15 Ways To Say Please In Spanish

The exact translation for “please in” Spanish is “por favor”.

However, I know that, as language learners, we always want to learn more of the language we want to acquire.

And, as for you specifically, I’m sure you don’t want to say “por favor” all the time. 

As a passionate Spanish student, you probably want to imitate the way native speakers talk.

Because of that, today I’ll share 14 expressions that only real Latinos and Spaniards use to say “please” in Spanish.

Now, even if you decide that you won’t use any of the following expressions, it’s important that you know them because people may throw them at you at any time.

How do you say “please” in Spanish?

As I mentioned in the first line of this post, “please” in Spanish is:

#1 Por favor

  • You may use it anywhere 
  • You may say it to anyone 
  • And it fits in any circumstance and context

It works just as “please” does in English, and no matter how you use it, if you say “please” in Spanish with “por favor,” it’s always going to work.

Actually, the pronunciation of this word is very important. 

Sometimes Spanish speakers don’t understand what English speakers say in Spanish because they try to pronounce words as they do in English. 

So, open your mouth and pronounce those vowels! 

Exaggerate as you practice and read this: 

POR-FA-VOR

Here’s a trick: 

  • The “por” sounds like “por” in the English word “pork”.
  • “Fa” goes as “fa” in the word “factor”.
  •  And “vor” just as when you say “vor” in the English “vortex”

Catch those sounds you make in English, and then use them with:

“Por favor.”

Here are some sentences using this expression:

  • “¿Me traes un café por favor?”

Can you bring me some coffee, please?

  • “Escuchame, por favor. Te ruego que me escuches nada más”

Listen to me, please. I’m begging you to just listen to me.

  • “Dime qué piensas, por favor”

Tell me what you think, please.

#2 Porfa

Frog on his knees begging

These are two shortened versions of “por favor.”

If someone uses any of these expressions, it means that this person wants to be friendly.

Spanish speakers use them for any kind of situation, for instance: 

Imagine a friend of yours has come to your house to visit and have pizza. 

Everything is all right, you guys are having fun, and then you tell your friend something like:

  • “Me pasas un pedazo de pizza, porfa” 

can you pass me a slice of pizza, please?

At the same time, your son is sitting in front of you and your friend. 

You feel mad at the kid because he has been misbehaving all day, and then you tell him something like:

  • “Hijo, pasame una servilleta, por favor” 

Son, pass me a napkin, please.

You’re not being rude to your son or anything, but there’s a slight difference in emotional tone.

You know you want to be friendly to your friend, but you’re showing your son that you are serious. 

The same thing happens with…

#3 Porfis

There isn’t much to say about this expression because it’s basically a variation of the previous word.

Check out these examples to see how it works:

  • “¿Me prestas un lapicero porfis?”

Can I borrow a pen, please?

  • “¿Puedo pasear al perro?… porfis, porfis, porfis, di que sí”

Can I walk the dog?… please, please, please, say yes.

  • “Déjame jugar videojuegos mamá. Porfis. Te prometo que después lavo los platos”

Let me play video games mom. Please. I promise that I’ll do the dishes afterward.

#4 Plis: The new way to say “please” in Spanish.

Thanks to our globalized world, some English words have made their way into Spanish.

This is what happened with the word “plis”, which is just how the pronunciation of the English “please” sounds for Spanish speakers.

In other words, every time you say “please,” most Latinos hear “plis.”

Now, this is not something you’d say to your boss or to the doctor because it’s very informal.

Actually, young people are the ones who use this expression the most. 

They’ve even created a shortened version of it to use when they’re texting each other: “plz.”

For example, a young person could Whatsapp you like this:

  • “Tráeme un helado de fresa plz”

And you would read that message like this: 

  • “Tráeme un helado de fresa “plis”

Bring me strawberry ice cream, please.

Here are some more examples of this expression:

  • “Pásame la tarea por correo plis” 

Send me the homework through email, please.

