How Do You Say “Supper” In Spanish?

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is a language that is rich in culture, history, and literature. Learning Spanish can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you plan on traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. However, one of the biggest challenges for beginners is learning the vocabulary. If you are wondering how to say supper in Spanish, you have come to the right place.

The Spanish translation for supper is “la cena”. It is a common word used in Spain and Latin America to refer to the evening meal, which is usually the last meal of the day. However, it is important to note that there are different variations of Spanish spoken in different regions, so there may be other words used to describe supper depending on where you are.

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

Learning to properly pronounce words in a foreign language can be challenging, but it is an important part of effective communication. If you’re looking to learn how to say “supper” in Spanish, it’s important to understand the correct pronunciation. The word for supper in Spanish is “cena.”

Phonetic Breakdown

Phonetics is the study of the sounds of human speech. Understanding the phonetic breakdown of “cena” can help you to properly pronounce the word. Here’s the phonetic breakdown of “cena”:

Phonetic Symbol Phonetic Description
/θ The first sound is a voiced dental fricative (/θ/), followed by a mid front unrounded vowel (/e/), and then a voiced alveolar nasal (/n/), and finally a low front unrounded vowel (/a/).

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you properly pronounce “cena” in Spanish:

  • Practice the individual sounds of the word before putting them together.
  • Make sure to emphasize the first syllable of the word.
  • Pay attention to the stress on the last syllable, which is pronounced as “nah.”
  • Listen to native Spanish speakers pronounce the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing the phonetic breakdown of “cena,” you’ll be able to properly pronounce the Spanish word for “supper.”

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Supper”

Using proper grammar when using the Spanish word for “supper” is essential to convey your message accurately. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

Placement Of Supper In Sentences

In Spanish, the word for “supper” is “cena.” It is important to place “cena” correctly in a sentence to avoid confusion. Typically, “cena” comes after the verb in a sentence.

For example:

  • ¿Qué vas a cenar esta noche? (What are you going to have for supper tonight?)
  • Siempre ceno a las ocho. (I always have supper at eight.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb tense used in a sentence can affect the conjugation of the verb “cenar” (to have supper). Here are a few examples:

  • Present tense: Yo ceno una ensalada todas las noches. (I have a salad for supper every night.)
  • Preterite tense: Ayer cené con mi familia. (Yesterday I had supper with my family.)
  • Imperfect tense: Cuando era niño, siempre cenaba con mis abuelos. (When I was a child, I always had supper with my grandparents.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, nouns and adjectives must agree with the gender and number of the subject. The word “cena” is feminine, so any adjectives or articles used with it must also be feminine.

For example:

  • La cena está lista. (Supper is ready.)
  • Una cena deliciosa. (A delicious supper.)

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are some exceptions to the rules. In some Spanish-speaking countries, “cena” can also refer to a light meal or snack eaten in the evening, rather than a full supper.

Additionally, in some regions, the word “cena” may be replaced with a different word entirely. For example, in Argentina, the word “cenar” is not commonly used, and instead, the word “merendar” (to have an evening snack) is used.

It is important to be aware of these exceptions when using the word “cena” in different contexts or regions.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Supper”

Supper, or cena in Spanish, is an essential meal for many cultures. It is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy a meal after a long day. Here are some common phrases that include supper:

Providing Examples And Explanation Of How They Are Used In Sentences:

  • “¿Qué hay de cena?” – This phrase translates to “What’s for supper?” and is commonly used to ask about the evening meal.
  • “Vamos a cenar juntos” – This translates to “Let’s have supper together” and is a common invitation to share a meal with someone.
  • “Necesito preparar la cena” – This phrase means “I need to prepare supper” and is used when someone is responsible for cooking the evening meal.

These phrases are often used in everyday conversation and can help you communicate effectively in Spanish.

