The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (2023)

The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (1)

9. October 2021 Vonolga put spanish vocabulary 0 comments

There are almost 400 fully recognized Spanish abbreviations and thousands more accepted. You can even create your own if you follow the rules.

Read this article to learn all about abbreviations in Spanish. Access several lists of abbreviations in Spanish, useful even for beginners.

Why use abbreviations?

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words that help us communicate more quickly.

People started using abbreviations a long time ago, including the Spanish abbreviations forwrite smsit is a relatively new phenomenon. The Romans began to use so many abbreviations as early as the 6th century that they gave rise to many misunderstandings. The vast empire depended on effective communications. To save stability, Emperor Justinian had to impose some rules and regulations.

People always try to communicate more sparingly, but the struggle for intelligibility is real, and you have to follow the rules.

the royal spanish academy(The Royal Spanish Academy), which is in charge of regulating the Spanish languageclear rulesabout possible formation, spelling, punctuation, and usage.

Types of abbreviations in Spanish

The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (2)
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The Spanish language distinguishes four types of officially recognized abbreviations:

  • abbreviations -RD. paramedic
  • Symbol -METROforSubterraneo(Metro)
  • Initialismmen (acronym) -TO TAKE– national identity document (identity card)
  • Acronyms –HEUnited Nations(United Nations/UN)

Let me show each of them in detail:

1. Abbreviations

Proper abbreviations are sets of letters that together represent a word. You use the initial part of the original word -edit. - editorial(Editor) – or a mix of opening and ending parts –Avda.–Allee(Allee).

They always end with a period or a forward slash ("/"), with a few exceptions.

For example:C/to connect(Of the);Dr.Doctor.

Other common examples:

  • OC (before Christ)– v. (BC)
  • United States (United States)– USA (United States of America)
  • adult (adverb)- ADV (adverb)
The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (3)

2. Symbol

The symbols are abbreviations for words of scientific or technical origin. They have the same shape internationally. They are written in lower case.

Common examples:

  • m (U-Bahn)- Metro
  • t (tag)- Bookmarks
  • kg (kilogram)- kilogram

3. Acronyms

Acronyms are also shortened forms of words and are made up of initials. They can be pronounced as syllables or as whole words. You must write them in capital letters. Grammatically they are nouns, although they can be composed of different types of words.

Common examples:

  • ADENA (Association for the Protection of Nature)– Association for the Protection of Nature
  • RAE (Royal Spanish Academy)- Royal Spanish Academy
  • RENFE (Red Ferroviaria Española)– National Railway Network of Spain
The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (4)

4. Initials

Acronyms are invokedacronymin Spanish. They are Spanish abbreviations for words that also consist of the first letter of the words they represent.

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They also function as nouns and generally follow the grammar rules that apply to nouns. They do not end in a period.

people tend to useacronymas acronyms, thoughthe ARdoes not accept this. Unlike acronyms, you should not pronounce themacronymlike whole words instead of letter by letter, but don't be surprised if people break this rule.

You must also write them in capital letters.

Common examples:

  • DNI (national identification document)- I WAS GOING
  • NGO (non-governmental organization)– NGO (non-governmental organization)
  • AVE (Spanish High Speed)– Spanish high speed (trains)

The Definitive List of Common Abbreviations in Spanish

Let's take a look at the most common abbreviations you need to understand and use.

Spanish abbreviations for international organizations

Here is a list of Spanish abbreviations for international organizations. In general, the letters used in the abbreviations in English and Spanish are the same, only the order changes. Some of them look exactly like their English translations. In Spanish they are loanwords.

HEUnited NationsUnited Nations
UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNICEFUnited Nations Children's FoundationUNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
I'LL TAKENorth Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNATO Organization Nordatlantikpakt
OMSWorld Health OrganizationOMSWeltgesundheitsorganization
IMFIMFIMFInternational Monetary Fund
contra Chreuropean central bankECB European Central Bank
the UEFAUnion of European Football AssociationsUEFA Union of European Football Associations
la fifaAssociation of International Football AssociationFIFA International Association of Football Federation
The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (5)

Spanish abbreviations for academic and professional titles

These are useful and common abbreviations. I divided them into two categories: Titles and Professions.

Spanish abbreviations for titles

Use the following Spanish abbreviations when writing an email or applying for a job. Remember, while you do not capitalize titles in Spanish, do so when they appear as abbreviations. Most titles have both masculine and feminine forms, but not all.

Sr.Señorsir sir
DANA, EASYDonalady woman
The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (6)

Abbreviations of professions in Spanish

Dr.Doctordr male
Dra.Doctordr, female
prof..Lehrerteacher man
prof..Lehrerteacher, woman
ask yourselfpresidentpresident man
Pdta.presidentpresident woman
in g.engineerengineer
Subterraneo.Maestroteacher man
prof..Lehrerteacher, woman

time abbreviations

Spanish also has many abbreviations to talk about the weather. You rarely see the full names of months or days of the week on a printed calendar.

month abbreviations in spanish

In addition toJanuary(January), march(March), I could(May) andAugust(August), the other months have their initials.


Spanish abbreviations for the days of the week.

The Spanish abbreviations for the days of the week are easy to learn and you have two options to choose from: one-letter abbreviations and two-letter abbreviations. They are intuitive most days, but watch out for Wednesdays.

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One letter abbreviations:

UEto assembleto assemble

Two letter abbreviations:

Luto assembleto assemble
mi, mxWednesdayWednesday

Other time abbreviations

Here are other useful Spanish abbreviations to use when writing about the weather:


Abbreviations in Spanish for locations on maps

You also need shortcuts to read a map or read and write someone's address.

Spanish abbreviations for cardinal points

miThat isWest
SOOn westOn west

Address abbreviations in Spanish

Here are some abbreviations you might find on an envelope, package, or on Google Maps:

av., avd., avda., (av.ª)avenidaalley
bo., b.ºneighborhooddistrict
c., c/, connectOf the
road, wagonOf theOf the
gta., front oftopround, round
And t.InternalInternal
PAG.for, pc., pl., quadrantplazasquare

Spanish abbreviations for units of measure

Most measurement abbreviations are international symbols. Therefore, the abbreviations for cooking measures are the ones you already know in your language!

Longitude abbreviations in Spanish

The definitive list of common Spanish abbreviations (7)

Fair abbreviations in Spanish


Capacity abbreviations in Spanish


Spanish abbreviations for territory

say ohHectaresHectares
cm2square centimetersquare centimeter
METRO2square metersquare meter
kilometres2square kilometersquare kilometer

Volume abbreviations in Spanish

cm3Cubic centimeterCubic centimeter
METRO3cubic metercubic meter
kilometres3cubic kilometerscubic kilometers

practice speaking spanish

Of course, reading long lists of abbreviations won't get you very far. It is also important to practice your speaking skills. Remember that as you work to become bilingual you will also improve yourcognition and decision making! sign up for afree trial classat Homeschool Spanish Academy to improve their Spanish skills in the four key areas: speaking, listening, writing and reading. Improve your understanding by practicing abbreviations with a friendly certified Guatemalan Spanish teacher.

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olga put

freelance writerNoSpanish school at home

I am a Spanish philologist, teacher and freelance writer with a Master's in Humanities in Madrid. I am fluent in Polish, Spanish and English and would like to improve my Portuguese and German. A lover of literature and spicy Mexican cuisine, I have lived in Poland, Spain and Mexico and I currently live and teach in Madeira, Portugal.

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