Use the present tense in Spanish to order a coffee and make your life simpler. Forget about formalities, subjunctive forms or complicated polite phrases. In this article I will teach you how to order a coffee using simple phrases in the present tense. You can use this phrases to order a coffee and a medialuna in Buenos Aires or a coffee and a sandwich in Cuba, use them anywhere.
The present tense in Spanish
First thing you need to know is the conjugation for present tense in Spanish of the following verbs: tener (to have), querer (to want) y pedir (to order). None on these three verbs are regular, so let’s review their conjugations in the present tense below:
- (yo) tengo
- (tú) tienes / (vos) tenés
- (él, ella, usted) tiene
- (nosotros/as) tenemos
- (ellos/ellas/ustedes) tienen
- (yo) quiero
- (tú) quieres / (vos) querés
- (él, ella, usted) quiere
- (nosotros/as) queremos
- (ellos/ellas/ustedes) quieren
- (yo) pido
- (tú) pides / (vos) pedís
- (él, ella, usted) pide
- (nosotros/as) pedimos
- (ellos/ellas/ustedes) piden
Useful phrases to order a coffee in Spanish
Quiero un café
After our little present tense Spanish conjugation practice, we are ready to form phrases. Here is the most useful and simplest phrase: “Quiero un café”. Students have asked me before if this phrase is not impolite or rude. It is not impolite or rude, you are just saying that you want a coffee and that is perfectly fine. Would you like to make it politer? You can say “Quiero un café, por favor” or, if you want to take it to the next level, “Quisiera un café, por favor”.
Te pido un café
The closest translation of this phrase in English would be “I want to order a coffee (from you)” or “I ask you for a coffee”. In Spanish we use the verb “pedir” (to ask for) as a synonym of “ordenar” (to order). If you prefer to be formal, you should say “Le pido un café”. Another common phrase is “Quiero pedir un café” which means “I want to order a coffee”.
Ordering coffee for two
Queremos dos cafés
Let’s say you are in a coffee shop with a friend and both of you want a coffee. You can order for both of you by saying “Queremos dos cafés”. Why ‘queremos’? Because when there are two people, ‘yo’ becomes ‘nosotros’ and the conjugation in the present tense of querer-nosotros is ‘queremos’. Make it even better by adding a “por favor” at the end.
Te pedimos dos cafés
Another way of ordering coffee in Spanish for you and your friend is to say “Te pedimos dos cafés”. If you prefer to be formal, you should say “Le pedimos dos cafés”. Again, change the conjugation of pedir-yo for pedir-nosotros when you speak for two or more of you.
Other useful phrases
In case you are not sure if a place sells coffee, ask the question “¿Tienen café?“. We usually use the plural pronoun ‘ustedes’ for these types of questions. For example, “Do you have sandwiches?” = “¿Tienen sándwiches?”. The answer will be in plural too: “Sí, tenemos” or “No, no tenemos”. You can also ask “¿Venden café?” which means “Do you sell coffee?”.
Te pido otro café, por favor
Want a second coffee? Use the phrase “te pido otro café, por favor” to order another one. If you prefer to be formal, you should say “le pido otro café, por favor”. When you order a second coffee for you and your friend as well, say “te pedimos otro café, por favor” or, formally, “le pedimos otro café, por favor”.
Quiero un café y ellos quieren un jugo y una chocolatada
Sometimes you might need to order for others who do not drink coffee, like your kids, for example. In this case, use the following sentence formula “Quiero un café y ellos quieren (say what they want here)”. For example “Quiero un café y ellos quieren un jugo y una chocolatada”. If you are with a woman or girl, say “Quiero un café y ella quiere (say what she wants here)”. Or if you are with a man or boy, say “Quiero un café y él quiere (say what he wants here)”.
To order a coffee using the present tense in Spanish should not be complicated or scary. Do not worry about being impolite or using the wrong conjugation, just go ahead and order that delicious coffee that you deserve. The fact that you are trying to learn and speak Spanish shows that you have respect for other cultures and that is fantastic (¡fantástico!).
Please let me know if this post was useful and if you put any of these phrases into practice. Comment below!
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And one more thing
Would you like to practice your Spanish with a real dialogue of two Argentinians in a coffee shop? I have created this brand Spanish reading passage that will help you improve your coffee shop talk. Check it out!