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.

¡Cuántas personas hay en esta fiesta!
There are so many people at this party!
¡Qué bonita es esta iglesia!
What a beautiful church!
¡Cuántas mentiras dice él!
He lies so much!
¡Qué romántico eres!
How romantic you are!

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.

Notice that all exclamatory words carry a written accent, or tilde , just like interrogative words.


Qué is used in front of nouns, adjectives, and adverbs to say how or what.

¡Qué hombre!
What a man!
¡Qué casa más grande!
What a big house!
¡Qué mujer tan guapa!
What a beautiful woman!
¡Qué inteligentes son!
How smart they are!
¡Qué delicioso!
How delicious!
¡Qué rápido pasa la vida!
How quickly life passes by!

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.

¡Cómo canta esa mujer!
How that woman sings!
¡Cómo celebramos durante la boda!
How we celebrated at the wedding!
¡Cómo llueve!
How much it is raining!/It’s raining so hard!


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.

¡Cuán feliz me haces!
How happy you make me!
¡Cuán maleducados son!
How rude they are!


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.

¡Cuánto dinero tiene tu primo!
How much money your cousin has!
¡Cuántas bendiciones tenemos!
How many blessings we have!
¡Cuántos perros!
What a lot of dogs!
¡Cuánto te quiero!
How much I love you!/I love you so much!
¡Cuánto bailamos anoche!
How much we danced last night!/We danced so much last night!

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.
¡Qué bonita es esta iglesia!
What a pretty church!
  • Adverbs come before the verb they describe.
¡Qué rápido corres!
How fast you run!
  • Noun objects come before the verb.
¡Cuánto pavo comiste!
What a lot of turkey you ate!
  • Names used in direct address come after the verb.
¡Qué cansado te ves, Marco!
How tired you look, Marco!

Other Exclamatory Phrases and Interjections

Check out this jam-packed list of common Spanish interjections. ¡Órale!  (Wow!)

Ways to Express Surprise

The following exclamations are the equivalent of saying Wow!, My Goodness! or My God! in English.

¡Dios mío!
¡Madre mía!
¡Cielo santo!
¡Ay ay ay!
¡Por Dios!
¡Válgame Dios!
¡Santo cielo!

Ways to Express Anger or Disappointment

The following exclamations are the equivalent of saying Darn! or Shoot! in English.


Other Useful Exclamations

Go for it!/Do it!/Ok!
Look out!
Look out!
Ow!/Oh dear!/Jeez!
Of course!
¡Como sea!
Bam! or Ok!

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