Questions in Spanish Grammar (2022)

Introduction

Questions (las oraciones interrogativas) in Spanish grammar are always written between two question marks (¿…?). There are two types of questions; closed questions (yes–no questions) and questions that use an interrogative pronoun (question word).

Questions in Spanish can be direct (e.g., ¿Cuándo viene Juan?)When is Juan coming? or indirect (No sé cuándo viene Juan.)I don’t know when Juan is coming. Indirect questions are a type of subordinate clause and are often used without question marks. All question words have an accent, even in indirect questions.

Learn about the types of questions in Spanish grammar and their word order with Lingolia. Put your knowledge to the test in the exercises below.

Example

Questions in Spanish Grammar (1)

- ¡Buenos días, Julia! ¿Cómo estás?
- Bien, gracias. Voy al cine.
- ¿Qué vas a ver?
- Una película de acción. ¿Te gusta ir al cine?
- ¡Sí, mucho! ¿Puedo ir contigo?
- Sí, si quieres. ¿Quieres comprar palomitas?

(Video) Spanish Questions Words - Spanish Grammar

Closed Questions

The simplest question type is closed questions, also known as yes–no questions. Their sentence structure is the same as a declarative sentence (subject + verb + object) and there is no question word; only the question marks and the rising intonation indicate that the sentence is actually a question.

Example:
Te gusta ir al cine. → ¿Te gusta ir al cine?You like to go to the cinema. → Do you like going to the cinema?
Puedo ir contigo. → ¿Puedo ir contigo?I can come with you. → Can I come with you?
Quieres comprar palomitas. → ¿Quieres comprar palomitas?You want to buy popcorn. → Do you want to buy popcorn?

There are two types of closed questions:

  • yes–no questions that offer two opposing options;
    Example:
    ¿Te gusta ir al cine (o no)?Do you like going to the cinema (or not)?
  • questions that offer two or more options;
    Example:
    ¿Te gusta más el cuadro grande o el cuadro pequeño?Do you like the big painting more or the small one?
    ¿Vamos al cine hoy, mañana o pasado?Shall we go to the cinema today, tomorrow or the day after?

Open-ended Questions

Open-ended questions can’t simply be answered with yes or no, but require more information. This is because they contain a question word (quién/-es, qué, cuál, cuánto/-a/-os/-as) or an interrogative adverb (cómo, dónde, adónde, cuánto, cuándo, por qué).

  • Open-ended questions have the following structure: question word + verb + subject, except in the case of the question word quién, which acts as the subject of the sentence.
    Example:
    ¿Qué haces (tú) hoy? – Voy a ver una película de acción.What are you doing today? – I’m going to watch an action film.
    ¿Dónde está el cine? – El cine está cerca de Tirso de Molina.Where is the cinema? – The cinema is close to Tirso de Molina.
    ¿Quién actúa? – Actúa mi actor italiano favorito.Who’s in it? – My favourite Italian actor is in it.
  • When the question contains a preposition, it comes before the question word.

    Example:
    ¿Con quién vas al cine? — Voy al cine con mis amigos. —Who are you going to the cinema with? —I’m going to the cinema with my friends.
    ¿Para quién son las palomitas? — Las palomitas son para .Who is the popcorn for? — The popcorn is for me.

Common Question Words and Phrases

The question words in Spanish are: quién, qué, cuál, cómo, dónde, cuándo, cuánto and por qué.who, what, which, how, where, when, how much/many, why They can all be used in direct and indirect questions.

Example:
¿Quién es la protagonista de la película?Who is the main character in the film? (direct)
Los amigos se preguntan quién es la protagonista de la película.The friends wonder who the main character in the film is. (indirect)

The majority of question words can be combined with a preposition to make another question word. The preposition depends on the verb used and always comes before the question word.

Example:
— ¿Con quién has ido al cine?Who did you go to the cinema with?
— He ido con Marta y Lucía.I went with Marta and Lucía.ir con alguien

The table below gives an overview of the different question words and phrases in Spanish along with the rules of usage and examples.

