Learning how to say body parts in Spanish can help in an emergency, at the doctor’s office, or to simply understand vocabulary in day-to-day conversation. As they say—head and shoulders, knees, and toes—or should we say cabeza, brazos, rodillas, y dedos?
This list of common body parts in Spanish is a great starting point to practice Spanish in your day-to-day conversations, and help you learn Spanish fast. Afterward, check out some other ways to increase your skills on our Spanish vocabulary page.
Let's get started!
You can prepare yourself for conservations in Spanish by knowing what to expect – not just memorizing vocabulary. Learn some common topics and sentences used when referring to Spanish body parts to get an idea of how these words are used.
With practice, you’ll have an easier time forming sentences when talking about parts of the body in Spanish. Plus, you’ll likely have an easier time understanding others when they discuss this topic with you.
Often in English, we refer to parts of the body with possessive pronouns, like “my head” or “my back.” Spanish body parts are quite different and usually take a definitive article: (el, la, los, or las, meaning "the"). Take the following examples:
¡Abre los ojos! (Open your eyes!)
¡Cállate la boca! (Shut your mouth!)
Tengo el pelo rubio. (I have blonde hair.)
In some cases, when referring directly to the person, you may use possessive pronouns for clarity:
Me gustan tus ojos. (I like your eyes.)
¿Qué hacer con tu pelo cuando hace calor? (What do you do with your hair when it’s hot?)
Mentioning parts of the body happens a lot when you don’t feel well or need to visit the doctor. Learning how to describe pain in the body helps in these situations.
Dolerse (to be in pain): Dolerse is a reflexive verb in Spanish, meaning the subject and object are the same. Each pronoun (yo, tú, él, ella, nosotros, vosotros, ellos, ellas) has its own reflexive pronoun: me, te, se, nos, os, se.
When you want to explain that something hurts, you can use dolerse: me duele (singular) or me duelen (plural). Consider the following examples:
Me duele la cabeza. (My head hurts)
Me duelen los brazos. (My arms hurt)
Like English, Spanish has plenty of idioms, phrases that have figurative, non-literal meanings. You might hear a few of these expressions that contain Spanish body parts, but be careful not to translate them word for word! Idioms are tricky because the literal words don’t match the actual meaning.
Here are some examples of expressions that contain parts of the body in Spanish:
|Idiom||Literal Meaning||Actual Meaning|
|Estar hasta las narices||To be up to the noses||To be fed up|
|Estar con el agua al cuello||To be with water to the neck||To be overwhelmed or underqualified, similar to the English idiom “in over your head”|
|Echar una mano a alguien||To throw a hand to someone||To help someone|
|No dar pie con bola||To not give a foot with ball||Can’t do anything right|
|Hablar por los codos||To talk through your elbows||To talk too much|
|Levantarse con mal pie||To wake up with the wrong foot||Similar to the English idiom “to wake up on the wrong side of the bed”|