How to say ‘good afternoon’ in Spanish

Are you wondering how to say ‘good afternoon’ in Spanish? Aren’t you sure about when you should start using ‘Buenas noches’ instead ‘Buenas tardes’? Pay attention to our explanation. Here are the greetings for different times of the day in Spanish, along with their meanings in English:

Buenos días (good morning)

“Buenos días” is used to greet someone in the morning, typically from sunrise until around noon. It’s a polite and common way to start the day.

Time to use it: 5 am to 1-2 pm

Buenas tardes (good afternoon / good evening)

“Buenas tardes” is used to greet someone in the afternoon, generally from noon until shortly before dinner. It’s a polite way to acknowledge the time of day. It may vary depending on the season. In summer it’s perfectly correct to say ‘Buenas tardes’ at 8 pm if there is still some sunlight. While in the winter you can say ‘Buenas noches’ if it’s completely dark at this same time (8 pm).

Time to use it: 2 pm to around 8 pm

Buenas noches (good evening / good night)

“Buenas noches” is used to greet someone in the evening, from late afternoon until nightfall. It’s also used as a general greeting once it becomes dark. It has a meaning equivalent to ‘Good evening’ in English

“Buenas noches” can also be used to say goodbye or wish someone a good night when parting ways or going to sleep.

Time to use it: 8-9 pm to anytime after midnight (especially for late farewell)

Here’s a table summarizing these greetings:

Spanish GreetingEnglish Meaning
Buenos díasGood Morning
Buenas tardesGood Afternoon
Buenas nochesGood Evening / Good Night

Please note that “Buenas noches” serves a dual purpose, as it can be used both as a greeting and a farewell depending on the context.

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