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How to Say "Where Is the Bathroom?" in Spanish

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 22, 2019 8:00:00 AM

General Education

 

feature_bathroomspanish

Knowing how to ask where the bathroom is located is crucial if you’re traveling somewhere new or learning a new language. Read this guide to learn about all the different ways to say “bathroom” in Spanish, including which terms you should use in different situations. You’ll also learn how to ask to use the bathroom in Spanish, as well as additional bathroom-related words and phrases.


What’s the Word for “Bathroom” in Spanish?

The most common word for “bathroom” in Spanish is el baño (el BAN-yoh). You can use “el baño” pretty much anywhere in the Spanish-speaking world, and people will know that you are referring to a bathroom. Technically, the proper phrase for bathroom is “el cuarto de baño” since “baño” means “bath” and “cuarto” means “room,” but most people, especially when not speaking formally, simply use the term “ el baño” to refer to the bathroom.

While “el baño” will be understood wherever you go, if you want to be especially precise or just expand your vocabulary there are several other terms for bathroom in Spanish. The second-most common term for bathroom is “el servicio.” This term is typically used to refer to public toilets (such as those in an airport or restaurant) rather than a bathroom in someone’s home. The full name is “servicios higiénicos” which isn’t spoken that often, but may be abbreviated to “SS. HH.” on signs. “Los aseos” has a similar meaning to el servicio but isn’t used as often.

The word for “toilet” itself in Spanish is “el inodoro” or, less commonly, “el váter.” Just like English, Spanish has many different ways of referring to the bathroom or toilet. Other less common terms are el retrete, el sanitario, el excusado, and el lavabo. A much more informal, and somewhat impolite way to refer to the bathroom is “el cagadero.” The closest translations in English would be “the john” or “the can.” Don’t use that term in formal settings!

 

How Do You Ask “Where Is the Bathroom” in Spanish?

Now you know the word for bathroom in Spanish, but how do you properly ask where it is? The most common way to ask “Where is the bathroom?” in Spanish is to say “¿Dónde está el baño?” “dónde está” means “where is” and, as you know, “el baño” means bathroom.

If you are asking where a public bathroom is, you can use the above phrase, or you can ask, “¿Dónde está el servicio?” This also means “where is the bathroom,” but only for larger, public restrooms. Don’t use this phrase when asking where the bathroom is in a person’s house.

For some added politeness, you can add “perdón” (“excuse me”)  or “por favor” (“please”) to the phrase, such as, “Perdón, ¿dónde está el servicio?” (“Excuse me, where is the bathroom?”) or “¿Dónde está el baño, por favor?” (“Where is the bathroom, please?).

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Other Common Bathroom-Related Spanish Words and Phrases

Below are two tables with other useful words and phrases to know. The first gives Spanish translations of bathroom-related phrases you may need while the second table includes all the main bathroom-related vocabulary you’ll likely want to know now that you know how to ask to use the bathroom.

English

Spanish

Can I use the bathroom?

¿Puedo ir al baño?

I need a room with a bathroom.

Yo necesito un cuarto con baño.

I need to go to the bathroom.

Necesito ir al baño.

Where’s the bathroom, please?

¿Dónde está el baño, por favor?




English

Spanish

bathtub

la bañera

faucet

el grifo

hairbrush

el cepillo para el pelo

razor (electric)

la maquina de afeitar

shampoo

el champú

shower

la ducha

sink

el lavabo

soap

el jabón

toilet

el inodoro

toilet paper

el papel de baño

toothbrush

el cepillo de dientes

toothpaste

la pasta de dientes

towel

la toalla

water

el agua



Summary: How Do You Say Bathroom in Spanish?

How do you say “Where is the bathroom” in Spanish? The most common word for “bathroom” in Spanish is “el baño,” although “el servicio” may also be used if you’re referring to a large public restroom. To ask “Where is the bathroom” in Spanish, the most common phrase is “¿Dónde está el baño?” Knowing other bathroom-related vocabulary and phrases is also important to know when traveling or for just improving your Spanish skills in general.

 

What's Next?

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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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