Are you already able to ask questions in Spanish? Do you also know how to do it properly? If you need to acquire or improve this skill, read the pots of our Spanish School El Rincón del Tándem 😉
Asking questions is one of the first things you should learn. It is fundamental to be able to ask properly not only during Spanish lessons, but also in real life situations. For example, if you got lost and you need information, if you need to find a public toilet or to know where the train station is.
Firstly, you can find two types of questions:
1. The Yes/No questions
The Yes/No questions have the same structure of affirmative sentences.
In spoken Spanish, the interrogative sentence is spoken with a raising intonation at the end.
In written Spanish, the sentence is framed with question marks (¿?)
In addition, we can also use ¿verdad? or ¿no? to ask confirmation of something stated in the earlier part of the questions. It works as a tag questions in English.
For examples: Tienes familia en Brasil, ¿no? = You have some family members living in Brasil, havent’ you?
Te has cortado el pelo ¿verdad? = You cut your hair, didn’t you?
2. Questions introduced by question words
In this case, the information we aim to receive goes beyond a yes/no answer. Therefore, we use different question words at the beginning of the sentence, according to what we need to know.
For instance, when we ask about:
– PLACE, we use Dónde / De dónde / Por dónde / Ádonde
¿Dónde está tu casa? = Where is your house?
¿De dónde es tu amiga? = Where is your friend from?
¿Por dónde pasa el tren? = Where does the train pass through?
– TIME, we use Cuándo / Hasta cuándo / Desde cuándo
¿Cuándo vamos a la playa? = When do we go to the beach?
¿Hasta cuándo te quedas en la ciudad? = Until when are you going to stay in the city?
¿Desde cuándo trabajas aquí? = How long have you been working here?
– MANNER or MEANS, we use Cómo
Examples: ¿Cómo pintamos la habitación? = How do we paint the room?
Note: When we ask for a general feedback on something or someone we can say “Qué tal”:
Examples: ¿Qué tal fue la entrevista de trabajo? = How was your job interview?
¿Qué tal estás hoy? = How are you today?
We can omit the verb when we already know what we are referring to:
Examples: ¿Qué tal la obra de teatro? = What about the play?
In this case, we can only use “Qué tal” and NOT “Cómo”.
– QUANTITY, we use Cuánto/Cuánto-a-os-as
When Cuánto is followed by a verb, it is invariable:
Example: ¿Cuánto costa esta mochila? = How much does the rucksack cost?
When Cuánto is followed by an uncountable name, we only use it in singular in masculine or feminine form.
Example: ¿Cuánto zumo de limón necesitas para la tarta? = How much lemon juice do you need for the cake?
¿Cuánta harina necesitas? = How much flour do you need?
When Cuánto is followed by a countable name, we will use its singular/plural/feminine/masculine form according to the noun that follows:
Examples: ¿Cuántos botones tiene tu abrigo? = How many buttons are on your coat?
– CAUSE, we use Por qué.
Example: ¿Por qué no has venido a la fiesta? = Why did you not come to the party?
Note: In interrogative sentence, Por qué is written differently than in affirmative sentence. In this last case, it is just one word (porque).
Finally, to mention THINGS we use Qué:
Example: ¿Qué camiseta me pongo? = Which t-shirt should I wear?
While to mention PERSONS we use Quién (sing.) Quiénes (pl.)
Example: ¿Quién me ha enviado esta carta? = Who sent me this letter?
We can also use Cuál/Cuáles when we refer to a specific person from a group that we have mentioned previously.
Example: ¿Un amiga mía? ¿Quién? / ¿Cuál? = A friend of mine. Who? / Which one?
To conclude, plese note that all question words are placed at the beginning of the interrogative sentence and have orthographic accent.
We hope this post will help you with your Spanish studies. Weekly, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem publishes post on Spanish grammar and language to make your learning process easier 🙂
Have a good day!