16 clever compliments in Spanish

16 clever compliments in Spanish

by Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Updated June 23, 2023

Learning how to compliment someone in Spanish goes a long way if you wish to fit in and make fast friends. If you’re thinking of moving to Spain or to a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America, this article will come in handy.

Spanish is a beautiful language and offers a wide variety of compliments — some more clever or flattering than others.  So, what are the best ways to compliment in Spanish? For a friend, you might want to say something about how nice they look. For a coworker, you might want to comment on a job well done. You might even want to get the attention of your crush with some well-chosen words in Spanish.

In this guide, we’ll review the best and cleverest compliments in Spanish for him and her. We’ll also offer up some ways to say “thank you” gracefully when those compliments are returned. 

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The best compliments in Spanish

In Spanish, a compliment can have different connotations depending on your goal. You can give un cumplido (compliment), un halago (flattery) or un piropo (compliment with a flirty connotation). An important note: In Spanish, you don’t “give” a compliment to someone, but rather “do” it, as in hacer un cumplido (give a compliment) or lanzar un piropo (send off a compliment)

The best compliments in Spanish are those that are versatile and can be used in many situations. The list below includes compliments that you can use to describe a person, place or thing. Just add the noun and make sure the complimentary adjective matches in gender and number.

1. Qué hermosa….What a beautiful…Qué hermosa casa. (What a beautiful house.)
2. Que agradable…What a lovely…Qué agradable ciudad. (What a lovely city.)
3. Qué hermoso…What a pretty…Qué hermoso caballo. (What a pretty horse.)
4. Qué maravilloso. How marvelous.Qué teatro tan maravilloso. (What an incredibly marvelous theater.)
5. ¡Qué bonito/bonita!How pretty!¡Qué bonita la vista de esta terraza! (What a pretty view from this terrace!)
6. ¡Qué lindo/linda!How delightful!¡Qué lindo el trajecito del perro! (What a delightful little suit on that dog!)
7. ¡Qué simpático/simpática!How charming!¡Qué simpática es ella! (How charming she is!)
8. Hiciste un muy buen trabajo. You did a really great job.Hiciste un muy buen trabajo. Me encanta trabajar en equipo contigo. (You did a really great job. I love working on teams with you.)
9. Eres muy talentoso/talentosa.You’re really talented. ¡Qué interesante tu presentación! Eres muy talentosa. (What an interesting presentation. You are really talented.)
10. ¡Felicidades por un trabajo bien hecho!Congratulations on a job well done!Ya terminaste con el proyecto. ¡Felicidades por un trabajo bien hecho! (Finally you finished the project. Congratulations on a job well done!)
11. Te lo mereces. You earned it. ¡Felicidades por tu aumento de sueldo! Te lo mereces. (Congratulations on your salary raise! You earned it.)

Compliments in Spanish for him

When complimenting someone in Spanish, remember that adjectives must match nouns in both gender and number. To give a compliment to a man, the adjective typically ends in –o. This rule will come up if you are describing a person with your compliment. 

The compliments below can be said to anyone: friends, family, coworkers or someone you have a romantic interest in. 

12. Te ves hermoso.You look beautiful. 
13. Te ves bonito/lindo.You look nice.
14. Te ves muy bien.You look great. 
15. Estás muy mono.You’re very cute (slang).
16. Estás muy sexy. You’re very sexy.*

* Note: These (*) compliments should only be said to a romantic partner or someone you are romantically interested in. As with all situations involving language and cultural barriers, take care to not make people feel uncomfortable if you don’t know them well.

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Compliments in Spanish for her

Don’t forget about your adjective-noun gender agreement just yet! Generally, if you are giving a compliment to a woman, the adjective will end in –a. Here are the same seven compliments from above, but adjusted so that you can say them to a woman.

Te ves hermosaYou look beautiful. 
Te ves bonita/lindaYou look nice.
Te ves muy bien.You look great. 
Estás muy mona.You’re very cute (slang).
Estás muy sexy. You’re very sexy.*

* Note: Again, these (*) compliments communicate romantic interest and should be used with care. 

Keep in mind, the compliments for him and her above are rather informal. They should be used with people you know well, and mostly in casual social situations. For details about why, review some rules about formal vs. informal Spanish

Ready to hear these Spanish compliments out loud? Check out this TikTok video to hear the phrases above. Here is another TikTok video where you can listen closely for pronunciation.

One mistake to watch out for

¡Ojo! (Be careful!). We do not use the word caliente (hot) to talk about people. If you say estoy caliente, you are announcing that you are sexually aroused. Asking somebody if they are excited in that way is probably too forward for a social situation. Caliente is appropriate to use for inanimate objects like pan caliente (warm/hot bread), but not for people.

In Spanish, to talk about hot temperatures outside, we use the expressions:

  • hace calor (it’s hot), or 
  • tengo calor (I’m hot — literally, “I have heat”. 

Ways to say thank you

Knowing how to respond to compliments is just as important as giving them. Let’s review a few different ways to thank someone who gave you some compliments in Spanish.

Gracias.Thank you.
Muchísimas gracias.Thank you so much.
Mil gracias.A thousand thanks.
Qué amable, gracias.That is kind of you, thanks.
En verdad lo agradezco.I really appreciate it.
Te lo agradezco de todo corazón.I thank you with all my heart. 
Me alegraste el día. You made my day.
Qué amable, no sé qué decir. How nice, I don’t know what to say. 
Qué amable. That is so kind of you. 

Te lo mereces (You earned it)

Do you feel good about learning new Spanish vocabulary? Way to go! You have learned some different ways to give compliments in Spanish to friends, family, coworkers and love interests. Practice these compliments on all your favorite people. Over time, they will feel natural and become a part of your everyday Spanish. If you need someone to practice with, think about getting a native-speaking Spanish tutor.

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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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