Question WordTranslationUsage
(to ask about…)
Example
quién/quiénes
  • who, whom
  • subject
  • direct object (person)
  • —¿Quién te ha dado el libro? —El profesor.Who gave you the book? —The teacher.
a quién/a quiénes
  • (to) whom
  • direct object (person)
  • indirect object (person)
  • —¿A quién has visto? —A nuestro entrenador. Whom did you see? —Our coach.
  • ¿A quién le has dado el libro? —A mi novia.To whom did you give the book? —My girlfriend.
con quién
  • with whom
  • company
  • —¿Con quién has ido al cine? —Con mis amigos.With whom did you go to the cinema? —With my friends.
para quién
  • for whom
  • recipient
  • —¿Para quién son las flores? —Para mi hermana.For whom are the flowers? —For my sister.
qué
  • what
  • which
  • subject or object, when not a person
  • action
  • —¿Qué es eso? —Un móvil.What is that? —A mobile phone.
  • —¿Qué habéis visto? —Un arcoiris.What did you see? —A rainbow.
  • —¿Qué libro has comprado? —Don Quijote. Which book did you buy? —Don Quixote.
en qué
de qué
sobre qué
  • what
  • of what
  • with what
  • about what
  • topic
  • after a preposition in questions about an inanimate object
  • ¿En qué piensas?What are you thinking of?
  • ¿De qué hablas?What are you talking about?
  • ¿Con qué clavas los clavos?What are you hammering the nails with?
  • ¿Sobre qué va a escribir usted su tesis?What are you going to write your thesis about?
con qué
  • with what
  • how
  • means, manner
  • —¿Con qué clavas los clavos? —Con un martillo.How do you fix the nails? —With a hammer.
por qué
  • why
  • how come
  • cause, reason
  • Por qué llegas tan tarde? —Porque el tren se retrasó.Why are you late? —Because the train was delayed.
para qué
  • why
  • for what reason
  • intention, purpose
  • —¿Para qué aprendes kárate? —Para defenderme.Why are you learning karate? —To defend myself.
dónde
  • where
  • place – position
  • —¿Dónde está la estación? —En frente del cine.Where is the train station? —In front of the cinema.
adónde
  • (to) where
  • place – direction, intention, destination
  • —¿Adónde vais? - Vamos a la estación.Where are you going? —We’re going to the station.
de dónde
  • from where
  • place – origin, source
  • —¿De dónde vienes? —Vengo de España.Where do you come from? —I come from Spain.
cuándo
  • when
  • point in time
  • —¿Cuándo has desayunado? —A las 7.When did you eat breakfast? —At 7 o’clock.
para cuándo
  • by when
  • deadline
  • —¿Para cuándo necesitas el pastel? —Para el viernes que viene.By when do you need the cake? —By next Friday.
desde cuándo
  • since when
  • how long
  • time point – beginning
  • —¿Desde cuándo vives en Bilbao? —Desde 2009.How long have you been living in Bilbao? —Since 2009.
hasta cuándo
  • until when
  • how long
  • time point – ending
  • —¿Hasta cuándo estáis de vacaciones? —Hasta el día 14.Until when are you on holiday? —Until the 14th.
cómo
  • how
  • manner
  • —¿Cómo estás? —Bien.How are you? —Good.
  • —¿Cómo se abre la botella? —Girando el tapón.How do you open the bottle? —By turning the lid.
cuál/cuáles
  • which
  • choice (replacement)
  • see interrogative pronouns
  • —¿Cuál te gusta más de los dos? —El rojo. Which of the two do you like better? —The red one.
cuánto/cuánta/ cuántos/cuantas
  • how much, how many
  • number, amount
  • —¿Cuántas velas hay en tu pastel? —Hay veintinueve velas.How many candles are there on your cake? —There are 29 candles.
cada cuánto
  • how often
  • frequency
  • —¿Cada cuánto pasa el autobús? —Cada 20 minutos.How often does the bus come? —Every 20 minutes.
cuántas veces
  • how many times
  • frequency – repetition
  • —¿Cuántas veces has estado en Tenerife? —Tres veces.How many times have you been to Tenerife? —Three times.
(Video) How to Ask Questions in Spanish: What? Who? When? Where? How?

Qué/Cuál

Cuál refers to a choice made between different options and is variable in number (cuál/cuáles).

Example:
¿Cuál es el título de la película?What’s the title of the film?
¿Cuáles son los personajes principales?Who are the main characters?

There is a regional difference when the question words are used before a noun: cuál/cuáles is common in Latin America, while the Spaniards use qué.

(Video) Forming Questions in Spanish: interrogatives, yes-no, tags

Example:
¿Qué tipo de cine te gusta más? (Spain)Which type of films do you like the best?
¿Cuál tipo de cine te gusta más? (Latin America)

To learn more about the difference between qué and cuál go to Lingolia’s page on interrogative pronouns.

Quién

The question word quién (who) has a singular and a plural form in Spanish: quién/quiénes. The form you choose depends on whether you refer to one person or multiple people. If we don’t know the number of people, we use the singular form.

