabulary in Spanish List

La herboristeríaLa dietética
La charcuteríaLa fiambrería
El estancoLa tabaquería
El ayuntamientoLa municipalidad
La gasolineraLa estación de servicio
La autoescuelaLa escuela de manejo
La copisteríaLa fotocopiadora
La discotecaEl boliche

Other Words

El cocheEl auto
El autobúsEl colectivo
La cometaEl barrilete
El columpioLa hamaca
El hoyoEl pozo


Once you have an idea of these lexicon differences, it will be easier for you to engage in conversations with natives. Let’s see some examples. 

If you order pineapple juice in Spain, you’ll need to use the words “zumo” and “piña”. 

  • Quiero un zumo de piña.

In Argentina you have to say:

  • Quiero un jugo de ananá.

If you want to buy a t-shirt and socks in Spain, you’ll need to use the words “camiseta” and “calcetines”.

  • Necesito una camiseta y calcetines. 

In Argentina you have to say:

  • Necesito una remera y medias. 

What do you think about this article? Leave a comment below. 

Learn More About Food and Shopping in Spanish!

Check out this amazing resource I created to help students feel confident when shopping at a supermarket in Spanish.

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