How Do You Say “Candle” In Spanish?

Spanish is a beautiful language that is spoken by millions of people around the world. Whether you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or simply want to expand your language skills, learning Spanish can be an incredibly rewarding experience. One of the most basic things you’ll need to know is how to say “candle” in Spanish.

The Spanish word for “candle” is “vela”. This simple word is used in a variety of contexts, from religious ceremonies to romantic dinners. Whether you’re looking to light up your home or simply want to learn a new word, “vela” is a great place to start.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Candle”?

If you are learning Spanish or planning to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, it is essential to learn how to properly pronounce words. One of the basic words you should know is “candle,” which in Spanish is “vela.”

Phonetic Breakdown Of “Vela”

The word “vela” is pronounced as “be-la” in Spanish. Here is a phonetic breakdown of the word:

Letter(s) Pronunciation
E Eh
A Ah

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you pronounce “vela” correctly:

  • Practice saying the word slowly and carefully.
  • Pay attention to the sounds of each letter and syllable.
  • Try to mimic the pronunciation of native Spanish speakers.
  • Use online resources, such as audio guides or pronunciation tools, to help you practice.

Learning to properly pronounce words in Spanish can take time and practice, but it is an essential part of becoming fluent in the language. With these tips and a little patience, you can master the pronunciation of “vela” and other Spanish words.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Candle”

Proper grammar is essential when using the Spanish word for candle, as it ensures clear communication and understanding. Understanding the proper placement of the word in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and common exceptions is crucial to using the word correctly.

Placement Of “Candle” In Sentences

The placement of the word “candle” in Spanish sentences varies depending on the sentence structure and context. In general, the word “candle” is placed after the verb and before the object it modifies. For example:

  • “Encendí una vela” (I lit a candle)
  • “La vela está encendida” (The candle is lit)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb conjugation or tense used with the word “candle” depends on the context of the sentence. For example:

  • Present tense: “Enciendo una vela” (I light a candle)
  • Past tense: “Encendí una vela” (I lit a candle)
  • Future tense: “Encenderé una vela” (I will light a candle)

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, all nouns have a gender and number. The word “candle” is feminine, so it must be accompanied by feminine articles and adjectives. For example:

  • “La vela” (the candle)
  • “Una vela blanca” (a white candle)

Additionally, when referring to multiple candles, the word “candle” must be pluralized. For example:

  • “Las velas están encendidas” (The candles are lit)

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions to the grammatical rules for the word “candle” in Spanish. One of the most notable exceptions is the expression “echar una vela” which means “to pray for someone” or “to make a wish.” This expression does not follow the typical placement or usage of the word “candle” in Spanish sentences.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Candle”

Candles have been used for centuries to light up homes and create a warm and cozy ambiance. In Spanish, the word for candle is “vela.” Let’s take a look at some common phrases that include the word “vela” and how they are used in sentences.

Examples And Usage

  • “Encender una vela” – To light a candle
  • Example sentence: Encendí una vela para crear un ambiente relajante. (I lit a candle to create a relaxing atmosphere.)

  • “Soplar una vela” – To blow out a candle
  • Example sentence: Mi hijo sopló una vela en su pastel de cumpleaños. (My son blew out a candle on his birthday cake.)

  • “Vela aromática” – Scented candle
  • Example sentence: Me encanta encender velas aromáticas para relajarme después de un largo día. (I love lighting scented candles to relax after a long day.)

  • “Vela votiva” – Votive candle
  • Example sentence: Encendí una vela votiva en la iglesia por mi abuela que falleció. (I lit a votive candle in the church for my grandmother who passed away.)

