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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Tips on how to Ask Questions in Spanish: Vital Interrogative Phrases and Frequent Inquiries to Study

A question mark block in the middle of red and yellow balls

Not realizing how you can ask questions in Spanish would possibly get you extra raised eyebrows than solutions.

Right here, you’ll be taught all about Spanish questions: the important Spanish interrogative phrases, tips about their utilization, loads of instance sentences and tremendous frequent questions you must be taught.

Let’s get began!


Tips on how to Ask Questions with Spanish Interrogative Phrases

Once we need to ask for particular info, we usually use an interrogative adjective or an interrogative pronoun. Adjectives modify nouns whereas pronouns substitute them.

An interrogative pronoun is, fairly merely, a pronoun used as a way to kind questions.

Therefore, when forming questions in Spanish, we’ll usually use one in every of these phrases initially of the sentence. This put up features a record of the completely different Spanish interrogative pronouns, together with their meanings and makes use of.

Let me remind you that interrogative phrases should have an accent mark. At all times! It doesn’t matter if we’re coping with interrogative adjectives or interrogative pronouns—if they’re interrogative, they should have a tilde.

As we are saying in Spanish: Preguntando se llega a Roma (You’ll by no means know until you ask [literally: By asking one can reach Rome]). 

Important Spanish Query Phrases

1. Dónde (The place)

Dónde substitutes a noun—particularly, it substitutes a spot (like a hospital, a home, a desk or a spaceship) and is used to inquire a few location.

Dónde is commonly adopted by a type of “to be,” as in “The place is…?” so that you’ll want to decide on between ser and estar.

Use dónde está to inquire concerning the location of one thing or somebody. Use dónde es to ask for the placement of an occasion.

As an illustration, you’d use dónde está to ask the place the park is, however dónde es to ask the place within the park the celebration is being held.

Dónde substitutes a noun—particularly, a spot:

¿Dónde está el libro? (The place is the e book?)

¿Dónde vivías en 2005? (The place had been you residing in 2005?)

¿Sabes dónde están mis gafas? (Are you aware the place my glasses are?)

Dónde could be modified by prepositions as a way to change its that means. Listed here are among the most typical ones:

A dónde (The place to)

We all know a means “to” and dónde means “the place.” Mixing the 2, we will ask the place an individual or object goes. 

Be aware that a dónde and adónde are each legitimate variants and have the identical that means.

¿A dónde vas tan tarde? (The place are you going to so late?)

Disculpe. ¿Podría decirme adónde va este autobús? (Excuse me. May you inform me the place this bus is headed to?)

De dónde (The place from)

Simply as we will ask the place somebody or one thing goes, we will additionally ask the place that very same individual or object is coming from.

Take a look:

¿De dónde eres? (The place are you from?)

¿De dónde has cogido eso? (The place have you ever taken that from?)

2. Q (What)

Qué is without doubt one of the greatest recognized interrogative phrases in Spanish. It is without doubt one of the first phrases we be taught and it helps us to ask about so many alternative subjects that it will be nearly inconceivable to outlive with out it.

Qué may be very simple to make use of, and I’m positive you’ll have heard the primary of the next examples 1,000,000 occasions already:

¿Qué es eso? (What’s that?)

¿Qué quieres de mí? (What would you like from me?)

¿Qué tienes ahí? (What do you may have there?)

As you may see, the interrogative pronoun qué should be adopted by a verb. If it had been adopted by a noun, it will truly be an adjective, not a pronoun, like on this instance:

¿Qué teléfono prefieres? (What telephone do you favor?)

Simply as with dónde, qué may also be modified by prepositions that change its that means. Take a look:

A qué (What to)

This mix is principally used with verbs that want the preposition a compulsorily:

¿A qué te refieres? (What are you referring to? / What are you speaking about? / What do you imply?)

¿A qué piso vas? (What ground are you going to?)

Con qué (What with)

That is used if you need to say you may have accomplished one thing with the usage of an object:

¿Con qué has escrito la carta? (What have you ever written the letter with?)

¿Con qué estás jugando? (What are you enjoying with?)

