How to Say “Tall” in Spanish: Formal and Informal Ways

Learning how to express the word “tall” in Spanish is extremely useful when describing people, objects, or even places. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to convey “tall” in Spanish. Regional variations will be mentioned only when necessary, as the focus will be on widely understood expressions. Let’s delve into the various ways to communicate height in Spanish!

Formal Ways to Say “Tall” in Spanish

1. Alto/a – This is the most common and straightforward way to express “tall” in Spanish. It is used for both males (alto) and females (alta).

Example: El jugador de baloncesto es muy alto. (The basketball player is very tall.)

2. Elevado/a – This word is often used to describe objects or structures with tall heights, rather than people. It is a more formal alternative to “alto/a.”

Example: El rascacielos tiene una torre extremadamente elevada. (The skyscraper has an extremely tall tower.)

Informal Ways to Say “Tall” in Spanish

1. Chaparro/a – This word is used as an informal and colloquial way to describe someone who is not tall.

Example: Mi hermana es chaparra en comparación conmigo. (My sister is short compared to me.)

2. Paticorto/a – Another informal term commonly used in Latin America to describe someone who is short or not very tall.

Example: Juan es paticorto, no llega ni a mi hombro. (Juan is short, he doesn’t even reach my shoulder.)

Expressions for Comparing Heights

When comparing the height of two or more people, you can use the following phrases:

Más alto/a que – taller than

Menos alto/a que – shorter than

Tan alto/a como – as tall as

El más alto/la más alta – the tallest

El menos alto/la menos alta – the least tall


  • Carlos es más alto que Pedro. (Carlos is taller than Pedro.)
  • Marta es menos alta que Sara. (Marta is shorter than Sara.)
  • Juan es tan alto como Miguel. (Juan is as tall as Miguel.)
  • María es la más alta de todas. (María is the tallest of all.)
  • Luis es el menos alto del grupo. (Luis is the least tall in the group.)

Regional Variations

Spanish is spoken across various countries and regions, leading to small variations in vocabulary. For instance, in some regions of Latin America, you may encounter alternative words such as “grande” or “largo/a” being used to describe tallness.

It’s worth mentioning that the choice of word might also vary depending on the specific context or personal preference. However, the aforementioned expressions provide a solid foundation for understanding and using “tall” appropriately in most Spanish-speaking regions.


Now that you have explored both formal and informal ways to say “tall” in Spanish, you can confidently describe height using the appropriate vocabulary. Remember to adapt your language based on the formality of the situation and the region in which you are communicating. Keep practicing, and soon enough, expressing height in Spanish will become second nature!

Written by Sydney Nina

Hola! Soy Sydney, an ardent lover of language and a dedicated explorer of its cultural influences. My love for the Spanish language is shown in my blog posts, where I teach how to say different phrases in Spanish. Exploring various Spanish terminologies, from daily life conversations to specific terms such as "diabetes," "health equity," and translations of famous landmarks like the 'Eiffel Tower,' I aim to make language learning fun and easy. When I'm not immersed in linguistic endeavors, you might find me cheering for baseball games or enjoying culinary adventures around the globe. ¡Hasta Luego!

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