Go to some of the real tourist hotspots on the Spanish Costas and Mallorca and you will find plenty of Anglophiles who can, nevertheless, still manage to ask for “la cuenta” in Spanish. But did you know that Spanish-speakers use an array of phrases to ask for the bill in the tapas bars and restaurants of Spain? Simply asking for “la cuenta” is sometimes a bit of a giveaway that you’re a tourist!
After a week or longer, you are sure to get sick of asking for "la cuenta", so why not try out a few different phrases? Here are a few to get you started.
Use one of the following phrases, not only to impress your friends, but also to show the barman that you may have a slightly deeper knowledge of the Spanish language than he had first thought.
“Me cobra, por favor?”
This translates roughly as ‘Can you collect from me, please’.
“Me dice cuanto es, por favor?”
This one is a slightly more friendly ‘Can you tell me how much it is, please?’ - my personal favourite.
“Que le debo?”
Short, sweet, and easy-to-remember, this three word phrase means ‘What do I owe you?’
“Me trae la cuenta, por favor?”
This is the very common ‘Can you bring me the bill, please?’ - and simply asking for "la cuenta" is a less formal, shortened version of this.
“Quiero pagar, por favor”
This translates as ‘I’d like to pay please’.
You’ll hear the Spanish using all these phrases equally - with and without ‘por favor’. Give them a try and once you’ve done it a few times you’ll remember them. The real magic of learning Spanish in Spain is that you have the chance to put your Spanish knowledge into practice as soon as you’re out of the classroom - and where better to do it than in a bar enjoying a cool drink and some delicious tapas? Do you want to learn more Spanish? Estudia-España offers great deals and discounts on Spanish courses all over Spain and Latin America.