(2023) (1)

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Benny Lewis

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Spanish is a beautiful language, with a lot of words to describe beauty. But would you know how to tell your Spanish-speakingvalentinehow attractive they are?

There are many ways in Spanish to say “beautiful”, just like there are many ways to say it in English: “attractive”, “handsome”, “good-looking”, “pretty”, “cute”, “hot”, “fit”, “sexy”, and so on.

In this article, I will show you some of the most commonSpanish adjectivesfor “beautiful”, and explain how you can use them like a native Spanish speaker.

Table of contents

  • 1.Bello / Bella– “Beautiful”
  • 2.Bonito / Bonita– “Pretty” or “Nice”
  • 3.Guapo / Guapa– “Handsome”
  • 4.Lindo / Linda– “Lovely”
  • 5.Bueno / Buena– “Good Looking”
  • 6.Hermoso / Hermosa– “Gorgeous”
  • 8.Radiante– “Radiant”
  • 9.Precioso / Preciosa– “Gorgeous” or “Lovely”
  • 10.Rico / Rica– “Cute” or “Sexy”
  • 11.Mono / Mona– “Pretty”
  • 12.Macizo / Maciza– “Hot”
  • 13.Bombón– “Sweet Like Chocolate”
  • 14.Sexy / Sexi– “Sexy”
  • 15.Estar Como un Queso– “To Be Like a Cheese”
  • A Warning About “Hot” in Spanish
  • You’re Now the Master of Beauty in Spanish

1.Bello / Bella– “Beautiful”

Bello/bellais a safe, all-purpose word that you can use to mean “beautiful” or “lovely”. It’s a bit formal, especially in Spain, but it can describe anything: beautiful people, beautiful clothes, a beautiful view, a beautiful mind.

There’s also a closely-related nounbelleza, which means “beauty”.

2.Bonito / Bonita– “Pretty” or “Nice”

Bonito / bonitaalso means “beautiful”, but it’s not quite as strong asbello. It’s closer to “pretty” or “nice”.

This adjective is more common thanbelloand, likebello, can describe anything – not just a person.

Just be careful if you seebonitoon a menu. When used as a noun, the word refers to a type of fish that’s similar to tuna (and has the same name in English).

3.Guapo / Guapa– “Handsome”

Guapo/guapais a word with some regional variations. Most commonly, it describes an attractive person, especially male, and isn’t really used for beautiful objects or places.

In some regions of Spain, however,guapois used more liberally. As well as meaning “attractive” when describing a person, more generally it can mean something like “cool” or “awesome”.

In other places,guapocan mean “brave” or “bold”. In some parts of Latin America it can even mean a “bully” or “braggart”. One Puerto Rican commenter says that where he’s from, calling a manguapocould definitely cause a fight.”

You know how the word “handsome” in English is only really used for men, not women?Guapois a bit like that, but not quite as strong. You do hear women being calledguapa, but it’s more common to hear them being calledbonita. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to be calledguapothanbonito.

4.Lindo / Linda– “Lovely”

Lindo/lindais more common in Latin America than Spain (and is also very common in Brazilian Portuguese). It’s similar in meaning tobonito/bonita: it can mean “beautiful”, “pretty”, “lovely”, or “nice”.

In Latin America you can also uselindoas an adverb. For example,ella canta lindomeans “she sings beautifully.”

5.Bueno / Buena– “Good Looking”

You’ve surely come acrossbueno/buenabefore, as it’s one of the most common Spanish adjectives. Actually, it’s one of the most commonwords– in the Spanish language.

Buenousually means “good”, but it has some hidden tricks. If I told you about a girl I know who isbuena, what do you think it means?

To quote Bill Clinton, it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. Remember that “is” in Spanish can beestá(fromestar) ores(fromser).

Ellaesbuena, means she’s “good” in the sense that she’s agood person. She’s moral, virtuous, and does the right thing. Similarly,ella es malomeans “she’s (a) bad (person)”.

On the other hand, if I saidellaestábuena, I’m saying that she’s good-looking. If I want to hammer the point home, I could even sayella está bueníssima– she’sveryattractive.