Example Spanish Dialogue

Here’s an example dialogue between two friends discussing the use of candles:

Spanish English Translation
Amigo 1: ¿Te gusta encender velas? Friend 1: Do you like lighting candles?
Amigo 2: Sí, me encanta encender velas aromáticas en mi habitación. Friend 2: Yes, I love lighting scented candles in my room.
Amigo 1: ¿Qué tipo de velas te gustan? Friend 1: What kind of candles do you like?
Amigo 2: Me gustan las velas de lavanda y vainilla. Friend 2: I like lavender and vanilla candles.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Candle”

Understanding the contextual uses of the Spanish word for “candle” can help you communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking individuals. In addition to the formal and informal usage of the word, there are also slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical uses to consider. Let’s explore each of these contexts in more detail.

Formal Usage Of Candle

In formal settings, the Spanish word for “candle” is “vela.” This is the most commonly used term for candle in Spanish, and it is used in a variety of formal contexts such as religious ceremonies, formal dinners, and other events. For example, if you were attending a Catholic mass in a Spanish-speaking country, you would likely hear the word “vela” used to describe the candles that are lit during the service.

Informal Usage Of Candle

While “vela” is the most common term for candle in Spanish, there are also informal words that are used in everyday conversation. One of these words is “candela,” which is used in many Latin American countries. This term is often used in casual settings, such as when talking about lighting a candle at home or during a power outage.

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal usage, there are also slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical uses of the Spanish word for “candle.” For example, in some parts of Spain, the word “churro” is used to describe a candle that has melted and formed a long, thin shape resembling the popular Spanish pastry. Another example is the phrase “echar una vela,” which means “to light a candle” but is also used idiomatically to mean “to pray for someone or something.”

When exploring the cultural and historical uses of the Spanish word for “candle,” it is important to note the significance of candles in many Latin American and Spanish cultures. Candles are often used in religious ceremonies, such as during the Day of the Dead in Mexico or during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain. In some cultures, candles are also used to ward off evil spirits or to bring good luck.

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural usage of the Spanish word for “candle” is in the song “La Bamba.” In the song, there is a line that says “para bailar la Bamba, se necesita una poca de gracia, una poca de gracia pa’ mi pa’ ti, y arriba y arriba y arriba, y arriba iré.” The word “arriba” is often translated as “up,” but it can also be translated as “light up” or “ignite,” referring to the lighting of candles during celebrations.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Candle”

As with any language, there are regional variations in Spanish. This includes the word for “candle,” which can vary from country to country. While the word for candle is generally understood throughout the Spanish-speaking world, some countries have their own unique variations.

Spanish Word For Candle In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In Spain, the word for “candle” is “vela.” This is the standard word used throughout the country. In Latin America, the word for “candle” varies depending on the country. For example:

  • In Mexico, the word for “candle” is “veladora.”
  • In Argentina, the word for “candle” is “velón.”
  • In Colombia, the word for “candle” is “velón” or “vela.”

It’s important to note that while these words may be specific to certain countries, they are generally understood throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Regional Pronunciations

Not only do different countries have their own variations of the word for “candle,” but they also have their own regional pronunciations. For example, in Spain, the “v” in “vela” is pronounced like a “b.” In Mexico, the “d” in “veladora” is often pronounced like a “th.”

It’s important to be aware of these regional variations and pronunciations when speaking Spanish, as they can impact how well you are understood by native speakers.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Candle” In Speaking & Writing

As with many words in any language, the Spanish word for “candle” (vela) can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In addition to its literal meaning, “candle” can also be used in various idiomatic expressions and phrases. It is important to understand these different uses in order to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers.

Literal Meaning Of Vela

The most common use of the word vela is to refer to a candle, a cylindrical piece of wax or other material with a wick in the center that is used to provide light. This meaning is straightforward and easy to understand, and it is the one that most people are familiar with.

Idiomatic Expressions With Vela

However, vela can also be used in a variety of idiomatic expressions and phrases that have different meanings altogether. Here are some examples:

  • Echar una vela a alguien: This phrase literally means “to light a candle for someone,” but it is used to express admiration or praise for someone. It is similar to saying “to give someone a pat on the back” or “to give someone a shoutout.”
  • Apagar la vela: This phrase literally means “to blow out the candle,” but it is used to refer to the end of a party or celebration. It is similar to saying “to call it a night” or “to wrap things up.”
  • Dejar a alguien con la vela encendida: This phrase literally means “to leave someone with the candle burning,” but it is used to refer to someone who has been stood up or left waiting for someone who never shows up. It is similar to saying “to leave someone hanging” or “to be stood up.”