Example:
¿Quién protagoniza la película?Who is stars in the film?
¿Quiénes mueren al final?Which characters die in the end?

Cuánto

The word cuánto (how many/how much) is used to ask about quantity, amount or number. When cuánto refers to a noun, it agrees in number and gender with this noun (cuánto/cuánta/cuántos/cuántas).

Example:
¿Cuánto (dinero) cuesta la entrada del cine?How much does the cinema ticket cost?
¿Cuántas entradas necesitamos?How many tickets do we need?

When cuánto refers to a verb it remains unchanged.

Example:
¿Cuánto dura la película?How long does the film last?

Por qué

The question word por qué (why) is always written with a space in both direct and indirect questions. This distinguishes it from the answer porque (because), which is always written without a space and without an accent.

Example:
¿Por qué no te ha gustado la película?Why didn’t you like the film?
Porque era muy aburrida.Because it was really boring.

To Note

  • Unlike English, Spanish does not have the form how + adjective. A similar construction can be formed using qué + noun or cuánto + verb.
Example:
How wide is the river? → ¿Qué anchura tiene el río?/¿Cuánto mide el río de ancho?What width does the river have?/How much does the river measure in width?
How expensive is the t-shirt? → ¿Qué precio tiene la camiseta?/¿Cuánto cuesta la camiseta?What price does the t-shirt have?/How much does the t-shirt cost?
  • With the exception of cuál, all other interrogative pronouns can also be used in exclamations.
    Example:
    ¡Qué calor hace!What heat!
    ¡Cuánto tiempo!What a long time!

Direct/Indirect Questions

Direct questions are simply normal questions.

Example:
¿Por qué lloras en las películas románticas?Why do you cry during romantic films? (direct question)

Indirect questions are included in another sentence as a subordinate clause. Their structure is the same as a direct question but:

  • they are introduced by a question word with an accent or the conjunction si
  • we don’t usually use question marks
Example:
No entiendo por qué lloras en las películas románticas.I don’t understand why you cry during romantic films. (indirect question)
No estoy seguro si recomendaría la película.I’m not sure if I would recommend the film. (indirect question)
(Video) TEST YOUR SPANISH GRAMMAR: TENSE/CORRECT FORM OF VERBS. 10 QUESTIONS. ESP GRAMMAR QUIZ 1

FAQs

Which question word do you use to ask for quantity in Spanish? ›

¿Cuánto/a? / ¿Cuántos/as? = How much? / How many? (Both for feminine and male nouns). In Spanish, we use the word “Cuánto/a” to ask for “how much” and “how many” but it all depends on what you are asking about in order to understand how to use these two forms of the same word.

How do you answer a yes or no question in Spanish? ›

Now we learn how to answer yes no questions if the answer is yes we simply put C before the answer

What is Cómo estás? ›

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

How do you say how old are you? ›

How old are you? - To Be + Age - YouTube

How do you use Que in a question? ›

When the word qué (with an accent) is accompanied by a question mark, you can use it in different forms. In a question, qué with the accent mark usually means “what,” but it can also mean “which.” For example: ¿Qué lugar es más bonito, el restaurante o el cine?

What's the difference between cuantos and Cuantas? ›

Translation. As you can see from the chart, normally the singular forms translate to “how much” and cuantos or cuantas in Spanish mean “how many” in English.

What do Quién mean? ›

The relative pronoun quien in Spanish means “who” or whom” and it refers only to people.

How do you use Cuantos? ›

Cuánto + noun in Spanish

To ask "How much" or "How many" of something in Spanish we use interrogative word "cuánto". Have a look at the following examples: ¿Cuánto café tenemos? How much coffee do we have?

How do you answer a negative question in Spanish? ›

Moreover, if someone asks you a question, and your response is negative you'll need to use the word 'no' twice. The first time to answer the question, and the second time to negate the verb. This is because the Spanish language doesn't have an equivalent of 'don't'.

When you ask a question in Spanish Does the subject come? ›

One way to form a question is to switch the verb and the subject and add a question mark at the end, as well as the ¿ at the front of the sentence. When the subject of the verb is specified, you can change the word order so that the verb comes BEFORE the subject. Statement: Juan quiere ir al parque.

Do you speak Spanish yes or no? ›

How to Say "Yes or No" in Spanish - YouTube

What is Que Pasa means? ›

A Spanish phrase meaning what is happening?, often used as a greeting.

How do you reply to bien y tu? ›

The standard answer is probably "Bien" ("Fine") or "Muy bien" ("Very good"). Of course, both of those responses are often expanded: "Muy bien, gracias.

