Take a Practice Quiz Asking questions: interrogatives
Asking questions is the best way to learn new things in Spanish. If you need to get directions, ask what someone means or ask what a word means, you will need to know how to ask questions. There are questions that can be answered with yes or no and questions that seek more detailed information.
- ¿Hablas inglés? (Do you speak English?)
- ¿Dónde hay un buen café? (Where is a good cafe?)
- ¿Qué significa esta palabra? (What does this word mean?)
In Spanish, asking a question that can be answered "yes" or "no" is extremely easy. In writing, all you have to do is put question marks around the statement you want answered, and in speaking, simply raise the pitch of your voice at the end of the question. Notice that there is no Spanish word for "do" or "does." This is implied by your intonation.
- statement: Habla español. (He speaks Spanish.)
- question: ¿Habla español? (Does he speak Spanish?)
- statement: Te gusta la música hip hop. (You like hip hop music.)
- question: ¿Te gusta la música hip hop? (Do you like hip hop music?)
Note the upside down question mark (¿) in front of the question. This is required in writing questions!
Question words may be the most useful tool in learning a new language. Any questions you have can be answered once you have learned how to ask the question with the following words. Interrogatives can be pronouns, adjectives, or adverbs as they answer the questions: Who? What? Where? When? How? Why? and so much more.
|¿Cuál? ¿Cuáles?||Which (one(s))?||¿De dónde?||From where?|
|¿Cuánto? ¿Cuánta?||How much?||¿Para qué?||For what?|
|¿Cuántos? ¿Cuántas?||How many?||¿Por qué?||Why?|
|¿Cómo?||How? What?||¿Quién? ¿Quiénes?||Who?|
|¿Dónde?||Where?||¿A quién? ¿A quiénes?||Whom?|
|¿Adónde?||To where?||¿De quién? ¿De quiénes?||Whose?|
Notice that all question words have accents in them. This differentiates them from their non-question counterparts.
Below you will find some examples of the more confusing interrogatives in Spanish so you can see the difference between multiple uses.
- ¿Cuánto cuesta la camisa roja? (How much is the red shirt?)
- ¿Cuántas camisas rojas tienes? (How many red shirts do you have?)
- ¿Cómo está tu madre? (How is your mother?)
- ¿Cómo te llamas? (What do you call yourself?)
- Necesito $300. - ¿Cómo? (- I need $300. - What?/Could you repeat that?)
- ¿Para qué necesitas $300? - Necesito $300 para comprar un teléfono nuevo. (- For what do you need $300? - I need $300 in order to buy a new telephone.)
- ¿Por qué necesitas $300? - Porque voy a comprar un teléfono nuevo. (- Why do you need $300? - Because I´m going to buy a new telephone.)
In Spanish, when only a part of the sentence is a question you only place the question marks around that portion that is a sentence.
- Te gusta esta película ¿no? (You like this movie, right?)
- Si te llamo, ¿vendrás? (If I call you, will you come?)
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Category: adjectives | Keywords: