Spanish Vocabulary Quiz

By: Beth Hendricks
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Spanish Vocabulary Quiz
Image: BraunS / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We grasp the basics of other languages as early as elementary school, making a game of learning to count to 10: Uno, dos, tres ... all the way to "diez." Later, as we approach high school and college, we make a serious attempt at learning a foreign language. Not only does it help us to interact in an increasingly global society, but science says it's great for other reasons, too. Experts agree that people who spend time learning a second (or third or fourth) language have better memories and can multi-task more efficiently and do a better job solving problems and thinking critically. It's all because you started learning how to count to 10 in Spanish (or French or German) in elementary school!

This quiz is all about the Spanish language, a language that is natively spoken by roughly 400 million people on the planet today – even more than native English speakers. That means it's popular and growing more so every day. 

So, let's brush up on your Spanish vocabulary! Would you know how to find a shopping mall in Mexico? How would you ask for a glass of tea in Spain? What type of insect is crawling up your leg? (We hope it's not an araña!) Fix your foreign language skills on this quiz and test your "capacidad" (that's ability) for recognizing these common everyday things. Vamonos ... let's go!

Q 04 Tools
Pixabay by picjumbo_com
He asked me to pass him "la cinta métrica." What did he want?
Tape measure
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The word "métrica" in "la cinta métrica" may have more easily given away the right answer here since it sounds like our English word, "metric," a system of measuring things. "Cinta" in Spanish means "tape," "ribbon" or "string."

Q 08 Purse
Unsplash by Artem Maltsev
Let me grab "la bolsa," and we'll get out of here. What am I reaching for?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"La bolsa" is Spanish for "the bag," or a purse, an item most women carry wherever they go. Spanish purse designs mimic Spanish interior design with lots of bright colors and interesting patterns.

Q 14 Stolen Food
Unsplash by Dan Gold
He stole one of my "papas fritas." Now he's in trouble! But what did he grab?
Peanut butter sandwiches
French fries
Hot dogs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Las papas fritas" is Spanish for french fries and, in some circles, may also be used to indicate potato chips. "Papas" means "potatoes" in Spanish while "frita" means fried. That's covering all our bases!


Q 18 Movies
Geber86 / E+ / Getty Images
I only go to the movies for "las palomitas de maíz." What do I look forward to?
Actors and actresses
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Las palomitas de maíz," or popcorn in English, is the highlight of going to the movies, in our opinion. If you look closely, you'll see "maíz" in that word, which translates to corn in English.

Q 11 Butterfly
Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures
The beautiful butterfly first begins as a crawly caterpillar. Which word is Spanish for butterfly?
El colmillo
La mariposa
El mono
El perro
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"La mariposa" is Spanish for the insect we know as the butterfly. The origin of the word is likely a mash-up of the words "María," for the Virgin Mary, and "posar" which means to "come down or settle."

Q 16 Colors
Pixabay by annca
Barney the dinosaur is a fan of this color, which is "morado" in Spanish. What color is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Of course, Barney is a fan of "morado," which means purple in English! He's a big purple dinosaur! Some people believe the word "morado" comes from a type of purple berry found in Latin America.


Q 15 Shower
Unsplash by Laura Marques
If you've been at the beach all day, you'll want to take a shower and wash your hair. Which of these will help?
La cañería
El excusado
El champú
La tina
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"El champú" sort of looks like its English interpretation, "shampoo," doesn't it? Both likely are derived from the Hindi word "chāmpo." Regardless, be sure to lather, rinse and repeat.

Q 23 Cake Shop
Pixabay by RitaE
The first stop on my trip will be to a cake shop. What word can I use for "cake shop" when asking for directions?
La carnicería
La mesa
La pastelería
La maleta
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If your first stop is a cake shop or bakery, ask a local for the nearest "pastelería." Here you'll find desserts, pastries and confections of all varieties. Sounds like a good first stop to us!

Q 28 Oferta
Unsplash by Jorge Fernández Salas
I took advantage of "la oferta" at the mall today. What does "la oferta" mean?
The parking
The sale
The air
The prices
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Trust us when we say, there's nothing we love more than a good "oferta," or "sale," no matter where it's happening. It doesn't get much better than reduced prices on something we were considering buying anyway.


Q 26 Beisbol
Pexels by Pixabay
Ugh! He threw the "béisbol" over the fence. What did he throw?
Soccer ball
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Béisbol" in Spanish and baseball in English are pretty similar, aren't they? Major League Baseball has had some pretty spectacular Hispanic baseball players in its history, including Roberto Clemente, Albert Pujols and Mariano Rivera.

Q 07 Bee
Pixabay by NickRivers
Ouch! I just got stung by a bee. Which word is "bee" in Spanish?
La abeja
El búho
La lagartija
La mosca
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Darn "la abejas!" It doesn't matter whether you get stung by a bee in the United States or stung by a bee in Mexico, that sucker is still going to hurt. At least now you know what to call it.