How do I respond to Ola? ›

This phrase means “how are you?” and can be used not only to find out how somebody is feeling, but can also be used as a way to say hello. If in passing someone says “hola!” to you, it would acceptable to reply: “como estas?

Are you single in Spanish to a boy? ›

— Are you single? (to a man) ¿Eres soltera? / ¿Estás soltera?

What's your name say in Spanish? ›

¿cómo te llamas?

Can you tell how old Siri? ›

Siri was released as an app for iOS in February 2010. Two months later, Apple acquired it and integrated into iPhone 4S at its release on 4 October, 2011, removing the separate app from the iOS App Store.

What is the difference between cuál and Qué? ›

So, what's the difference between qué vs cuál? When meaning 'what', qué asks for a definition, time, or explanation, whereas cuál is used to ask for personal information. When meaning 'which', 'qué' asks about objects and preferences. 'Cuál' asks to make a choice between two options.

What is the difference between Que and Qué? ›

Remember: Que = that..., which/who. Qué = What/How.

What's the difference between Que and QUÉ in Spanish? ›

Qué = “What” (at the start of a sentence) lo que = “what” (in the middle of a sentence) Que = that (can also mean which, who, what depending on context).

Does Como have an accent? ›

Cómo with an accent means “how”. Como without an accent means “as” or “like”. (Coincidentally, como is also the first-person singular present form of comer, “to eat”.)

Is países masculine or feminine? ›

If a word ends in another letter, for example Mujer (woman) or País (country), it could be either. There are lots of patterns to look out for - e.g. nouns ending in 'ión' like Opinión (opinion) and Construcción (building/construction) tend to be feminine.

Is estudiante masculine or feminine? ›

Apparently, "estudiante" is one of those words that does not change its spelling, but can be either masculine or feminine.

Who knows in Spanish slang? ›

phrase
FromToVia
• who knows→ quién sabe↔ qui sait

Is que a word? ›

Que is one of the most commonly used words in Spanish, Portuguese, and French. It is a multifunctional word, signifying everything from “that” and “which” to “what” or “whom.”

What is your pet's name in Spanish? ›

'¿Cómo se llama tu mascota?

Can you start a sentence with cuando? ›

Introduction. The word “¿cuándo?” means “when?”. It is used to ask questions relating to the time of events. We can call it a question-word question, in the sense that it is often used at the beginning of a sentence to form a question.

Is cuantos an interrogative? ›

Interrogative adjectives in Spanish are question words like qué (meaning which or what) and cuánto/cuánta/cuántos/cuántas (meaning how much/how many).

How much is feminine in Spanish? ›

Cuánta Cuántas

What is the opposite of nadie? ›

The antonym of nadie is alguien.

What is the opposite of ninguna? ›

ningún, ninguna. none, not any (opposite=algún, alguna) siempre. always (opposite=nunca) nunca.

Whats the difference between Tambien and tampoco? ›

As we are sure you already know, the word 'También' means 'also' or 'too' and is used pretty much in the same way as it is used in the English language. Likewise, the word 'Tampoco', which means 'neither' or 'either' has a similar role in Spanish as it does in English, except in its position in the sentence.

What conjugation do you use for questions in Spanish? ›

You know that you're supposed to conjugate the verb “to go” with the subject. When the subject is a question word, the verb is conjugated in either the él/ella or ellos/ellas form based on whether the question word is singular or plural.

How do you conjugate a question in Spanish? ›

The Spanish question formula is: ¿(Preposition) + question word + conjugated verb + (subject) + (additional information)? The brackets indicate that these components of the question aren't always necessary.

How do you speak Spanish in 5 minutes? ›

Learn Spanish Phrases In 5 minutes - YouTube

What do we call no in Spanish? ›

Nop – Nope. To say “no” in Spanish in a super informal way, use this expression. It works the same way as the English “nope” but once again, make it a short /o/ instead of the English diphthong. It's okay to use with friends, but if you say it to your teacher, for example, you might sound a bit impolite.

What is yes to a Mexican? ›

Arre. Spanish speakers in Mexico and Spain use 'arre' as a very casual way to say 'yes'. Just like 'vale' and its variations, 'arre' is used as a way to respond and show agreement to a previous statement. 'Arre' means 'yes', 'yup', 'okay' or 'alright'.

How is que paso used? ›

"Que paso" means "that I pass." Here in California, it is extremely common to hear "¿Qué pasó?" as a greeting, in which case it is exactly the same as "¿Qué pasa?" Of course, it can also be used to ask "What happened?" if something really did happen. For example, someone might ask this upon hearing a loud noise.