Providing Example Spanish Dialogue (With Translations) Using Supper:

Spanish Dialogue English Translation
“¿Qué hay de cena?” “What’s for supper?”
“Hoy vamos a cenar paella.” “Today we’re having paella for supper.”
“¿Te gustaría cenar en mi casa esta noche?” “Would you like to have supper at my house tonight?”
“No puedo cenar contigo esta noche, ya tengo planes.” “I can’t have supper with you tonight, I already have plans.”

These examples illustrate how cena is used in everyday conversation. By using these phrases and engaging in dialogue, you can improve your Spanish language skills and connect with others.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Supper”

When it comes to the Spanish word for supper, there are many different contexts in which it can be used. From formal to informal, slang to idiomatic expressions, and even cultural or historical uses, the word for supper in Spanish is a versatile term that can be used in a variety of ways.

Formal Usage Of Supper

In formal settings, the Spanish word for supper is typically used to refer to an evening meal that is more formal or elegant than a casual dinner. This might include a dinner party or a special occasion where guests are invited to enjoy a more sophisticated meal. In these contexts, the word for supper might be used in a more formal tone, and it might be accompanied by other words or phrases to indicate the level of formality or elegance of the meal.

Informal Usage Of Supper

On the other hand, in informal settings, the Spanish word for supper might be used more casually to refer to any evening meal, regardless of its level of formality or elegance. In these contexts, the word for supper might be used in a more relaxed tone, and it might be accompanied by other words or phrases to indicate the level of informality or simplicity of the meal.

Other Contexts

In addition to formal and informal contexts, there are many other contexts in which the Spanish word for supper can be used. For example, there are many slang expressions in Spanish that use the word for supper to refer to something else entirely. Additionally, there are many idiomatic expressions that use the word for supper in a figurative sense to convey a particular meaning or sentiment. Finally, there are many cultural or historical uses of the word for supper that might be specific to certain regions or time periods.

To give you an idea of the variety of ways in which the word for supper can be used in Spanish, here are some examples of popular cultural usage:

Region Cultural Usage
Spain “La cena de los idiotas” (The Supper of Fools) – a popular comedy play
Mexico “La Última Cena” (The Last Supper) – a traditional Easter play
Argentina “Cena con amigos” (Supper with Friends) – a popular TV show

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Supper”

As with any language, Spanish has its own regional variations that can make it challenging for non-native speakers to navigate. One area where these variations can be particularly noticeable is in the vocabulary used to describe meals. In this article, we will explore the different regional variations of the Spanish word for “supper.”

Usage In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

The Spanish language is spoken in many different countries around the world, each with its own unique culture and history. As a result, the way that people use the language can vary widely from one place to another. This is true when it comes to the word for “supper” as well.

In some countries, such as Mexico and Spain, the word for “supper” is cena. This is the most commonly used term in these regions and is likely to be the one that Spanish language learners encounter most frequently. However, in other countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, the word for “supper” is usually referred to as la comida. This can be confusing for those who are used to thinking of comida as meaning “lunch,” but in these regions, it is used to refer to the final meal of the day.

Other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, use the word for “dinner” (cena) to describe the last meal of the day, while in Puerto Rico, the word for “supper” is sometimes referred to as merienda. This can be particularly confusing for Spanish language learners, as merienda is more commonly used to refer to a snack or light meal that is consumed in the late afternoon or early evening.

Regional Pronunciations

Along with variations in usage, the Spanish word for “supper” can also be pronounced differently depending on the region. For example, in Spain, the word cena is typically pronounced with a soft “th” sound, while in Latin America, it is more common to hear it pronounced with a hard “s” sound. Similarly, in some regions, such as parts of Mexico and Central America, the word for “supper” is pronounced as “cenar,” while in others, such as Argentina and Uruguay, it is pronounced more like “comida.”

Overall, it is important for Spanish language learners to be aware of these regional variations when it comes to vocabulary and pronunciation. By understanding the different ways that the language is used in different countries, learners can better navigate conversations with native speakers and avoid misunderstandings.

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

While “cena” is commonly used to refer to the evening meal, it can also have different meanings depending on context. It’s important to understand these different uses to avoid confusion and communicate effectively in Spanish.