Q 06 Dishwasher
Pexels by PhotoMix Ltd.
Don't buy a house without "un lavaplatos." Which of these appliances is a deal-breaker?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sure, you most likely need a refrigerator, stove and microwave, too, but "un lavaplatos" (or dishwasher) is a critical appliance if you don't want to spend every evening hand-washing your dinner plates.


Q 30 Picnic
Unsplash by Toa Heftiba
"Hormigas" can ruin a perfectly good picnic. What are "hormigas" in Spanish?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Watch out for "hormigas" – that's ants for the English-speaking among us. Did you ever have an ant farm as a kid? In Spanish, that would be "granja de hormigas." Sounds more impressive, doesn't it?

Q 27 Elevator
Unsplash by Jason Dent
He took the elevator to the penthouse on the 42nd floor. What is the Spanish term for "elevator"?
El basurero
El recibidor
El ascensor
La neblina
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's fitting that the Spanish word for elevator, "el ascensor," is pretty close to our English word, "ascend," which means to go up. Of course, elevators also go down ... at least we hope they do if you're on the 42nd floor.

Q 12 Scared
Thomas_EyeDesign / E+ / Getty Images
Eek! An "araña!" What did we just spot?
A snake
A mouse
A spider
A rat
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you have arachnophobia, you won't be too pleased by this visitor — or perhaps even this question! In Spanish, an eight-legged creature we know as a spider is called an "araña." Come to think of it, "araña" and the start of the word "arachnophobia" (a fear of spiders) are pretty similar.


Q 29 Mona Lisa
Unsplash by Kadir Celep
Mona Lisa is a famous painting. What is the word for "painting" in Spanish?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Pintura" means painting in Spanish. The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci, but there are plenty of famous Spanish painters, including one of the most popular of all-time – Pablo Picasso. Pintura in some circles also means paint.

Q 22 Seafood
Unsplash by Anastasiia Vasileva
You'll find "el pescado" in a seafood restaurant. What does "pescado" mean?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The term "pescado" is a general term in Spanish that translates to fish in English, though no specific type. If someone tells you they're eating "pescado frito," they're having fried fish. Why didn't they invite us over?

Q 32 Cucaracha
Unsplash by Benjamin Patin
Did you ever sing the song, "La Cucaracha"? What is that song about?
A church
A cockroach
A cardinal
A charity
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Would you have ever knowingly sung a song about cockroaches? Well, you might have, if you ever sung along with the song, "La Cucaracha." In Spanish, the song is about a cockroach that's unable to walk ... seriously.


Q 24 Errands
Unsplash by Alicia Steels
She spent the weekend running errands with her "abuela." Who was it?
Her mother
Her grandma
Her grandpa
Her sister
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It was her grandma, "su abuela," who occupied her weekend errand-running. "Abuela" is quite close to another important family member in Spanish, "abuelo," which is "grandpa."

Q 31 Schools
Pexels by Pixabay
Kids in the U.S. go to school. What is a school called in Spanish-speaking countries?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Spanish word for school is "escuela" and sometimes "colegio," which we might more closely associate with the word college in the United States. To make matters more confusing, university in English is "universidad" in Spanish. Phew!

Q 13 Hungry Baby
Unsplash by Minnie Zhou
You might offer one of these to a hungry baby. Which of these would you pick?
La cuna
La cuna mecedora
El carrito
El biberón
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you want to stifle the cries of a hungry baby, you'd want to pick "el biberón" – the Spanish word for baby bottle. If you offer any of the other choices (a crib, cradle and stroller, respectively), you're probably going to have an even more unhappy tot.


Q 40 Into the fire
Pixabay by Magnascan
As the saying goes, "Out of 'la sartén,' into the fire." What is "la sartén" in Spanish?
Frying pan
Stock pot
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The popular phrase, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire," sounds a bit different if you insert the Spanish word for pan, "la sartén," in the mix, doesn't it? Either way, be careful you don't get burned!

Q 09 Eagle
Pexels by Frank Cone
Fly, eagles, fly! Which of these birds is the national bird of the United States?
El oso
La libélula
El águila
La cebra
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The national bird of the United States is the bald eagle, but that doesn't mean that's the only place you can find them. If you spot an "águila" in another country, surprise! You found an eagle.

Q 01 Restrooms
Pixabay by evita-ochel
If you're in need of a bathroom in Spain, which of these should you look for?
La cañería
El lavaplatos
El baño
La cuna
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is probably one of the first words you need to learn if you're traveling outside the United States in a Spanish-speaking country. Memorize this one, and you're guaranteed to at least be, um, comfortable.


Q 34 Bañera
Unsplash by Curology
I want to enjoy a long soak in "la bañera." What am I talking about?
Hot tub
Swimming pool
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After a long week, there's nothing more relaxing than a long soak in the bathtub, or "la bañera," if you were traveling in a Spanish-speaking country. You can find la bañera in el baño. It makes sense, right?

Q 21 Flight Ticket
Unsplash by Amir Hanna
Boarding an airplane? You'll need one of these. What are we referencing?
El boleto
Los alicates
La cuenta
El porta ropa
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Be sure you have "el boleto," or a ticket, if you're trying to board a plane in a Spanish-speaking country. If you're planning ahead, you might tell someone, "Compré los boletos para volar a Fénix," or "I bought my tickets to fly to Phoenix." Comprende?

