The exclamations in Spanish are are accentuated in a different way of English.
Today in our blog we talk about exclamations in Spanish and how they mark in written form. Thus, to write well, we must be able to differentiate between Spanish words which are accentuated and which are not.
Likewise, to exclaim about intensity, quantity or mode, we use corresponding qué, cuánto and cómo. Next we are going to see it with the examples.
In effect, we use qué to refer to a noun, adjective or adverb.
¡Qué vestido tiene Nerea! =What a dress Nerea has!
¡Qué inteligente es tu perro! =How smart your dog is!
¡Qué lento va el tráfico! =How slow is the traffic!
Sometimes our Spanish students have doubts with this use, like many Spaniards. For example:
¡Que te mejores! – Get well!
¡Que cumplas muchos más! – to congratulate with the birthday. With muchos más it refers to years but they are omitted being something obvious for Spaniards.
As you can see, que in these sentences, despite being able to be used as exclamations, is not accentuated. So,if you look at these phrases, they are examples of subjunctive use to express a desire. Therefore, the rule is not applied to it with qué exclamatory. However, if it seems complicated, you can check it in an unregulated way that works equally well. To check, try replacing the phrase with a wow! If it works, the phrase contains qué exclamatory. If not, que is not accented is applied as the use of the subjunctive to express a wish.
We use cuánto to highlight the quantity in reference to a verb:
¡Cuánto ha crecido Martín! = Martín ha crecido mucho.
How much Martin has grown! = Martin has grown a lot.
Likewise, we use cúanto/a/os/as with accounting nouns to highlight the number of these nouns:
¡Cuántos hijos tiene María! = María tiene muchos hijos
How many children does Mary have? = María has many children
¡Cuánta gente ha venido al concierto! = al concierto ha venido mucha gente.
How many people have come to the concert! = Many people have come to the concert.
Otherwise, to highlight few amounts, we use qué poco with verbs and qué poco/a/os/as with countable nouns.
¡Qué poco come Adriana! = Adriana come muy poco
How little Adriana eats! = Adriana eats very little
¡Qué pocas ganas de estudiar tengo! = no quiero estudiar
What a little desire to study I have! = I do not want to study
We use cómo to highlight the way in which an action is performed. Also, cómo can it be replaced with “me sorprende”:
¡Cómo vive Manuel! =How Manuel lives!
Here you can change the phrase because it surprises me how Manuel lives: good or bad.
We hope that our post will help you express exclamation in Spanish. Soon, our Spanish school will publish more post about grammar.