6.Hermoso / Hermosa– “Gorgeous”

Another common word,hermoso/hermosais used for beautiful people, places, and things. It’s a bit more wide-ranging thanbello– translations include “beautiful”, “gorgeous”, “nice”, or even (in Latin America) “noble”.

Remember thatbellohad a noun cousin calledbelleza?Hermosohas a similar relationship withhermosura, which means “beauty”. You can also sayuna hermosurato mean “a beautiful woman”.

##7.Atractivo / Atractiva– “Attractive”

You guessed it –atractivo/atractivameans “attractive”. You can use it in pretty much the same way as in English, for people, places, or things.

El atractivois also a masculine noun meaning “attraction”, “appeal”, or “charm”.

8.Radiante– “Radiant”

Another word that’s similar to the English –radiantemeans “radiant” or “beaming”.

It’s not just limited to describing people. For example,una mañana radiantemeans “a radiant/beautiful morning”.

9.Precioso / Preciosa– “Gorgeous” or “Lovely”

You can call a person, place or thingprecioso/preciosa. It means they’re “gorgeous” or “lovely”. The English cognate “precious” can make sense too. For example, adiamante(“diamond”) is apiedra preciosa(“precious stone”).

10.Rico / Rica– “Cute” or “Sexy”

Rico/ricausually means “rich”, or “wealthy”. When describing food, it also means “tasty” or “delicious”.

However,rico/ricacan also be used with people, places, and things to mean “lovely” or “cute”. If you useestarto say that a person is rich – e.g.él está rico, it can also be understood to mean “sexy”.

11.Mono / Mona– “Pretty”

As a noun,monomeans “monkey” – but it’s not (necessarily) offensive to call a personmonoormona. When used as an adjective in Spain, it can mean “pretty” or “cute.”

The nounmonocan also mean “overalls” or “jumpsuit”, or it can be a slang term for “craving” or “withdrawal symptoms.” Just don’t confuse it withmoño, which means “bun” (as in the hairstyle) or, in Latin America, a “ribbon” or “bow”.

12.Macizo / Maciza– “Hot”

Most literally,macizo/macizameans “solid” – as inmadera maciza(“solid wood”). However, it’s also a colloquial term in Spain for “attractive”. Saying that someoneestá macizo/ais like saying they’re “hot”, “hunky”, or a “babe”.

13.Bombón– “Sweet Like Chocolate”

Abombónis a type of small chocolate or candy – the exact type depends on your dialect. But it can also mean “an attractive person” – a “beauty” or “stunner”. So call your lover abombónif you want them to know that you find them sweet.

14.Sexy / Sexi– “Sexy”

No prizes for guessing whatsexymeans – it’s a recent import from English. Like many otheranglicismos, the Spanish spelling of the word isn’t consistent. Sometimes it’s written in the original English way (“sexy”), but sometimes it’s written assexito better match Spanish spelling rules.

15.Estar Como un Queso– “To Be Like a Cheese”

Finally, an amusing slang term from Spain. If someone tells you that you’recomo un queso(“like a cheese”), how should you react? Are they saying you need to take a shower?

Believe it or not, it’s a compliment!Estar como un quesomeans “to be attractive/tasty/dreamy/hot”. Perhaps a strange way to put it, but don’t get offended if someone says it to you. They’re being nice!

Or maybe your feet just stink – who knows?

A Warning About “Hot” in Spanish

Before we finish, a word of warning. If you want to call someone very beautiful in Spanish, you might think of the English slang term “hot” – but think twice before calling a Spanish speakercaliente.

While this adjective does literally mean “hot”, someone who’scalienteis in factaroused. And if you’re not careful, telling someone they’recalientecould earn you a slap.

You have been warned.

You’re Now the Master of Beauty in Spanish

Or maybe not, let’s not go too far… But you certainly know how to give someone a compliment and not only make an awkward attempt at it!

If you’re still in the mood for cheesy- ahem,romanticwords, check out our popular article onnicknames from around the world. You can also find more Spanish-related posts by visiting ourSpanish Hub.

I also have a video for you if you’re trying to learn Spanish actively:

Or pick something to read from this list:

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  • Spanish Uncovered Review — An Honest, Detailed Review on Learning Spanish with Story
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  • 101 Common Spanish Phrases to Start Speaking Spanish Right Now (3)

Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one.

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

View all posts by Benny Lewis

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