This is the short term for "good morning." It is common to hear someone entering a store to call the attention of the vendor. "Buenas" is a nice opening to a conversation!
The colloquial way to ask, "How much is it?" The correct way to use it is once you have picked up the items you want to buy in a store and you come to the register to pay, then you say, "Cuanto es?"
This is one of the words we use the most! It means "right now" and has a sense of immediacy or the desire to do things as fast as possible. It can also mean "just," as in, "He just arrived."
It is a saying primarily from the Andes meaning "May God pay you." It denotes thankfulness. It is not a formal way to say thank you, and you will more often hear it in the little shops and from senior citizens.
This word comes from the indigenous Kichwa language, still spoken in some towns in the Andes. It means "kid, boy or girl." Moms in Quito usually refer to their sons or daughters as guaguas.
When you have been looking for something or waiting for someone, this is the perfect way to express your happiness!
Hopefully these few words will make you feel more natural in Quito, and of course, a little basic Spanish is always useful. One thing to keep in mind is that Ecuadorians are very kind and we are prompt to help the tourist with directions, and even start a conversation –in a mixture of English, Spanish and sign language.
Leave us your comments on this post. We are happy to put together a second part so you can keep sharpening your Spanish and surprise us when you get here!