  • “Ven a ver la película con nosotros plis”.

Come to see the movie with us, please.

  • ¿Me prestas un borrador plis?

Can I borrow an eraser, please?

How to request a favor in Spanish

Guy begging at the beach

Unless you’re a zombie or a robot prototype, I’m sure you don’t say ‘please’ all the time when you ask someone to do a favor in English.

Sometimes you might use certain phrases to request favors from others, like when you say “can you do me a favor?” or “would you do me a favor?”

Or maybe you may throw a command to people in an effort to get a favor done, like when you say: 

“do me a favor and…”

Well, in Spanish we do the same thing, and we use the following phrases to do just that:

  • #5 Me haces el favor 
  • #6 Haz me el favor 
  • #7 Hágame el favor 
  • #8 Me hace un favor

Interestingly, all of them mean “do me a favor,” but there are slight differences among these phrases.

For example, numbers 5 and 6 are using the pronoun “tú” implicitly, which means that we know it’s there because we see its conjugation, but we don’t say it.

Now, depending on your tone, these two phrases might make you sound like you are asking for a favor in a friendly way.

For example:

  • Me haces el favor y me llamas cuando llegues a casa. 

Do me a favor and call me when you get home.

  • Haz me el favor de cuidar a tu papá. 

Do me a favor and take care of your father.

Expressions number 7 and 8 are using the pronoun “usted” implicitly, which may sound less familiar, more serious, or even aggressive, like this:

  • ¡Hágame el favor y me respeta! 

Do me a favor and show me respect.

  • Me hace un favor y le dice a su mamá que me devuelva la plata que me tiene.

Do me a favor and tell your mom to give me my money back.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that you’re always mad, because it depends a lot on your tone, you might just be serious.

Now, you could relax a bit and shorten “favor” with “fa” to avoid sounding like a nagging father, like this:

#9 ¿Me hace un fa?

You may hear some variations of this expression with different implicit pronouns like: 

“¿Me haces un fa?”

The phrase above is using the conjugation of “tú” instead of “usted”, and that makes the phrase a bit more friendly. 

  • ¿Me hace un fa y me pasa la billetera? 

Can you do me a favor and pass me the wallet?

  • Julie, ¿me haces un fa? ¿Me pasas las notas de la clase de ayer?

Julie, can you do me a favor? Can you pass me yesterday’s notes?

In places like Colombia or Argentina, it’s also common to use the pronoun “vos” to make these kinds of sentences, like this:

#10 Háceme un favor or háceme un fa

Notice how the conjugation of the verbs changes here; we’re actually using more accents than usual.

This happens because remember that we’re using the conjugations that belong to the “vos” pronoun.

Here are some examples:

  • Háceme un favor y le decís a Mario que ya voy llegando. 

Do me a favor and tell Mario that I’m just about to get there.

  • Háceme un fa, prestame plata que te la pago mañana.

Do me a favor, let me borrow some money from you, I’ll pay you tomorrow.

Of course, asking for favors in Spanish isn’t just about conjugations. 

There are some typical phrases that we use before expressing our requests, like:

#11 Necesito un favor tuyo

This is more than asking for a favor. If you say this, you’re telling the other person that you need something from him or her.

You know… no options, you have to do it, like the authority your boss uses to say: “just bring me a coffee, I don’t care if you’re busy.” 😅

Just kidding, I hope you have a considerate boss.

Anyway…

If we were to translate this phrase, it’d be something like:

  • I need a favor from you

And yes, this is something people with authority may say, like your mom!


Related: How to Say Mom In Spanish Like A Native Speaker.


You know… mothers are the big boss in the Spanish-speaking world, Here are some examples from mom:

  • Mijo, necesito un favor tuyo. Tengo que ir a una cita médica y necesito que me lleves en el carro

Son I need a favor from you. I have to go to another medical appointment, and I  need you to take me in the car.

