Spanish Exclamatory Words and Expressions
One of the easiest ways to convey a very strong feeling or opinion about something is to use an exclamatory word or expression. Many exclamatory words are very similar to interrogative words, but instead of asking a question, they simply state an idea or opinion.
Using Exclamatory Words
Exclamatory words make a simple phrase into a statement of surprise, anger, pain, etc. Which exclamatory word you use in Spanish will depend on what you want to say and the type of word that comes after the exclamatory word. Below you'll find some handy tips and examples to help make you an exclamatory master.
Qué is used in front of nouns, adjectives, and adverbs to say how or what.
When an adjective follows a noun in an qué expression, it is often preceded by más (most) or tan (so).
Cómo is used with conjugated verbs and means how.
Cuán is mostly used in literary works and is not commonly heard in speech; you're much more likely to hear qué! Cuán is used before phrases that begin with an adjective or adverb and are followed by a verb phrase. It translates to how.
Cuánto is used in front of nouns and verb phrases and translates to how, how much, how many, what, etc.
To modify a noun, cuánto must match the noun it precedes in gender and number. To modify a verb, the masculine singular form (cuánto) is always used.
Exclamatory Word Order
Exclamatory statements are formed just like interrogatives. The exclamatory word comes at the very beginning and is followed by an adjective, adverb, verb, or noun.
- Adjectives come before the noun they describe.
- Adverbs come before the verb they describe.
- Noun objects come before the verb.
- Names used in direct address come after the verb.
Other Exclamatory Phrases and Interjections
Ways to Express Surprise
The following exclamations are the equivalent of saying Wow!, My Goodness! or My God! in English.
Ways to Express Anger or Disappointment
The following exclamations are the equivalent of saying Darn! or Shoot! in English.
Other Useful Exclamations
|Bravo!||Go for it!/Do it!/Ok!|
|Look out!||Look out!|
|Ok!||Bam! or Ok!|