Yes, preparation is better than luck — most of the time, at least.
But for those of us that are superstitious, luck can feel like it makes a big difference. So even if you don’t believe in luck, wishing someone good luck is a nice way of showing support to your friends and family and letting them know you hope for their success.
There are a lot of ways to say good luck in Spanish. As in English, some are more formal, some more informal, and some are in between; some are more linked with superstition, and some are for everyday life.
Luckily, we listed most of them here! So here are a number of good ways of wishing someone good luck in Spanish.
Good Luck in Spanish at a Glance
Here’s a summary table with audio of how to wish someone good luck in Spanish.
The Most Common Ways of Saying Good Luck in Spanish
The good ol’ buena suerte , your everyday, multipurpose way of saying “Good luck”. It literally means just that: “Good luck”.
You may say buena suerte to a friend before an exam, or to your grandfather before his poker game; you just can’t go wrong with buena suerte. Here’s a good example of how it’s used:
- Mañana me voy de vacaciones a la playa
- ¡Buena suerte! Ojalá la pases bien.
- Tomorrow I’m going on vacation to the beach.
- Good luck! I hope you have a good time.
You can have good luck, or you can have a lot of luck — that’s mucha suerte.
We assume —we hope— that it’s a lot of good luck. Else, we’re in big trouble; no one wants even more mala suerte (bad luck).
That’s what mucha suerte means: “a lot of luck”. Don’t worry, it’s used almost identically to buena suerte. Let’s see it in play:
- Hoy tengo una entrevista.
- Seguro te irá bien. ¡Mucha suerte!
- Today I have a work interview.
- You’ll do great. ¡Good luck!
Te deseo la mejor de las suertes
Among all the ways of saying “Good luck” in Spanish, te deseo la mejor de las suertes might be the most elaborate one.
As you’ve already noticed, it’s also the longest; it literally means “I wish you the best of luck”. Because in Spanish you can have good luck, a lot of luck, or the best of luck.
Here’s an example:
- ¡Que hable el padre!
- Hijo, te deseo la mejor de las suertes en este nuevo capítulo de tu vida.
- Let father say his speech!
- Son, I wish you the best of luck in this new chapter.
Que te vaya bienQue te vaya bien is another way of saying good luck. The literal translation is “may it go well for you”. It is a versatile expression and it can convey many things other than good luck such as, have a good day or take care. It is usually said at the end of a conversation when saying goodbye.
- Que te vaya bien el examen.
- I hope your exam goes well.
Mis mejores deseos
This expression is almost exclusively used in writing, or maybe in a very exceptional situation, like a toast in a wedding. Mis mejores deseos means “Best wishes”, and you can use it in a very similar way. It’s most commonly used at the end of some long text, like a letter or an e-mail. Let’s see an example:
- Ojalá sean muy felices. Mis mejores deseos, David.
- I hope you are very happy. Best wishes, David.
¡Éxitos! : that’s what every suertudo or suertuda — lucky person — wants to hear. It literally means “Successes”, and orally it’s used like an exclamation. So don’t forget the exclamation mark! In writing, you can use it to end an e-mail or a letter; it’s not an uncommon way of signing. Let’s see some examples.
- Me voy a mi cita. Deseenme suerte.
- I’m going to my date. Wish me luck.
- Good luck!
- Les adjunto los detalles del examen. Éxitos, Julio González.
- I’m sending you the details of the exam. Good luck, Julio González.
Que dios te bendiga
A very heartfelt way of saying good luck in Spanish. Que dios te bendiga means “God bless you”. Logically, it’s used mainly by religious people. Like in English, it’s also a way of saying “Thank you”. Here’s an example:
- Abuela, me voy a mi partido.
- ¡Que dios te bendiga! Estoy segura de que lo harás genial.
- Grandma, I’m going to my game.
- God bless you! I’m sure you’ll do great.
This is one of my personal favourite ways of saying “good luck” in Spanish as it’s quite counter-intuitive if you know that word.
¡Mucha mierda! means literally “Lots of shit!”.
So… How is this a way of saying good luck? Some people believe that it’s something similar to “break a leg” in English, a very superstitious way of working with chance: you wish for a bad thing, but only because wishing for a good thing will bring you the opposite. But ¡Mucha mierda! has another origin story.
The story goes that that it started with theatre, back in the XVIIIth or XIXth century. If a play was successful, that meant a lot of carriages stayed at the entrance of the theatre. A lot of carriages meant a lot of horses. And a lot of horses… You get the idea. So people said to actors ¡Mucha mierda! as a way of wishing them good luck in their plays.
Confused? Here’s an example:
- Esta tarde tengo el examen final.
- ¡Mucha mierda! Seguro te va bien.
- This afternoon I have the final exam.
- Break a leg! I’m sure you’ll do just fine.
The French share this expression — it’s common French slang for good luck, particularly in the theatre/film industry.
Now you know how to say “Good luck” in Spanish! You have the common, everyday Buena suerte, the optional Mucha suerte, the very formal Te deseo la mejor de las suertes, the vintage ¡Mucha mierda!… And many more! Options are always good when learning to speak a new language, and now you have lots of them. You’ll sound like a native very soon; the only thing you’re lacking is practice. So go out there and take a chance on Spanish!