How to Use Question Marks in Spanish
The question mark is a sign used to place tone on written speech. In Spanish it consists of two elements: the first question mark is flipped over with the opening at the right (¿) and the end question mark is like the English one that opens on the left. Read this oneHOWTO article and learn how to use question marks in Spanish correctly and effectively.
When we use question marks in our Spanish writings we must always use them in both the opening and closing of a question. Due to influences from other languages sometimes people forget to add the opening mark. This is a mistake when writing in Spanish and should be avoided.
Remember that after closing the question mark no other sign should not be used, such as a full stop. The second question mark is used to directly close the sentence.
Example: ¿Me puedes pasar el bolígrafo, por favor?(Could you hand me the pen, please)
When a sequence of interrogations are used, all linked together by a single theme, it is not necessary to write in capital letters. It is better to put commas between them and start with a lower case letter for each question.
Example: ¿Cuanto vale esto? ¿cuando llegaria el pedido?
The following question words are used to head questions: Qué, cuándo, cómo (what, when, how,) Qué, cuándo, cómo (where, what, who), sometimes preceded by certain prepositions.
Question marks are used when we want to directly ask someone a question.
Example: Perdone, ¿qué hora es? (Excuse me, what time is it?)
Question marks are also used to set out certain questions where no reply is expected.
Example: ¿Sabes? (You know...)
When using a closing interrogation in brackets after a text, with this mark we express doubt, surprise or irony.
In many data tables, when there is a field that is ignored, the closing question mark is used.
Question marks are used in books, biographies or writings in which dates of birth and death are recorded but where sometimes specific data segments are unclear. The question mark we expressed doubt.
In chess, the sign of closing after making a move indicates a bad move.
Example: D x CR?
Now that you know how to use question marks in Spanish, you can learn more on this language's punctuation with this article on how to indentify the stressed syllable in Spanish
If you want to read similar articles to How to Use Question Marks in Spanish, we recommend you visit our Learning category.
- In the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy you can get all the necessary information regarding the use of the question mark.