wikiHow to Say Money in Spanish

Two Methods:Learning Terms for MoneyUsing Slang Terms for Money

No matter where you are in the world, money is a fundamental part of human life, and Spanish-speaking countries are no exception. Thus, learning how to talk about money is a vital Spanish language skill. In addition, learning a few of the numerous terms for money in Spanish slang can help the speaker speak like a true hispanohablante.

Method 1
Learning Terms for Money

  1. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 1
    Use "dinero" for "money." If you only learn one Spanish word for money, make sure it's this one. "Dinero" is a very general term for the concept of money that is recognized in virtually all Spanish-speaking cultures.
    • "Dinero" is pronounced "dee-NEH-doe." Note that the r makes a sound that's very near to the English d sound in "ladder." Do this by flicking the tip of your tongue towards the roof of your mouth as you pronounce the r.[1] To be clear, the last syllable should not sound like the English word "row."
  2. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 2
    Use "moneda" for "coin." This sounds like the English word "money," but it's only used for metal coins. Don't use it for paper money.
    • Use the plural form ("monedas") for "coins."
    • "Moneda" is pronounced "moe-NEH-thah." Note that the d at the end of the word is very delicate. It should sound similar to the English soft th sound (as in "the").[2]
  3. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 3
    For "paper money," use "papel moneda." This is a little confusing because "moneda" by itself means "coin," not "money." However, in this case, the meaning of the phrase is for paper bills — not metal coins.
    • This phrase is pronounced "pah-PEHL moe-NEH-thah." "Pah" has a short a sound (as in "raw"), while "pehl" uses a sound that's a little like a cross between e (as in "red") and a (as in "pay"). If you can't get it, just say "pale." "Moneda" is exactly the same as above.
  4. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 4
    For "cash," say "efectivo." You'd use this similarly to how you'd use "cash" in English. In other words, use it to describe when you're using physical money and not a debit card or check.
    • This is pronounced "eh-FEHK-tee-voe." The first two syllables use the a/e sound from "papel" above.
    • If you want to talk about someone paying for something in cash, use the phrase "pagar en efectivo." For example "She pays in cash" is "Ella paga en efectivo."[3]
  5. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 5
    Use "dólar" for "dollar." This is a handy word to know when you're trying to exchange your money for the local currency.
    • "Dólar" is pronounced "DOE-ladr." The r at the end of the word has a pronunciation that's a little tricky for English speakers. It's a little like a very short, delicate d sound followed by an English r. To get an example, try pronouncing "ladder" by using a quick flick of the tongue for the "dd."
    • If you want to clarify which country's dollars you're using, use the word for people from that country after "dólar." For example, "U.S. dollar" is "dólar estadounidense."
  6. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 6
    Know the name of your country's currency. Spanish-speaking countries have a wide range of different currencies. Knowing the local currency in the country you're visiting will make many conversations a lot easier. Below is a partial list — for a complete one, click here.[4]
    • Spain: El euro (ay-OO-doe)
    • Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and more: El peso (PAY-so)
    • Costa Rica and El Salvador: El colón (co-LOAN)
    • Puerto Rico: El dólar estadounidense (DOE-ladr eh-stah-doe-oo-nee-DEN-say)

Method 2
Using Slang Terms for Money

  1. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 7
    Use "plata" for money. This is a very common slang term throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The literal meaning is "silver," but you can use it almost exactly like you'd use "dinero."
    • "Plata" is pronounced "PLAH-tah." Both syllables use a short a sound, but "plah" rhymes more with the English word "raw" and "tah" with "the."
  2. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 8
    Use "pasta" for money. This is another common slang word. "Pasta" is the Spanish word for "dough," "paste," or "pulp" (plus the Italian noodles). You can use it basically like you'd use "dough" in English.
    • "Pasta" is pronounced almost exactly like the English word "pasta" — "PAHS-tah."
    • "¡Suelta la pasta!" ("SWELL-tah lah PAHS-tah") means essentially "Gimme the dough!" This is a somewhat rude way to ask for money — it's what a bank robber might say to the teller.
  3. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 9
    Use "harina" for money. "Harina" is literally "flour" (like you'd use for baking), but you can use it as a slang term for money like "pasta." This term is popular in Costa Rica and elsewhere.[5]
    • "Harina" is pronounced "ah-DEE-nah." Note that the h at the beginning of the word is silent.
  4. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 10
    Use "mosca" for money. This literally means "fly" (the insect). It's another term that's popular in Costa Rica.
    • "Mosca" is pronounced "MOE-scah."
  5. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 11
    Use "divisa" for international money. This term is popular in Cuba.[6] It specifically refers to foreign money — not the money used in Cuba itself. The meaning is roughly "badge" or "emblem."
    • "Divisa" is pronounced "dee-VEE-sah."
  6. Image titled Say Money in Spanish Step 12
    Use "feria" for "coins" or "change." This is a term used in Mexico.[7] It literally means "fair" (as in a festival or carnival). You'd use it to describe loose metal coins — not paper money.
    • "Feria" is pronounced "FEH-dee-ah."


  • The slang terms above are just a few examples. Like English, there are dozens and dozens of ways to say "money" in Spanish. A thorough list can be found here.[8]
  • Listening to clips of actual Spanish Speakers say these words can be a great help when it comes to learning their pronunciations. Sites like have vast collections of audio samples — for instance, here is Forvo's page for "dólar."[9]
  • Below are a few helpful money-related phrases:
    • Where is the bank?: "¿Dónde está el banco?"
    • Where is the ATM machine?: "¿Dónde está el cajero?"
    • Where is the bureau of change?: "¿Dónde está la oficina de cambiar dinero?"
    • What is the exchange rate?: "¿Qué es la tasa de intercambio?"
    • Where can I exchange the money?: "¿Dónde puedo cambiar (el) dinero?"
    • How much is $1 worth?: "¿Cuánto vale un dólar estadounidense?"

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Categories: Spanish