From head to toe: Body parts in Spanish

From head to toe: Body parts in Spanish

by Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Updated June 16, 2023

Words for Spanish anatomy aren’t just for doctors. Even beginner Spanish speakers should know how to refer to different body parts. Whether you need to explain your aches and pains at the pharmacy or just chat with your friend about a new haircut, Spanish anatomy will help you to speak with confidence. Let’s scan from head to toe our body and learn how its parts are called.

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Body parts in Spanish: The basics

Let’s start with some basic Spanish anatomy. Most classrooms and online Spanish lessons begin with the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. So why not kick off from there too? Even if you learn Spanish at home, try singing this classic song around the house today. You can even try the dance shown here. Plus a little bit of fun and exercise will also help your memory.

inner ear canal

Fun fact: In the Spanish song we swap the lyrics of “toes” for “feet” because the word for toes in Spanish is too long to sing. Dedos de pie or “toes” translates to “fingers of the feet”. How literal. 

Major body parts in Spanish

Beyond cabeza, hombros, rodilllas y pies here are a few other major body parts you should know. The words below complete our list of main body parts in Spanish anatomy.

toesdedos de pies

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Recall that Spanish nouns all have gendered articles (masculine el or feminine la). You can usually guess correctly based on the final vowel of the word. For example la cabeza matches the “a” or el brazo is masculine due to the “o”. The major exception to remember is for hands. A single hand is la mano. Both hands are las manos

Parts of the face in Spanish

After the main body parts in Spanish, it’s good to know the specific vocabulary for the face. We covered some of them in Spanish for our song. Here are some other parts of the face in Spanish anatomy.


Basic Spanish anatomy for making friends

Why do we need to know the body parts in Spanish? First, knowing Spanish anatomy is great for conversation. When you hang out with native Spanish-speaking friends, you can refer to body parts in regular conversation. Knowing your body parts in Spanish will help you to be social and sound natural.

Here are some informal phrases to use with friends.

  • El techo de este bar es bajito, ten cuidado con tu cabeza. – The ceiling in this bar is low, be careful of your head.
  • ¡Que muletas tan padres! ¿Qué te pasó a tu pierna? – Cool crutches! What happened to your leg?
  • ¿El sol te molesta los ojos? Toma, te presto mis gafas de sol. – Does the sun bother your eyes? Here, borrow my sunglasses.

Spanish body parts for staying health

Spanish anatomy is also critically important when you feel poorly. This is especially true for students who study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. The immersion experience develops your Spanish language skills quickly. It also puts you in a vulnerable position in the first weeks until your Spanish is up to speed. Knowing basic Spanish anatomy will allow you to speak to your host family when you are ill, find medicine from a pharmacy, and visit a doctor to get proper healthcare.  

  • Necesito un dentista. Me duele el diente. – I need a dentist. My tooth hurts.
  • Necesito paracetamol. Me duele la cabeza. – I need paracetamol. My head hurts.
  • Necesito ir al hospital. Me lastimé la pierna en la práctica de fútbol. – I need to go to the hospital. I hurt my leg at soccer practise.

Time to practice!

From making friends to staying healthy, knowing your body parts in Spanish will make you feel confident. It’s another set of important words to add to your Spanish vocabulary. Now that you are equipped with a brand new set of words, get out there and have fun practicing them!

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Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Turkish. Her consulting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.

Alison Maciejewski Cortez

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