Spanish Punctuation

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A spanish speaker critiqued my lesson:

Está muy bien ,solo te pediria que no utilizes mucho los puntos ,utiliza mejor las comas.. ok

This was my lesson:
El Erradero está en la esquina de las calles Broadway Y Second. Puedo ver una casa muy antiqua y larga por las ventanas. Me gusta la ensalada de pollo. La comida es de tipo Mexicana. La comida es muy sabrosa.

I have been critiquing another spanish speaker's English lesson and keep asking him to use periods instead of commas. I have never learned the proper way to punctuate Spanish . So who is right about
how to punctuate? The young man who critiqued my lesson'

3380 views
updated SEP 13, 2011
posted by Lyndelle

9 Answers

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As a translator of Spanish-language documents, I too have noticed an occasional tendency toward long, run-on sentences. I credit the fact that most people--whichever language they speak--are, on the whole, pretty crappy writers.

updated SEP 13, 2011
posted by Spamglutton
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TimEivissa said:

NB:The correct word for "punto" in English is "Full stop".

Tim, that only applies in some countries. In the US, many people would have no idea what you were talking about, because we call these marks periods. Therefore, it isn't really correct to say "The correct word for 'punto' in English is 'full stop,'" and it would be better to say "The correct word for 'punto' in British English is 'full stop.'" We speak English in the US, too, despite what you may think. wink

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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NB:The correct word for "punto" in English is "Full stop".

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by TimEivissa
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Both of you are right as far as the punctuation goes.
Because,you are writing short sentences as the lesson requires.And, your friend sees the lesson as a whole paragraph,which would read better without so many periods.

I hope, I am right on the money on this one. but if I am wrong, I hope that some one corrects me.

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by 00769608
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In addition to the good advice you've already received, I'll say that I think your editor might have been talking about your writing style, which is very choppy and disjointed. In English or Spanish, it is not considered good style to write a series of short sentences, as you did with the last three sentences. They would have sounded much better combined into a single sentence like this:

The food is Mexican style, and very delicious, and I (especially) like the chicken salad.
La comida es de tipo mexicano, y muy sabrosa, y me gusta (en particular) la ensalada de pollo.

Heidita, you corrected the phrase as "La comida es de tipo mexicana," but I think it must be mexicano because it modifies tipo rather than comida. No'

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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NO le pasa nada a tu puntaución. Veo dos cosita:

La comida es de tipo mexicana que es muy sabrosa.

Sí suena mejor con una frase subordinada. Recuerda que las nacionalidades no llevan mayúsculas.

Está muy bien ,solo te pediría que no utilices tanto los puntos ,usa mejor las comas.. ok ¿de acuerdo'

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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I think Spanish system punctuation is quite flexiblbe, it all depends on the subjectivity of the writer. It is true, however, that to use so many points with shorts sentences gives a sensation of heaviness and dullness. In this case, balance should be the rule.

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by Dunia
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El Erradero está en la esquina de las calles Broadway Y Second.
Capitalized the word "Erradero" it's ok only if is the name of place, I assume thats it, if don't: The place to make mistakes is at Broadways and Second street.

Trying to answer your question:
It's correct if you use periods when the next sentence refers to diferent topic, as shows your lesson.
Just the two last sentences could be put together since both describes food characteristics, which is "mexicana" and "sabrosa", so it must be:
La comida es de tipo mexicana y es muy sabrosa.

If you are talking about several caracteristics you can use commas and use "y" for the last one, also if all of them are structured sentences.

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by Vernic
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Está muy bien ,solo te pediria que no utilizes mucho los puntos ,utiliza mejor las comas.. ok

sólo, pediría
utilizes'? present indicative=utilizas
present subjunctive=utilices

I'll be very interested in reading the answers to your question. I exchange emails with some native Spanish writers and we've had many a discussions about the use of periods .vs. commas. All of their sentences have complex structures and many of their paragraphs consist of one long run-on sentence which I would have broken into several shorter sentences. I've come to suspect that there is a basic difference in their use of commas over periods, but when I've tried to research the difference online most sites say the rules are the same between English and Spanish except for the obvious ones in forming numbers, etc.

updated SEP 4, 2008
posted by 0074b507