Q 17 Can Opener
Unsplash by Paweł Czerwiński
You won't be able to get into a can without one of these. What is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You better grab an "abrelata," or can opener, if you want to get into those green beans to go with dinner. The first U.S. can opener was invented by a Connecticut man and was integral in helping soldiers eat during the Civil War.


Q 36 Zapatos
Pexels by Rhiannon Stone
They aren't just any zapatos, they're "los zapatos de tacón alto." What does it mean?
Cowboy boots
High heel shoes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's a long phrase – "los zapatos de tacón alto" – but it means high heel shoes in English. "Zapatos" are shoes, "tacón" means heel and "alto" means high. We think ballet flats are more comfy.

Q 10 Margarita
Unsplash by Yuanbin Du
You've probably had a margarita (or two), but the word means something unusual in Spanish. What is it?
Coat rack
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Did you know when you ask for a "margarita" in a restaurant that it means "daisy" in Spanish? We're not sure why. But margaritas are delicious ... er, we mean really beautiful.

Q 19 Alarm Clock
Unsplash by Amanda Jones
I love the weekends because you don't have to set one of these. What is it?
La aspiradora
El despertador
La cama
El armario
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Is there anything better than a weekend when you don't have to set an "el despertador?" (That's an alarm clock, in case you hadn't figured it out.) We're amused that the word for alarm clock also looks like "desperate," which is exactly how we feel on Monday mornings.


Q 02 Kid Building
Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
The kids spent a long time building "el castillo de arena." What are we referencing?
Tree house
Pillow fort
Sand castle
House of blocks
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In Spanish, "el castillo de arena" references a sand castle, where "castillo" is castle and "arena" is sand; therefore, "el castillo de arena" is "the sand castle." We're already thinking about our next beach trip.

Q 38 NY Yankees
Unsplash by Ben Hershey
The "gorra" had the New York Yankees' logo on it. What is "gorra"?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The word "gorra" in Spanish translates to cap — or hat — in English, an article of clothing you'll see men and women wearing. Among the most popular types of caps are those with team logos on them, such as the Yankees.

Q 39 Tree
Pixabay by ejaugsburg
Arbor Day is all about planting trees. What is the Spanish word for "tree"?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you're observing Arbor Day in a Spanish-speaking nation, you'll be honoring "el árbol," the tree. The holiday began in the 1970s as a tree-planting program of the Arbor Day Foundation.


Q 35 Monkey
Pexels by VisionPic .net
Monkeys are famous for their love of bananas. What does the word "monkey" translate to in Spanish?
El perro
El mono
La mantis
El caballo
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Monkeys and "monos" are the same. They don't care whether you speak Spanish or English ... or both! But their love of bananas is real, although the ones they encounter in the wild are a bit different than those we find at the grocery store.

Q 33 Pitcher Sweet Tea
Unsplash by bady qb
She made a pitcher of sweet tea for us to enjoy. What is "pitcher" in Spanish?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A pitcher in Spanish is referred to as a "jarra," similar to our English word for "jar." Another word in the answer choices that's related to a pitcher is "vaso," or cup, which you'll need to enjoy that delicious tea.

Q 20 Drums
Pexels by Josh Sorenson
My cousin asked me to join his band on "los tambores." What is he asking me to play?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yeah, baby, rock on! My cousin is asking me to play the drums, "los tambores," in his new band. The word "tambor" has long been used to represent the concept of the drum, dating back to ancient Persia.


Q 37 Undershorts
Unsplash by Gwendolyn Anderson
If you're wearing undershorts, you're wearing undershorts regardless of the language! But, what are they called in Spanish?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Do you need new underpants while traveling in Mexico? You better ask for "calzoncillos" so somebody knows what you're talking about. "Calzoncillos" specifically refer to men's underpants, just in case you were wondering.

Q 25 Steering Wheel
Pixabay by Pexels
Grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2 when you're driving. What's the Spanish word for "steering wheel"?
El acelerador
La cajuela
El volante
La llanta
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All of these answer options are car parts, but only "el volante" represents the crucial steering necessary for guiding the car. The other choices represent the gas pedal, the trunk and the tire, respectively.

Q 05 Socks
Pixabay by jeffjuit
Let's do things in the right order. You'll need which of these before you put on shoes?
Los guantes
Los calcetines
Los pantalones
Los zapatos
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Los calcetines" is Spanish for "socks," which is perfect for the male gender, but women have a few more words to remember, including "medias," which can mean tights, and "la pantimedia," which represents pantyhose.


Q 03 Abrigo
Unsplash by Tamara Bellis
Brrrr! It's chilly outside, so which of these should you grab?
Un abrigo
Una corbata
Un sombrero
Una gorra
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Choose "el abrigo" and you'll find yourself shielded from inclement weather. Why? Because this word translated into English means "coat," a perfect garment to grab if the temperatures take a dip.

You Got:
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