Language in London

The official language of the United Kingdom is British English and when traveling, it is essential to know, at least, some basic words or phrases to be able to express ourselves in stores and restaurants.

Although there is a large number of Spaniards, South Americans and Italians who speak Spanish and you will notice their presence when you walk down a busy street, such as Oxford Street, in most shops and restaurants they will address you in English. In fact, you should know that the waiters or shop assistants who speak Spanish are absolutely forbidden in some places to speak to you in Spanish, even though they know for sure that it is your mother tongue. Therefore, if you do not know how to speak English you have several options:


  • Pocket dictionary always at hand and chapurreo of the language to be understood
  • Use the universal language of gestures


In addition, there are many British speakers who speak Spanish and hotel assistants in London who dominate it so you can be lucky if you cross paths with them.


English phrases

Here is a list of typical nice phrases in English used colloquially by the English, which come to be similar to the sayings we use:

  • Whatever the weather: whatever happens
  • Do not beat around the bush: Go straight to the point
  • New brush sewwos clean but old broom knows all the corners: better bad known than good to know
  • Jump on the Bandwagon: get on the bandwagon
  • Add fuel to the fire: Add fuel to the fire


Basic English words and expressions for traveling

While it is true that it does not take much knowledge of a language to visit and sightseeing in a city that does not mean it is no longer recommended. In fact, the moment you get on the plane that takes off from Spain to London, the hostesses and stewardesses will address you in the English language. This is not a problem if you go to the universal language of gestures but, obviously, in the times we are in, it is worth learning the following basic words and phrases before traveling:


The basics

  • Hello : Hello
  • Goodbye : Goodbye
  • Please : Please
  • Thanks : Thanks
  • Sorry : Sorry
  • Excuse : Excuse me
  • Nothing : You are welcome
  • Yes : Yes
  • No : No
  • I do not understand : I do not understand you
  • Help! Help! / Help me!
  • Do you speak Spanish? : Do you speak Spanish? 
  • Who? : Quien?
  • When? : When?
  • Where? : Where?
  • What? How? : Que?



  •  How much does it cost ? : How much does it cost? / How much?
  • It is very expensive / It is very cheap: It is very expensive / It is very cheap
  • It's free : It is free
  • I have one please: Give me one, please
  • ¿I can try it? Can I try it?


Restaurants and bars

  • Breakfast: Breakfast
  • Food: Food
  • Dinner: Dinner
  • Snack: Lunch
  • Eat: (to) Eat
  • Drinking: (to) Drink
  • I'm hungry : I am hungry
  • I'm thirsty : I am thirsty


With these basic phrases and help from a pocket dictionary you will have no problem communicating in English.

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Published by Last update 02/08/2022