De qué (What about / What taste, materials)

Use de qué when the predominant verb wants the preposition de, if you need to ask a few taste or when inquiring concerning the materials one thing is made from:

¿De qué estáis hablando? (What are you speaking about?)

¿De qué es ese helado? De chocolate. (What taste is that ice-cream? It’s chocolate.)

¿De qué es esa silla? De madera. (What materials is that chair made from? Of wooden.)

En qué (How)

Lastly, use en qué if you need to know what technique of transportation somebody has used/goes to make use of, or when asking a few particular day, month, 12 months:

¿En qué has venido? (How have you ever come?)

¿En qué año naciste? (What 12 months had been you born?)

Qué tan (How [adjective])

Qué tan is used to ask concerning the extent or diploma of an adjective or adverb, similar to “how” in English. For instance:

¿Qué tan seguido vas al gimnasio? (How usually do you go to the fitness center?)

¿Qué tan alto es tu hermano? (How tall is your brother?)

3. Cuál / Cuáles (Which One / Which Ones)

Lots of people combine up qué and cuál—and it’s true that each qué and cuál could be translated as “which.” 

Simply keep in mind that cuál and qué imply “which” when used as an adjective (cuál could sound a bit extra formal, however each are acceptable), whereas solely cuál means “which” when used as a pronoun:

¿Qué libro quieres? (Which e book would you like? [adjective])

¿Cuál libro quieres? (Which e book would you like? [adjective])

¿Cuál quieres? (Which one would you like? [pronoun])

The one factor you need to fear about is the variety of the individual or object you might be speaking about. The remaining is only a stroll within the park:

¿Cuáles has traído? (Which of them have you ever introduced?)

¿Cuáles son los tuyos? (Which of them are yours?)

¿Cuáles quieres? (Which of them would you like?)

In the event you see cuál or cuáles preceded by a proposition, it’ll probably be as a result of the principle verb requires mentioned proposition. Under are a number of examples of this.

A cuál (Which one to)

That is usually used to ask concerning the particular place somebody goes to:

¿A qué colegio vas? (Which faculty do you go to? [adjective])

¿A cuál vas? (Which one do you go to? [pronoun])

Con cuál (Which one with)

If you wish to say you did, are doing or will do one thing with the usage of an object (amongst a particular group of objects), use this mix:

¿Con cuál lo hiciste? (Which one did you do it with? [as in: which tool did you repair the radio with?])

¿Con cuál la escribiste? (Which one did you write it with? [as in: which pen did you write the letter with?])

4. Cómo (How)

You possible already know a number of examples of cómo in use already. Consider your fundamentals, like ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

This interrogative pronoun by no means modifies a noun. Use it to ask about how or through which means one thing is finished.

¿Cómo lo has hecho? (How have you ever accomplished it?)

¿Cómo has venido? (How have you ever come? [same as en qué above])

¿Cómo podemos saber si está diciendo la verdad? (How can we all know if he’s telling the reality?)

At this level, I nearly at all times have a pupil increase their palms to inform me they know there may be an exception. The alleged exception is the universally recognized ¿Cómo te llamas? However the attention-grabbing factor right here is that that is not an exception!

¿Cómo te llamas? actually means “how are you referred to as?” and that’s precisely what we imply.

In Spanish, we ask individuals through which means they’re referred to as slightly than what their identify is (though this query additionally exists and it additionally makes use of an interrogative pronoun: ¿Cuál es tu nombre? — “which one (of all of the names on the planet) is your identify?”

5. Cuándo (When)

Cuándo is one other instance of an invariable pronoun that doesn’t settle for any noun beneath any circumstance:

¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (When is your birthday?)

¿Cuándo habéis llegado? (When have you ever arrived?)

¿Cuándo podrás ayudarme? (When will you be capable of assist me?)

There are two prepositions that love maintaining cuándo firm. They’re desde (from) and hasta (to):

Desde cuándo (From when / (From) What time / How lengthy)

Use desde cuándo if you need to ask concerning the origin of an motion, i.e. the second that motion began, begins or will begin. In some situations (like within the first instance under), desde cuándo may also be translated as “(for) how lengthy”:

¿Desde cuándo vives en Polonia? (How lengthy have you ever been residing in Poland?)