1. Formal Events

In formal events, “cena” can refer to a banquet or a formal dinner. This type of “cena” is usually served late in the evening and can consist of multiple courses. It’s important to note that this type of “cena” is not the same as an everyday evening meal.

2. Latin American Countries

In some Latin American countries, “cena” can refer to a late-night snack or light meal. This is particularly true in Mexico, where “cena” can refer to a small meal eaten after the main evening meal. This type of “cena” is usually light and can consist of simple dishes like soup or a sandwich.

3. Verb Conjugation

The word “cena” can also be used as a verb, meaning “to have supper” or “to dine.” In this case, the word is conjugated according to the subject of the sentence. For example, “yo ceno” means “I have supper,” while “ellos cenan” means “they have supper.”

To distinguish between these different uses of “cena,” it’s important to pay attention to context and to be familiar with the cultural customs of the Spanish-speaking country you’re in. Using the wrong meaning of “cena” can lead to confusion or misunderstandings.

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

When it comes to discussing meals in Spanish, there are a variety of words and phrases that can be used interchangeably with “supper.” Here are a few common options:


One of the most common words for “supper” in Spanish is “cena.” This word is used to refer to the main meal of the evening, typically eaten after 8pm. It can refer to anything from a light snack to a full sit-down meal.


The verb form of “cena” is “cenar,” which means “to have supper” or “to eat supper.” This verb is commonly used when discussing plans for the evening or when asking someone if they want to join you for supper.


A diminutive form of “cena,” “cenita” is often used to refer to a small or light supper. For example, if you were to have a bowl of soup or a sandwich for supper, you might refer to it as a “cenita.”


While “comida” is often used to refer to the midday meal, it can also be used to refer to supper. This is particularly true in Latin America, where the word is often used to refer to the main meal of the day, regardless of the time it is eaten.

Cenar Temprano/tarde

When discussing plans for supper, it’s common to use the phrases “cenar temprano” (to have supper early) or “cenar tarde” (to have supper late). These phrases can be used to indicate when you plan to eat, or to ask someone else when they would like to have supper.


While there are many words and phrases that can be used to refer to supper in Spanish, there are also some antonyms to be aware of. Here are a few examples:

  • Desayuno – breakfast
  • Almuerzo – lunch
  • Cena ligera – light supper

It’s important to note that these antonyms aren’t necessarily opposite in meaning to “supper.” Instead, they simply refer to other meals that may be eaten at different times of the day.

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

When it comes to speaking Spanish, non-native speakers often make mistakes with regards to the usage of the word “supper”. Some of these common errors include:

  • Using “cena” instead of “cena de la noche”
  • Using “comida” instead of “cena”
  • Using “sopa” instead of “cena”

Highlight These Mistakes And Provide Tips To Avoid Them.

To avoid making these common mistakes, it is important to understand the proper usage of the Spanish word for “supper”. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use “cena de la noche” instead of just “cena” to specifically refer to the evening meal.
  2. Use “cena” instead of “comida” or “sopa” to refer to the last meal of the day.
  3. Be aware of regional differences in terminology. In some Spanish-speaking countries, “cena” may refer to a lighter meal or snack in the evening, while “comida” is used to refer to the main meal of the day.

It is also important to note that the word “supper” is not commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries, so it is best to use the appropriate Spanish terminology for the evening meal.

English Spanish
Supper Noche
Dinner Cena
Meal Comida


In conclusion, we have explored the various ways to say supper in Spanish. From the more formal term “cena” to the casual “la comida,” it is important to understand the context in which these words are used. We also learned the nuanced differences between supper and dinner and how they vary depending on the region.

It is important to remember that language is constantly evolving and adapting to the cultural and social changes around us. As such, it is encouraged to practice and use these new terms in real-life conversations to fully understand their meaning and usage.

So go ahead, try using “cena” or “la comida” the next time you have supper with your Spanish-speaking friends or colleagues. Not only will it help you communicate more effectively, but it will also show your appreciation for the richness and diversity of the Spanish language.

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”.