I Can’t Wait in Spanish: Express Excitement like a Native Speaker

In English, it’s common to say “I can’t wait” to express excitement.

Trouble is, “I can’t wait” is an idiom. And you can’t always translate idioms literally into Spanish.

In fact, there are a range of translations for I can’t wait in Spanish. Let’s break down the most natural ways to express this idea (don’t forget to listen to the native speaker audio below each phrase).


Expressions like these are a great way to practice pronunciation. Rather than practicing sounds in isolation, you’re using them into short, natural sequences.

Listen to examples of the expressions below and record yourself so you can compare the differences in pronunciation.

If you enjoy that kind of exercise, I think you’d get a lot out of my pronunciation course — Confident Spanish Pronunciation. Click here to check it out.

Can you just say No puedo esperar [xyz]?

No puedo esperar translates literally to “I can’t wait”, so can you just say that?

Yes and no. In Spanish, no puedo esperar seems to be used more often when you LITERALLY can’t wait.

A caveat: Spanish has lots of variety. Some speakers do say “no puedo esperar para verte” to mean “I can’t wait to see you”.

But broadly speaking, it’s not as common as some other expressions we’re going to look at below.

It’s more common to hear it when you literally can’t wait for something. As in,

– “Perdón, ya llego, sólo 15 minutos más” (Sorry, I’m coming, just 15 more minutes)

– “Lo siento pero me tengo que ir! No puedo esperar más.” (Sorry but I have to go! I can’t wait any longer)

In fact, when you Google “no puedo esperar”, the first page shows an app from Spain that helps you locate bathrooms near you… because you literally can’t wait!

No puedo esperar, an app. No puedo esperar is not the best way to express I can't wait in Spanish.
In most of the Spanish speaking world, “no puedo esperar” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Compare that to searching “I can’t wait“, where the whole first page is famous songs with that title. That’s because it’s an important expression in English — but not as much in Spanish.

Search results for no puedo esperar
170 million results for no puedo esperar
2.5 BILLION results for I can’t wait

How do you say I can’t wait in Spanish?

A simple, very common way is the expression “tengo muchas ganas de ____”.

Tener ganas is a useful expression you’ll hear all the time in Spanish. As far as I know, no direct equivalent exists in English. But if you’ve studied a language like French or German, you can liken it to “j’ai envie de…” or “ich habe Lust auf…”

Here are a few examples using tener ganas:

-> “Tengo muchas ganas de verte” (I can’t wait/ I’m looking forward to seeing you)

-> “Tengo muchas ganas de partir para nuestro viaje a Brasil” (I can’t wait to leave for our trip to Brazil).

Tip: You can use “Tengo muchas ganas de + verb” anytime you want to express that you are eager/excited to do something. If you just say “Tengo ganas de ___”, it’s more like saying “I want to ___” or “I feel like ___”.

5 other common ways of expressing anticipation/eagerness/excitement in Spanish:

How common these expression are varies from region to region, and there are surely some that I’ve missed. But these 5 will all be widely understood:

Ya quiero que + verb

-> Ya quiero que salga el nuevo episodio (I can’t wait for the new episode to come out)

-> Qué emoción, ya quiero que sea el viernes (How exciting/I’m so excited, I can’t wait for it to be Friday)

Estoy ansioso por [verb]

-> Estoy ansioso por irme de vacaciones! (I can’t wait to go on vacation!)

-> Estoy ansioso por ver el nuevo episodio (I can’t wait to see the new episode)

No veo la hora de [verb]

-> No veo la hora de que nos casemos (I can’t wait for us to get married)

-> No veo la hora de que estemos todos juntos de nuevo (I can’t wait for us all to be together again)

No aguanto las ganas de [verb]

-> No aguanto las ganas de comer esta pizza! (I can’t wait to eat this pizza!)

-> Hace tanto calor! No aguanto las ganas de tirarme al agua. (It’s so hot! I can’t wait to jump in the water)

¡Me muero por [verb]!

-> ¡Me muero por verte! (I can’t wait/I’m dying to see you!)

-> Me muero por salir de esta reunión (I can’t wait/I’m dying to get out of this meeting)

8 Keys to Natural Spanish Pronunciation

Sound more like a Spanish speaker today – even if you don’t think you have “an ear” for accents.

8 Keys to Natural Spanish Pronunciation - free guide

Put it into practice!

What’s something that you can’t wait to do? Write 5 sentences, using each one of the 5 expressions above.

Then you can submit your sentences to a website like HiNative, where native speakers can correct your writing.

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Hey there, I'm Connor. I help motivated learners speak Spanish without slogging through grammar books or tapping through every new app. I started Breakthrough Spanish to give more people the confidence and focus to learn effectively Spanish from home. Learn more about me here.