How do you answer Que paso? ›

Estoy bien. Nothing. I'm fine.

What does the phrase Buenos dias mean? ›

Definition of buenos días

: good morning : hello.

Can I say estoy bien? ›

Don't Say "Estoy bien" (Say instead these widely used alternatives in ...

Is Todo Bien formal? ›

Replying in formal situations

To express that everything is going really well, and there is no need to give more details. A variant of estoy bien is todo bien (all good). It works perfectly in most contexts.

What is muy bien e tu? ›

Spanish. Learn this word. I am fine, how are you.

What is Cómo estás? ›

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

What are the 2 meanings of Mucho Gusto? ›

Using gusto means whatever is being described is pleasing me. The literal translation of “mucho” is “a lot of.” Therefore, according to Spanish Dict, “mucho gusto” directly translates to “much pleasure.” As a greeting, it is used to mean that it is a pleasure to make one's acquaintance.

How do you respond to Adios Amigos? ›

You can also say ; ¡Hasta Mañana! or ¡Adiós! What is Esta bien? es·tá bien Interjection.

What are the question words? ›

An interrogative word or question word is a function word used to ask a question, such as what, which, when, where, who, whom, whose, why, whether and how. They are sometimes called wh-words, because in English most of them start with wh- (compare Five Ws).

What are interrogative Spanish words? ›

8 Spanish Interrogative Pronouns to Ask Your Way to Fluency
  • dónde (where) ...
  • qué (what) ...
  • cuál / cuáles (which one / which ones) ...
  • cómo (how) ...
  • cuándo (when) ...
  • quién / quiénes (who) ...
  • cuánto / cuánta / cuántos / cuántas (how much / how many)
29 Aug 2022

Which question word do you use to ask about time in Spanish? ›

The most common and easiest way for asking time in Spanish is “¿Qué hora es?” This question means “What time is it?” in Spanish, but it is not a literal translation as we use the word HORA instead of TIEMPO.

How do you type a question mark in Spanish? ›

For the 'upside down' question mark or exclamation point, press the right Alt key (the Alt key that is to the right of the space bar) and the question mark or exclamation point (without the Shift key): ¿, ¡.

What are the 7 question words? ›

There are seven question words in English: who, what, where, when, why, which, and how. Question words are a basic part of English and important to know. Plus (also), it is easy to see what a question word is because it is always at the beginning of a sentence.

What are the 5 question words? ›

They include Who, What, When Where, and Why. The 5 Ws are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.

What are the 6 question words? ›

The words are Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. These posters give simple definition of what is required to answer these question starters.

How do you use Como and Que in Spanish? ›

Cómo is generally used for "how" in questions and qué is generally used for "what" in questions.

What is upside down question mark in Spanish? ›

The inverted question mark, ¿, and inverted exclamation mark, ¡, are punctuation marks used to begin interrogative and exclamatory sentences or clauses in Spanish and some languages which have cultural ties with Spain, such as Asturian and Waray languages.

Is there a word for do in Spanish? ›

If you'd like to say “do” in Spanish, you'll usually be using a conjugation of the verb “hacer”. However, as with so many translations, the English “do” or “to do” has a number of equivalents. If you ask someone what they “do” for a living, you would use “dedicarse a”.

How do you answer que hora es? ›

Telling Time in Spanish ¿Qué hora es? ¿A qué hora...? - YouTube

How do I ask a question usted? ›

So, if you are going to use "usted" in a question it's ptractically the same as you say "Do you..?". If is just a sentence, "usted" is a respectful way to say "you". that is right Andrea you use "usted" only on a polite way to show respect to the pearson you speak to.

How do you answer what is your name in Spanish? ›

To reply, you could answer in either of the following ways:
  1. Me llamo + your name (literally means I am called...) (casual)
  2. Soy + your name (literally means I am...) (more casual)
  3. Mi nombre es + your name = My name is + your name (formal)
21 Jul 2020

Videos

1. 64 Advanced Spanish Great grammar questions LightSpeed Spanish
(LightSpeed Spanish)
2. 10 common questions in Spanish
(Butterfly Spanish)
3. There is... Simple Spanish grammar! 🌻🐖👭🏼
(Un bocado de español)
4. Spanish Grammar Test. Can you score 15/15?
(7 Minute Language School)
5. Learn Spanish: What? Where? When? Who? Which? How? & more in Spanish
(Butterfly Spanish)
6. Spanish Colors 🎨 (Learn Basic Questions and Answers Using Colours) + Simple Spanish Grammar
(Easy Peasy Spanish with Angie)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 10/22/2022

Views: 5655

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.