Interrogatives in Spanish





Interrogrative in Spanish is easy , u need 2 question taga "¿" and "?" which put in first and last sentence .  Forming a question in Spanish is quite straightforward. If a subject is expressed it is often
placed after the verb:

¿Tienes tú las llaves?
Do you have the keys?


¿Van ustedes a la fiesta?
Are you going to the party?



This is by no means obligatory, however, and you could also say:


¿Tú tienes las llaves?
¿Ustedes van a la fiesta?


In the above examples the question looks just like a statement in the written form, but
with the addition of the question marks. However, when spoken, the intonation indicates
that a question is being asked.

When there is no subject mentioned the fact that it is a question will be indicated by
intonation alone:


¿Estudias mucho?
Do you study a lot?

¿Estamos en el centro?
Are we in the centre?

Notice that an inverted question mark is put at the beginning of a question in written Spanish, even 
if the question is not the start of the sentence:


Hoy es sábado, ¿quieres ir al cine?
Today is Saturday, do you want to go to the cinema?



Interrogative words
The main interrogative words in Spanish are as follows:

¿cuál(es)?                              which?/what?
¿cómo?                                  how?
¿cuándo?                              when?
¿cuánto(s)?                           how much/how many?
¿dónde?                                where?
¿por qué?                              why?
¿para qué?                            what for?
¿qué?                                     what?
¿quién(es)?                           who?

Note: These words always have a written accent when used as question words.
You will have noticed that some of these words have feminine and plural forms, which
means that they have to agree with the noun to which they refer:



¿Cuáles de los libros son tuyos?
Which of the books are yours?

¿Cuántos hermanos tienes?
How many brothers and sisters do you have?


¿Cuántas casas hay en la calle?
How many houses are there in the street?

¿Quiénes son los autores?
Who are the authors?


The personal a with ¿quién?

When ¿quién? is used as the direct object (see ‘Glossary of grammatical terms’) of a
verb, you must always put a before it, i.e. ¿a quién?:

¿A quién esperas?
Who(m) are you waiting for?

In this sentence, ‘you’ is the subject – i.e. the person who is doing the action of the verb –
and ‘who(m)’ is the direct object – i.e. the person who receives the action of the verb.
No a is required before ¿quién? if it is the subject of the verb:


¿Quién tiene el dinero?
Who has the money?

In English the distinction between ‘who?’ and ‘whom?’ should really indicate when the
personal a needs to be used, but current English usage is tending towards always using
‘who?’ when referring to either the subject or the object.


Some differences between ¿qué? and ¿cuál?


The differences between ¿qué? and ¿cuál? can be quite problematic for non-native
Spanish speakers, but a few basic rules will help you to avoid mistakes.

¿qué? can be used both as an adjective and a pronoun. This means it can be used with
or without a following noun:

e.g.:                                        ¿Qué hora es?                       What time (lit. ‘hour’) is it?

¿Qué quieres?                      What do you want?

¿cuál(es)? can only be used as a pronoun, i.e. it must not be followed directly by a noun:


¿Cuál prefieres?
Which (one) do you prefer?

¿Cuáles de las canciones prefieres?
Which (of the) songs do you prefer?

¿Cuál de ellos tienes ya?
Which of them do you already have?

So you can see that ¿qué? usually corresponds to English ‘what’ and ¿cuál? to English
‘which’. However, you need to be particularly careful when translating the following type
of sentence:

What is the problem?

In this type of sentence the translation of ‘what’ is always ¿cuál? and never ¿qué?

¿Cuál es el problema?

¿qué? is only used in this type of sentence if the question is asking for a definition of
something rather than being equivalent to the question ‘what sort of …?’:

e.g. ¿Qué es esto?
      What is this? (asking for a definition)

¿Cuál es la explicación?
What is the explanation?

(asking which of many possible explanations will do)

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