Grammar Resources and exercises

The Interrogative - Questions in Spanish

Palabras para formar preguntas en español.

How to ask questions in Spanish:

As you learn Spanish you will naturally have to ask questions to find out how to say new things or to navigate around when you are in a Spanish-speaking country.

The first thing you will notice as you learn about asking questions in Spanish is that a question is framed by two question marks: ¿ and ?. Sometimes these question marks only are placed around a part of the sentence, as you will see in the examples below.

¿Hablas inglés? - Do you speak English?
Te gusta bailar, ¿No? - You like to dance, don't you?

Notice that the form of the sentence is the same for either a question (¿hablas inglés?) or a statement (hablas inglés). When asking the question out loud you simply raise the pitch of your voice towards the end of the sentence to signify that it is a question.

Changing word order to ask a question in Spanish:

Another way to ask a question is to swap around the verb and subject ("Alex habla español" (Alex speaks Spanish) becomes "¿Habla español Alex?" (Does Alex speak Spanish?)).

Here is a list of the words commonly used to ask questions in Spanish. Note that each has an accent. The accent distinguishes it from its non-interrogative version. For example - "who is . . ." as part of a sentence is "quien es". But as part of a question it is "¿quién es . . .?

English Spanish         English Spanish
who - quién what - qué
when - cuándo where - dónde
which - cuál which ones cuáles
why - por qué for what / why - para qué
to whom - a quién with whom - con quién
from where - de dónde to where - a dónde
how much - cuánto / a* how many - cuántos / as*
how - cómo where / whereabout por dónde
how often- cada cuánto how (quality) qué tan

*Note that only "cuanto" and "cuantos" need to agree, because "how many" is always followed by a noun which is either masculine or feminine - "¿Cuántos chicos hay?" "¿Cuantas chicas hay?"

Here are some examples of questions in Spanish:

¿Cómo está tu tío? - How is your uncle?

¿Cuánto cuesta esta bicicleta? - How much does that bicycle cost

¿A dónde va este bus? - Where does this bus go

¿Con quién vas a trabajar? - With whom are you going to work?

¿Cuáles de estos libros es interesante? - Which of these books is interesting?

¿Por qué están caminando tan rápido? - Why are they walking so fast?

¿Qué tan lejos es el parque? - How far away is the park?

El es tu hermano, ¿cierto? - He is your brother, right?

Interactive Grammar Exercise: The Interrogative in Spanish

Complete these questions with the correct form.

The first statement is the answer to the question.

1. Tengo quince años. ¿ años tienes? quiz answer

2. Sigues recto hasta la esquina. ¿ llego al parque? quiz answer

3. Me voy con mi primo. ¿ te vas al cine esta noche? quiz answer

4. Es para dar sombra. ¿ sirve el parasol? quiz answer

5. Estos dos son los nuevos. ¿ de estos libros son nuevos? quiz answer

6. El bus viene del mercado. ¿ viene el bus? quiz answer

7. Queda a unos tres cientos metros lejos es el estadio? quiz answer

8. Hay cuatro manzanas. ¿ manzanas hay en la cocina? quiz answer

9. Porque no tengo tiempo. ¿ no vienes con nosotros al cine? quiz answer

10. A tu abuela. ¿ tengo que enviar una carta? quiz answer



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