Body Parts in Spanish: Vocabulary, Grammar and More!
Body Parts in Spanish
The human body (el cuerpo humano) is important – it’s what you live in! Being able to talk about your body and body parts in Spanish is one of the first steps to becoming proficient, and is actually quite useful in basic conversation.
Imagine you are climbing Machu Picchu in Peru and you twist your ankle, or you are taking a yoga class on Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Vocabulary about the body would be a life-saver! Combining necessary vocabulary with correct Spanish verbs will greatly boost your fluency.
This quick guide will not only tell you the names of commonly discussed body parts, it will also include helpful phrases and ways to express body movement and feeling. Each section will have the basics, as well as extra words for learners that want more specific vocabulary. Once you review the words from head to toe, you’ll be able to play Simon Says (or Simón dice) in no time!
The best way to learn a language is with consistent practice, and that’s where LingoDeer comes in. Feel free to check it out after you read this article!
Body Parts in Spanish From the Neck Up – “La cabeza”
- Head – la cabeza
- Face – la cara
- Eyes – los ojos
- Nose – la nariz
- Mouth – la boca
- Ears – las orejas
- Neck – el cuello
- Hair – el cabello/el pelo (be careful not to say el caballo because this means “horse”!)
- Eyebrows – las cejas
- Forehead – la frente
- Cheeks – las mejillas
- Chin – la barbilla (similar to la barba which means “beard”)
- Inner ear – el oído (like the verb oír which means “to hear”)
- Tongue – la lengua (this also means language!)
- Lips – los labios
- Teeth – los dientes (much like “dentist” in English)
Body Parts in Spanish from the Shoulders to Waist – “El torso”
- Torso – el torso
- Chest – el pecho
- Back – la espalda
- Shoulder – el hombro
- Hip – la cadera
- Waist – la cintura
- Buttocks – las nalgas
- Abdomen – el abdomen
- Spine – la columna vertebral
- Breasts – las mamas (like mamá for “mom” but without the accent mark)
- Belly button – el ombligo
- Groin – la ingle
- Penis – el pene
- Vagina – la vagina
Body Parts in Spanish That Make Up Your Arms and Hands – “El brazo”
- Arm – el brazo
- Hand – la mano (this one is irregular because it ends in “-o” but has a feminine article)
- Finger – el dedo (this means “digit” and can refer to fingers or toes)
- Elbow – el codo
- Palm – la palma
- Thumb – el pulgar
- Finger nail – la uña (this is all nails, fingers and toes)
- Underarm – la axila
- Wrist – la muñeca (this also means “doll” like the toy, but with context it is easy to understand the difference)
Body Parts in Spanish That Make Up Your Legs and Feet – “La pierna”
- Leg – la pierna
- Knee – la rodilla
- Ankle – el tobillo
- Foot – el pie
- Toe – el dedo de pie
- Thigh – el muslo
- Calf – la pantorrilla
- Heel – el talón
Body Parts in Spanish Inside the Body
- Brain – el cerebro
- Throat – la garganta
- Stomach – el estómago
- Heart – el corazón
- Lungs – los pulmones
- Bone – el hueso
- Liver – el hígado
- Intestines – los intestinos
- Anus – el ano (this is why the ñ in ¿Cuantos años tienes? – “How old are you?” is so important)
- Kidneys – los riñones
Quick Grammar Note on Body Parts in Spanish
What’s great about Spanish is that you don’t have to use the possessive with body parts because it is usually implied with the sentence.
This means that the vocabulary listed above is exactly what you are going to use! In summary, if you want to talk about my, your, his, her or their hand in a complete sentence, say la mano – “the hand”. Like with all languages, there are exceptions to this grammar rule, but don’t worry about those until you’ve mastered the basics.
- tóquense los pies – “touch your feet”
- me duelen la cabeza y la pierna – “my head and leg hurt”
Ways to Talk About Your Body Parts in Spanish
Now that you have the vocabulary, let’s learn how to put it to use! Below are some real-life situations in which people talk about their bodies and how you can easily thrive and express yourself like a native.
To play a simple version of Simon Says in Spanish, the only verb you need to know is tocar which means “to touch”. Assuming you are playing with a group, use the following formula:
- Tóquense + _________ (body part)
For those interested in grammar, the verb is in the ustedes – “you (plural)” command form. This is a great way to practice body vocabulary with some friends or classmates! It is also what yoga or other exercise instructors may say in a class, for example, tóquense los pies – “touch your feet”.
Where Does It Hurt?
In a medical situation, it is vital to be able to tell the doctor if you are in pain and where that pain is located. Doler means “to hurt” and is an o→ue stem-changing verb that acts like the verb gustar. If you have no idea what this means yet, don’t worry! All you have to do is use the following formulas:
- Me duele + _________ (singular body part).
- Me duelen + __________ (plural body parts).
The first sentence is for a singular body part. For example, me duele la cabeza means “my head hurts”. You only have one head, so the first sentence is best. If your legs hurt then you would use the second sentence because “legs” is plural; me duelen las piernas. This is also for if you want to say more than one body part, like me duelen la cabeza y la pierna – “my head and leg hurt”.
You can use these formulas and plug in any of the vocabularies from this article in order to describe where the pain is. If you want to be more specific, simply add the words mucho (a lot) or un poco (a little) to the end of the sentence. Pretty handy!
Reflexive Verbs and Body Parts in Spanish
A reflexive verb is a type of verb that describes an action done to oneself. Basically, if you are doing it to yourself it is a reflexive verb, like if you brush your own teeth or wash your own face. Here is a list of common reflexive verbs that are used with body parts.
- To brush one’s teeth – cepillarse los dientes
- To wash one’s hands – lavarse las manos
- To shave one’s legs – afeitarse las piernas
- To cut one’s finger – cortarse el dedo
- To comb one’s hair – peinarse el pelo
- To dry one’s body – secarse el cuerpo
- To break one’s arm – romperse el brazo
As you can see, reflexive verbs can cover everything from daily grooming to bodily injury and are good to know if you want to use more Spanish body parts vocabulary. To learn how to conjugate these verbs so that you can talk about yourself or others, check out the LingoDeer app!
Idioms and Common Expressions with Body Parts in Spanish
Just like in English, different body parts have been mixed into Spanish idioms and common expressions and aren’t taken literally. In English we use the phrase “are you pulling my leg?” to mean “are you kidding me?” – we don’t actually think someone is physically pulling our leg. On the other hand (another body part expression us anglophones use), Spanish speakers use “hair” instead of “leg” to achieve the same meaning, and say me tomas el pelo? – “are you pulling my hair?”.
Here are some fun expressions that use your newly found Spanish body parts vocabulary! The subject varies throughout but you can conjugate the verbs to any subject.
|Expression Meaning||Spanish Idiom||Literal Translation|
|I am fed up!||¡Estoy hasta las narices!||I am up to the noses!|
|You talk a lot.||Hablas por los codos.||You talk by your elbows.|
|She is shameless.||Tiene mucha cara.||She has a lot of face.|
|We rush out.||Salimos por piernas.||We leave by legs.|
|He helps out.||Arrima el hombro.||He brings his shoulder closer.|
|It costs a lot.||Cuesta un ojo.||It costs an eye.|
|It doesn’t make any sense.||No tiene ni pies ni cabeza.||It neither has feet nor head.|
Soy Geetha de India. Muchas gracias por una buena explicación de verbos reflexivos. Aquí tengo una pregunta. Quiero saber porque no se dice levantarse las manos (to raise hands) sino se dice levanta las manos y levantarse ( to get up).