9 Different Ways to Say By The Way in Spanish (and Why Use Them)

There are countless Spanish idioms and expressions that add color to everyday conversations. Among these, the equivalent of by the way in Spanish holds a special place. Por cierto is the basic phrase you often use in Spanish, just as you would use by the way in English.

Its purpose is to add information, introduce a different topic or an afterthought. There are different expressions to say this. In this blog post, you’ll learn which ones you can use in formal and in informal contexts to create complex and long Spanish sentences. (Hint: you can learn more about the Spanish sentence structure on Spring Languages – a project I co-founded)

To starting, let’s list all 9 different ways to say by the way in Spanish and when you can use them (Click on any of them to jump to their own section!):

SpanishEnglishWhen to Use
Por ciertoBy the wayFormal and informal use, general context.
A propósitoOn purpose/By the wayTo segue into a topic more intentionally: both formal and informal.
Hablando de esoSpeaking of thatWhen transitioning from the current topic directly to a related one.
Ya que estamosNow that we are (at it)To introduce a related topic or question, in an ongoing discussion.
Ah, y otra cosaOh, and another thingIn informal situations when remembering something else to mention.
Dicho estoHaving said thisMore formal, used in writing or speaking to shift topics or introduce an additional point.
Por otro ladoOn the other handWhen introducing a contrasting or additional point, slightly more formal than “por cierto“.
De pasoWhile we’re at itWhen mentioning something in passing.
Ahora que lo mencionoNow that I mention itUsed when something in the conversation triggers a related thought or topic; mostly informal.

1. Por cierto – By the way in Spanish

Effortless Answers

Por cierto” is the most straightforward translation of “by the way” and can be used in both formal and informal contexts. It’s the most common and popular way in Spanish to introduce an additional point or a slight change of subject.

Examples of using por cierto in context:

  • Por cierto, ¿has visto mi libro?” (By the way, have you seen my book?)
  • Me gustó mucho la película. Por cierto, el director es español.” (I really liked the movie. By the way, the director is Spanish.)

2. A propósito – On purpose

Although “a propósito” translates directly to “on purpose,” it’s used similarly to “por cierto” but can mean a more intentional segue into a topic.

Here’s what it looks like in a real-life conversation:

  • A propósito, mañana tengo una entrevista de trabajo.” (By the way, I have a job interview tomorrow.)
  • He oído que te gustan los libros. A propósito, ¿has leído el último de García Márquez?” (I’ve heard you like books. By the way, have you read García Márquez’s latest?)

3. Hablando de eso – Speaking of that

This expression is perfect when transitioning more directly from the current topic of conversation. It literally means “speaking of that.”

Check it out:

  • Hablando de eso, el otro día encontré una tienda que te encantaría.” (Speaking of that, the other day I found a store you would love.)
  • ¿Te gusta el arte? Hablando de eso, hay una exposición este fin de semana.” (Do you like art? Speaking of that, there’s an exhibition this weekend.)

4. Ya que estamos – Now that we are at it

Ya que estamos” is used to introduce a related topic or question, usually in the middle of an ongoing discussion or activity.

Look!

  • Ya que estamos aquí, ¿por qué no visitamos a Ana?” (Now that we are here, why don’t we visit Ana?)
  • Ya que estamos hablando de cine, ¿cuál es tu película favorita?” (Now that we’re talking about movies, what’s your favorite one?)
Using these expressions – or chunks, as we call them on Effortless Conversation and in my Effortless Conversations book – in Spanish can dramatically improve how naturally your conversations flow. These chunks act as bridges between thoughts. They allow you to create complex and longer sentences. It shows you’re thinking in Spanish, not just translating from English.

If you want to learn more about how you can take the next step from beginner Spanish to intermediate level, sign up now and receive our Spanish Conversation Based Chunking Starter Pack.

5. Ah, y otra cosa – Oh, and another thing

This informal phrase is used when you suddenly remember something else you wanted to mention.

When it pops in your mind:

  • Ah, y otra cosa, ¿puedes traer pan mañana?” (Oh, and another thing, can you bring bread tomorrow?)
  • Voy a llegar tarde, ah, y otra cosa, ¿podemos cambiar la reunión a la tarde?” (I’m going to be late, oh, and another thing, can we move the meeting to the afternoon?)

6. Dicho esto – Having said this

More formal in tone, “dicho esto” is used to transition to a different topic or to add a point after making an initial statement.

In formal contexts:

  • Dicho esto, creo que aún podemos mejorar.” (Having said this, I believe we can still improve.)
  • Entiendo tu punto. Dicho esto, tengo algunas reservas.” (I understand your point. Having said this, I have some reservations.)
by the way in spanish illustration with laptop, speech bubble and pencils

7. Por otro lado – On the other hand

While it translates to “on the other hand,” it can serve a similar function to “by the way” when introducing a contrasting or additional point.

You might have already heard this chunk in Spanish shows on Netflix:

  • Me gusta el verano. Por otro lado, el invierno también tiene su encanto.” (I like summer. On the other hand, winter also has its charm.)
  • El proyecto va bien. Por otro lado, necesitamos más tiempo.” (The project is going well. On the other hand, we need more time.)

8. De paso – While we’re at it

De paso” is used to mention something in passing or to suggest taking advantage of the moment to do something.

To take advantage of the moment in a conversation:

  • Vamos a pasar por el supermercado, de paso podemos comprar las entradas.” (We’re going to pass by the supermarket, we might as well buy the tickets while we’re at it.)
  • Voy a limpiar la cocina, de paso ordeno el salón.” (I’m going to clean the kitchen, I might as well tidy up the living room while I’m at it.)

9. Ahora que lo menciono – Now that I mention it

This phrase is used when something in the conversation triggers a related thought or topic. It’s mostly informal and adds a spontaneous feel to the dialogue.

How it could look like in dialogues:

  • Ahora que lo menciono, ¿recibiste el correo que te envié?” (Now that I mention it, did you receive the email I sent you?)
  • Estaba pensando en ir al cine. Ahora que lo menciono, ¿has visto el nuevo tráiler?” (I was thinking of going to the movies. Now that I mention it, have you seen the new trailer?)

Practice by the way in Spanish expressions with our Practice Worksheet Library

Fill in the sentences with the correct phrases from the blog post!

We have lots and lots of exercise in our Full Practice Worksheet Library. If you sign up now, you’ll get access to all of our Spanish exercises and worksheets.

Learn and use by the way in Spanish and other amazing chunks with Conversation Based Chunking

If you understand and use these chunks in everyday conversations, your Spanish speaking skills will get better – almost immediately. They will make your conversations more fluid and natural.

Effortless Summary

• “Por cierto” is your go-to for “by the way” in most contexts.
• “A propósito” and “hablando de eso” provide intentionality and direct relation to the previous topic.
• “Ya que estamos,” “ah, y otra cosa,” and “de paso” are great for informal additions and suggestions.
• “Dicho esto” and “por otro lado” add formality and contrast to your statements.
• “Ahora que lo menciono” brings a spontaneous element to your conversation.

Sign up and get our Spanish CBC Starter Pack and learn more of these amazing chunks: along with them, you’ll get a 15-page study program, a 12-week study plan, a chunking list and access to our Full Practice Worksheet Library.

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