¿Desde cuándo está abierta la tienda? (What time does the store open? [meaning: from which moment in time will it be opened?])

Hasta cuándo (Till when / Till what time)

However, in case you are curious about the time an motion will finish, that is your alternative:

¿Hasta cuándo está abierto el banco? (Till what time is the financial institution open?)

¿Hasta cuándo vas a seguir mintiendo? (Till when are you going to maintain mendacity?)

6. Quién / Quiénes (Who)

The Spanish interrogative pronoun quién is without doubt one of the best ones to grasp as a result of it might solely seek advice from individuals. It means “who” and it has two kinds: quién (singular) and quiénes (plural).

¿Quién eres?
(Who’re you?)

¿Quiénes son tus padres?
(Who’re your mother and father?)

Quién, like cuál, has a plural kind that’s used when speaking about a couple of individual. Other than this characteristic, it’s a completely inoffensive pronoun:

¿Quién eres? (Who’re you?)

¿Quién puede estar llamando a la puerta? (Who could be knocking on the door?)

¿Quién te dijo eso? (Who informed you that?)

As for prepositions, quién could be accompanied by lots of them. Listed here are the commonest combos:

A quién (Who / To whom)

Many Spanish verbs require the preposition a, so seeing this couple right here shouldn’t come as a shock.

Other than that, each time we now have a private object in Spanish, we have to use the private a, so you will note a quién quite a bit in Spanish. For instance:

¿A quién viste ayer? (Who did you see yesterday?)

¿A quién le enviaste la carta? (Who did you ship the letter to?)

¿A quién tengo que decírselo? (Who do I’ve to inform it to?)

Con quién (With whom)

One other frequent and fairly self-explanatory duo. Use it when asking concerning the firm somebody had when doing one thing:

¿Con quién vives ahora? (Who’re you residing with in the mean time?)

¿Con quién estás? (Who’re you with?)

De quién (Whose / From whom)

This phrase is utilized in two conditions: if you need to ask about who one thing belongs to and if you need to ask who one thing got here from.

It’s essential know the context so as to have the ability to know which that means is the speaker referring to:

¿De quién es este libro? (Whose e book is that this? / Who is that this e book from?)

¿De quién es ese regalo? (Whose current is that this? / Who is that this current from?)

7. Cuánto (How A lot / How Many)

That is the one Spanish interrogative pronoun with 4 kinds (masculine singular, female singular, masculine plural and female plural).

It’s used to ask about portions, and aside from its 4 kinds, there may be nothing particular or tough about it. Listed here are some examples of cuánto used as a pronoun:

¿Cuánto cuesta esa sandía? (How a lot is that watermelon?) — masculine uncountable, on this case, dinero (cash)

¿Cuánta has necesitado? (How a lot have you ever wanted?) — female uncountable, on this case, let’s say harina (flour)

¿Cuántos quieres? (What number of would you like?) — masculine/blended countable, for instance, libros (books)

¿Cuántas has comprado? (What number of have you ever purchased?) — female countable, for instance, bicicletas (bicycles)

And listed here are some extra examples of cuánto as an adjective:

¿Cuánto dinero necesitas? (How a lot cash do you want?)

¿Cuánta leche queda? (How a lot milk is there left?)

¿Cuántos años tienes? (How previous are you? [lit. “How many years do you have?”])

¿Cuántas habitaciones tiene esta casa? (What number of rooms does this home have?)

Cuánto can certainly be used with some prepositions, however this doesn’t occur fairly often in Spanish.

Listed here are a few examples:

Con cuánto (With how a lot / With what number of)

Used as a way to ask concerning the amount of individuals or objects with which somebody has accomplished one thing:

¿Con cuántas fuiste? (What number of did you go together with? [in reference to people, for example])

¿Con cuánta lo has hecho? (How a lot have you ever made it with? [referring to the flour needed for a cake, for example])

De cuánto (About/of how a lot / What number of)

There are some verbs that want the preposition de. When that’s the case, you could find situations like the next:

¿De cuánto estamos hablando? (How a lot are we speaking about? [for example, when talking about money])

¿De cuántas consta? (What number of is it made from? [like when talking about pieces of a puzzle])

8. Por Qué (Why) / Para Qué (What For)

¿Por qué? and ¿Para qué? are two methods you may ask “why” in Spanish. As at all times, they rely upon context.

