top of page

Five Satisfying Phrases to Say in Spanish

Enough with the boring speak in Spanish. Pep up your speech in Spanish with these five phrases using slang.

Sound more like a native Spanish speaker with these five small yet important changes to expressions you already know. You’re guaranteed to sound more like a native when you use them.

1. Chamba

Instead of saying trabajo for a job or work, say chamba.

Me gusta mi chamba pero no me pagan bastante.

I like my job but they don’t pay me enough.

You can also use the verb form chambear instead of trabajar. Both mean to work.

El jefe me dijo que debo chambear este fin de semana.

The boss told me I must work this weekend.

2. Chismear

Instead of saying hablar, conversar, or charlar for chatting it up with a friend, use chismear.

Tenemos mucho de qué chismear cuando nos veamos esta noche.

We have a lot to gossip about when we see each other tonight.

Chismear also means to gossip, but it's not always malicious. It means more just to chat with friends about the latest news. The noun form is chisme, gossip.

3. Chela

Instead of cerveza, use chela. You can think of it like saying brewski instead of beer.

¿Qué te parece si nos reunimos para unas chelas más tarde?

What do you think about meeting up for some beers later?

You can also use the verb form chelear to mean to throw back some beers.

Vamos a chelear al nuevo restobar en el centro.

Let's go throw back some beers at the new bar downtown.

4. Ponerse las pilas

Instead of animarse or moverse for get going or get moving, say ponerse las pilas.

Ponte las pilas si quieres llegar a tiempo.

Get moving if you want to get there on time.

Pilas mean batteries, so to ponerse las pilas is to put in some batteries, like the Energizer bunny.

5. Cambiar el chip

Instead of cambiar la mente, say cambiar el chip.

Mira, estos días hay que cambiar el chip sobre el género.

Look, these days we have to change our perspective about gender.

Cambiar el chip literally means to change the chip, as in the chip in your brain.

Join my private Facebook group Conversando en español to practice with fellow Spanish learners and native Spanish speakers.


Jackie Donaldson is the founder and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. She's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.

bottom of page