Spanish questions words
Spanish questions can be made just by changing the intonation or by adding a question word or PRONOMBRES INTERROGATIVOS, such as dónde (where), por qué (why)… These go at the beginning of the question. Unlike English, Spanish puts the verbs straight after the question word and doesn’t use extra words like do/does: ¿Cuándo empieza el partido? (When does the match starts?)
Some Spanish questions words can be preceded by a preposition:
¿Con quién vas al cine? (Who are you going to the cinema with?)
¿De dónde eres? (Where are you from?)
Notice that question words have an accent to distinguish them from the same words used in statements. They retain the accent when used in indirect questions:
¿Dónde vive Gonzalo? (Where does Gonzalo live?)
Ésta es la casa donde vive Gonzalo. (This is the house where Gonzalo lives).
Me pregunto dónde vive Gonzalo. (I wonder where Gonzalo lives).
Spanish questions words fall into two groups: those that don’t change and those that change to agree with the noun they are referring to.
Those that don’t change are:
- Cuándo = When
¿Cuándo llegan los niños? (When are the children arriving?)
¿Cuándo abre el supermercado? (When the supermarket open?)
- Cómo = How
¿Cómo están ustedes? (How are you?)
¿Cómo se dice en español bird? (How do you say in Spanish bird?)
- Dónde = Where
¿Dónde está la estación de tren? (Where is the train station?).
¿Dónde están las llaves? (Where are the keys?)
- ¿Por qué? = Why
¿Por qué estudias español? (Why do you study Spanish?).
¿Por qué están nerviosos? (Why are you nervous?)
* Don’t confuse por qué with porque, which means because.
Those that change according to gender or number:
Cuánto, cuánta, cuántos, cuántas = How much, how many.
¿Cuántos hijos tienes? (How many children you have?)
¿Cuánto dinero tiene Raúl? (How much money Raul has?)
¿Cuántas mujeres trabajan aquí? (How many women work here?)
Practice how to make questions in Spanish
Now practice everything you have learned with the exercises below. Also, click on the link to learn more about question words in Spanish. Finally, remember you can contact your tutor for any question you have about Spanish questions. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?
QUÉ vs CUÁL
«Qué» and «Cuál» both mean «what». So it is not always easy, for English speakers, to know which one to use. Let’s see how these two question words work in the video below!