  • Necesito un favor tuyo, uno grande… necesito que me prestes dinero para mañana en la mañana.

I need a favor from you A big one I need you to lend me some money tomorrow morning.

Finally, I have a very fancy and special phrase to say please in Spanish.

It’s not too common in casual conversations but you’ll hear it at some point.

And it’s special for me because it reminds me of my Spanish teacher back in school.

She was very strict and a well-educated person and that was reflected on the vocabulary she’d use. 

Whenever she wanted a favor she would say: 

#12 Tenga la bondad

Which means “have the goodness” to do something. 

Fancy, right?  

For example, if she saw a student sitting hunched over, she would say: 

  • “Joven, tenga la bondad y se sienta derecho” 

Young man, sit upright, please.

Or if you were talking too low, she would say:

  • “Jóven, tenga la bondad y habla recio”

Young man, talk louder, please.

Yeah… that was my teacher in the 6th and 7th grades.

Oh, by the way, “hablar recio” is just a fancy way to say “talk loud.”

Casual Colombian ways to say please in Spanish

We’ve been through several phrases that you’re bound to hear at some point if you’re constantly surrounded by native Spanish speakers.

Nonetheless, if you have Colombian friends, or if you visit the country, it is very likely that you’ll come across the following phrases: 

  • #13 Hacer un cruce
  • #14 Hacer un catorce
  • #15 Hacer un dos 

These are all slang phrases that Colombians use instead of saying “por favor”. 

Don’t ask me why, but that’s how we asked for favors.

We conjugate the verb “hacer” and then we throw sentences like:

  • Gloria, háceme un cruce. Comprame una botella de agua que yo te la pago cuando lleguemos a la casa,

Gloria, do me a favor. Buy me a bottle of water and I’ll pay you when we get home.

  • ¡Victor! ¿Me vas a hacer un cruce? 

Victor, could you do me a favor?

  • Julio, hacéme un catorce y le decís a Mariana se canceló el teatro. 

Julio, do me a favor and tell Maria that the play was canceled.

  • ¿Me vas a hacer un catorce?… es algo muy simple y no necesitas tanto dinero.

Can you do me a favor?… It’s very simple, and you don’t need that much money. 

Now, number 15 is a little out of the norm for me because I didn’t hear it until one of my friends from the Colombian coast used it.

She said that it was common to hear in her city, and they use it this way:

  • Haz me un dos ahí…

Translated would be “do me a two right there”, but it means “do me a favor.”

Weird, right? 

But who said that slang made sense anyway?


RELATED: 9 Colombian Slang Phrases To Sound Like a Local


Wrapping up

Honestly, I didn’t know that there were so many different ways to say “please” in Spanish.

When I decided to write this post, the only thing I could think of was “por favor.”

However, I was surprised as I gathered all the expressions I have shared with you in this article.

Of course, you don’t need to use the slang or the shortened words. 

If you want to stick to the basic translation, that’s fine, and everyone will understand what you say.

As a summary, here is the complete list of all the expressions we’ve covered today:

  • #1 Por favor
  • #2 Porfa
  • #3 Porfis
  • #4 Plis
  • #5 Me haces el favor 
  • #6 Haz me el favor 
  • #7 Hágame el favor 
  • #8 Me hace un favor
  • #9 ¿Me hace un fa?
  • #10 Háceme un favor
  • #11 Necesito un favor tuyo
  • #12 Tenga la bondad
  • #13 Hacer un cruce
  • #14 Hacer un catorce
  • #15 Hacer un dos 

If you want to keep learning more real vocabulary that native speakers use in real life, then make sure you check out my resources page.

Oh, hey!

And before I go… if you know any other way to say please in Spanish, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments below.

Diego Cuadros is a blogger and a Spanish online teacher. He uses stories to help Spanish lovers understand fast-speaking native speakers, so they don't freeze and panic in conversations.

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