Spanish question words

How to ask questions in Spanish

There are many helpful words to enable you to ask questions in Spanish. The most common are:

Interrogative

Por ejemplo

¿Cuándo?

When?

¿Cuándo terminas?

When do you finish?

¿Dónde?

Where?

¿Dónde está el baño?

Where is the bathroom?

¿Adónde?

Where to?

¿Adonde vamos?

Where are we going?

¿De dónde?

From where?

¿De dónde eres tú?

Where are you from?

¿Cuánto/a?

How much?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

How much is it?

¿Cuántos/as?

How many?

¿Cuántos son?

How many are they?

¿Qué?

What?

¿Qué te gusta tomar?

What do you like to drink?

¿Por qué?

Why?

¿Por qué preguntas?

Why do you ask?

¿Cómo?

How?

¿Cómo estas?

How are you?

¿Cuál?

Which?

¿Cuál es mío?

Which is mine?

¿Cuáles?

Which ones?

¿Cuáles son tuyos?

Which ones are yours?

¿Quién? / ¿Quiénes?

Who?

¿Quién es él?

Who is he?

Spanish question words – Inflection

Unlike English, however, you don’t raise the pitch of your voice at the end of a question in Spanish. Rather, you ask the interrogative word in a higher-pitched voice and drop your pitch for the rest of the question.

Funky Punctuation Marks

Punctuation marks in Spanish are almost exactly the same as English—except for two. If you wish to add a question mark (?) at the end of a sentence, you must also add an upside-down question (¿) mark at the beginning.

¿Cómo te va? - (How’s it going?)

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¿Cómo te va?.
How’s it going?

Additionally, if you wish to use an exclamation point (!), you must add an upside-down exclamation point (¡) at the beginning of the exclamation.

¡Bien hecho! - (Well done!)

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¡Bien hecho!
Well done!

Using a Statement as a Question

As in English, you may use a statement to ask a question as long as you raise the pitch of your voice at the end of the question.

Por ejemplo:

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¿Tienes calor?
Are you hot?
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¿Estamos contentos?
Are we happy?

Note that in English the order of the subject and verb are switched when converting a statement to a question. The same is true in Spanish. When asking a question, the order is as follows:

¿Complete verb(s) + subject + object?

Por ejemplo:

Asking “Really? Is That True?”

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Maria y Juan terminan primero
Mary and John finish first
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¿Terminan Maria y Juan primero?
Do Mary and John finish first?
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Ustedes tienen mucha comida
You guys have a lot of food
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¿Tienen Uds. mucha comida?
Do you have a lot of food?

Often, in English, when we want to know whether or not something is true, we make a statement then add, “Right?” or “Really?” or “No?” For example:

You’re going to take the garbage out, right? The museum is on the left, no?

You can do the same thing in Spanish:

El museo está a la izquierda, ¿no?

However, instead of saying “right” or “really,” you’ll ask, “True?”

Vas a sacar la basura, ¿verdad?

Simply remember to raise the pitch of your voice when you say “¿no?” or “¿verdad?”
 

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El carro tiene gasolina, ¿verdad?
The car has gas, right?
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El vestido es muy bonito, ¿no?
The dress is very pretty, no?

In this lesson you learnt about asking questions in Spanish. In the next lesson you will learn about the Spanish Verb Estar“To be”.

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