These are just a few examples of the many idiomatic expressions that use the word vela in Spanish. It is important to understand the context in which these expressions are used in order to avoid confusion and ensure clear communication.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Candle”

When searching for the Spanish word for candle, you may come across related terms that are commonly used in everyday language. Here are some synonyms for candle in Spanish:

  • Vela – This is the most common and straightforward translation for candle in Spanish. It is used in the same way as the English word candle, to refer to a cylindrical piece of wax or tallow with a wick in the middle.
  • Candela – This term is also used to refer to a candle, but it is more commonly used in a scientific or technical context. For example, it may be used to describe the intensity of a light source or the measurement of luminous intensity.
  • Farolillo – This word translates to lantern or lamp, but it can also be used to refer to a candle lantern or holder.

While these terms are similar to candle, they may not always be used interchangeably. For example, candela is more commonly used in a technical context, while vela is used in everyday language. Additionally, farolillo may refer to a candle holder or lantern, rather than the candle itself.

Here are some antonyms for candle in Spanish:

  • Oscuridad – This term translates to darkness and is the opposite of light. It is used to describe a lack of illumination or brightness.
  • Apagar – This verb translates to extinguish or put out. It is the opposite of encender, which means to light or ignite.

While these terms are not directly related to candle, they provide context for the use of candles in Spanish. For example, oscuridad may be used to describe the need for a candle in a dark room, while apagar may be used to describe the act of blowing out a candle.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Candle”

When learning a new language, it’s common to make mistakes. Spanish is no exception, and when it comes to the word for “candle,” there are some common errors that non-native speakers make. Here are some of the most common mistakes and tips to avoid them:

Confusing “Vela” With “Velo”

One of the most common mistakes is confusing “vela” with “velo.” While “vela” means “candle,” “velo” means “veil.” To avoid this mistake, it’s important to pay attention to the context in which the word is being used. If someone is talking about lighting a “vela,” they are likely referring to a candle, not a veil.

Using Masculine Articles With “Vela”

Another common mistake is using masculine articles with “vela.” While “vela” is a feminine noun, some non-native speakers may use masculine articles such as “el” instead of “la.” To avoid this mistake, it’s important to remember that “vela” is a feminine noun and should be used with feminine articles such as “la.”

Incorrect Pronunciation

Finally, incorrect pronunciation is another common mistake. The correct pronunciation of “vela” is /ˈbela/, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Some non-native speakers may pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable or may not pronounce the “e” sound correctly. To avoid this mistake, it’s important to practice the correct pronunciation with a native speaker or through language learning resources.


When using the Spanish word for “candle,” it’s important to avoid common mistakes such as confusing “vela” with “velo,” using masculine articles with “vela,” and incorrect pronunciation. By paying attention to the context, using the correct articles, and practicing pronunciation, non-native speakers can avoid these mistakes and improve their Spanish language skills.


In summary, we have explored the various ways to say candle in Spanish and the contexts in which they are used. From the common word “vela” to the regional variations like “candela” and “candelilla,” it is clear that the Spanish language has a rich vocabulary to describe this everyday object.

Moreover, we have learned how to use candle-related expressions in different situations, such as lighting a candle for a religious or cultural ritual, describing the scent or color of a candle, or using a candle as a metaphor for hope or inspiration.

As with any language learning endeavor, the key is to practice and use the new words and phrases in real-life conversations. Whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, communicating with Spanish-speaking friends or colleagues, or simply expanding your linguistic horizons, incorporating candle-related vocabulary can enhance your language skills and cultural understanding.

So, don’t be afraid to light a candle, both literally and figuratively, and see how it illuminates your language journey!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.