In the event you’ve already discovered the variations between por and para, then studying when to make use of these “why” phrases ought to be simple. I’ll break it down for you in case you want a refresher.

Por qué is used to inquire concerning the direct explanation for one thing, which is straightforward, particular or typically well-known. Porque is the non-question model of the phrase, and it’s used for “as a result of.” You should use porque to reply por qué questions!

¿Por qué estás acostado?
(Why are you mendacity down?)

Porque me siento mal.
(As a result of I really feel unhealthy.)

However, para qué inquires about intention or objective.

¿Para qué estudias español?
(Why do you examine Spanish? / What do you examine Spanish for?)

Do you see how the primary query (with por qué) was a query a few trigger and the second (with para qué) inquires a few objective?

¿Por qué has venido? (Why have you ever come?)

¿Por qué no quieres comer? (Why don’t you need to eat?)

¿Para qué es eso? (What’s that for?)

¿Para qué han traído más libros? (What have they introduced extra books for?)

Frequent Spanish Questions

Understanding how you can ask questions in Spanish will assist make navigating conversations a lot simpler. You might even discover that the identical questions are likely to recur in lots of the conversations you might be having. Listed here are some frequent Spanish questions that will help you put together for a spread of various subjects.

Assembly Individuals

Attending to Know Somebody



Work and Faculty

On a regular basis Questions

The Upside Down Spanish Query Mark

The inverted query mark originally of sure sentences in Spanish is to point that the next phrase can be a query.

In English, it’s often clear {that a} sentence can be a query as a result of it begins with an interrogative phrase—resembling “what,” “how,” and so forth.

In Spanish nevertheless, there are a lot of circumstances the place a press release and a query may very well be similar in wording. For instance:

Vamos a la biblioteca. (We’re going to the library.)

¿Vamos a la biblioteca? (Are we going to the library?)

Questions can tackle many alternative shapes and kinds in Spanish, and a helpful option to improve your understanding of the best way questions are used within the language is to eat plenty of native content material. A method of doing that is by means of the language studying platform FluentU.

FluentU has a curated library of hundreds of movies made by and for native audio system, every of which comes with interactive subtitles, which makes it simple to see how Spanish interrogative phrases and questions work in follow.

FAQ About Spanish Questions

How Do You Translate English Questions into Spanish?

In English, the phrases “do” and “does” are very generally used once we ask questions.

You might have observed that, in Spanish questions, there isn’t often a phrase that takes the place of “do” or “does.”

For instance, let’s study the query: “Does she eat Mexican meals?”

In Spanish, it will appear like this: “¿Ella come comida mexicana?” Discover how there isn’t a phrase that replaces “does.” The Spanish interrogative pronoun supplies that that means by itself, however it reads extra actually as “She eats Mexican meals?”

What Is the Sentence Construction for Spanish Questions?

One different distinction is that in English, it’s crucial to place your phrases in the correct order to ask a query. In Spanish, query syntax is quite a bit much less strict.

To increase on the earlier instance, the next sentences would even be acceptable as questions:

¿Come ella comida mexicana?

¿Come comida mexicana ella?

Do Spanish Query Phrases Want Accent Marks?

Sure! All these query phrases have accent marks on them.

Once they’re utilized in a non-question context, the accent mark is dropped! Be aware the variations between these sentences:

  • ¿Cuándo quieres ir? (When do you need to go?) It is a basic interrogative sentence in Spanish.
  • Necesito saber cuándo quieres ir. (I have to know if you need to go.) We discover no query marks right here, however the that means remains to be interrogative. There’s lacking info that’s being requested.
  • Cuando llegues, llámame. (Whenever you arrive, name me.) No interrogative that means right here.

An instance of this may be discovered within the music, “Cuando Me Enamoro” by Enrique Iglesias, which interprets in English to “After I Fall in Love.” Discover how, because the phrase isn’t interrogative, it’s spelled as cuando as a substitute of cuándo.


There’s nothing now between you and all the knowledge you need to know concerning the Spanish language (or every other matter, for that matter).

So exit (or log on) and begin asking away!

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