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2.3: Palabras interrogativas

  • Page ID
    75020
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    Forming questions in Spanish

    In Spanish, when writing a question, an upside-down question mark (¿) is necessary at the beginning of the question and a regular question mark (?) is used at the end. There are two types of questions that we use:

    1. Yes/No questions.
    2. Questions that require information.

    Yes/No Questions

    There are four ways to ask a yes/no question:

    By adding the question marks to a statement, and raising the pitch of your voice at the end of the sentence:

    Statement Question
                                  upward arrow        
    Raquel estudia en la biblioteca. ¿Raquel estudia en la biblioteca?

    By placing the subject pronoun after the verb:

    Statement Question
    subject     verb                                           verb      subject                                  
    Raquel estudia en la biblioteca. ¿Estudia Raquel en la biblioteca?

    By placing the subject pronoun at the end of the sentence:

    Statement Question
    subject     verb                                                                             subject          
    Raquel estudia en la biblioteca. ¿Estudia en la biblioteca Raquel?

    By adding "¿no?" or "¿verdad?" at the end of a statement:

    Statement Question
    Raquel estudia en la biblioteca. Raquel estudia en la biblioteca, ¿no?
      Raquel estudia en la biblioteca, ¿verdad?

    Questions that require information

    Interrogative words are used to ask questions that require information. These words always carry a written accent mark.

    List of interrogative words     

    Interrogative word English Interrogative word English
    ¿Adónde? Where (to)? ¿De dónde? From where?
    ¿Cómo? How? ¿Dónde? Where?
    ¿Cuál?, ¿Cuáles? Which?, Which one(s)? ¿Por qué? Why?
    ¿Cuándo? When? ¿Qué? What?, Which?
    ¿Cuánto/a? How much? ¿Quién? Who?
    ¿Cuántos/as? How many? ¿Quiénes? Who? (plural)

     

    Girl listening to music

             ¿Qué música escuchas?

          ¿Cuándo escuchas música?

       "Women's break" by eommina, Pixabay is licensed under CC0 1.0

    Women traveling

            ¿Adónde viajan ellas?

               ¿Quiénes viajan?

         "Women" by RoadLight, Pixabay is licensed under CC0 1.0  

    ¡Ojo! "Why?" in Spanish is two words with a written accent: ¿por qué?. The answer "because", is written as one word without the written accent: porque.

    ¡Un poquito más! Some prepositions are attached to the question word or at the beginning of the question word. These prepositions are: "a" means "to", "para" means "for", "de" means "of" or "from". For examples: "quién/quiénes" mean "who", by adding "de" to "quién/quiénes" --> "de quién(es)" means "whose"; "a quién(es)" means "to whom"; and "para quién(es)" means "for whom".