It’s all ho-hum until that upside-down question note shows up, isn’t it?

And that’s where the secret comes in. You’re probably wondering simply what those upside-down concern marks are. Much more importantly, exactly how do we usage them?

Don’t worry. There’s no real secret to mastering the upside-down Spanish question mark.

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They’ve been used for centuries there is no difficulty. The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy), the reality that oversees the Spanish language, actually began using lock in 1754—so they’re nothing brand-new to this beautiful language!

Come on—let’s decipher this mystery!

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What’s Up v the Spanish Upside-down question Mark? The Mystery, Explained

Why the Upside-down Question mark Is Used

The upside-down question note is simply one the the typical Spanish point marks used to clarify and communicate what’s going on as soon as the language is in its created form.

Depending on wherein you are and who you’re speaking with, you can hear this dot mark called an inverted or opening inquiry mark.

It has a couple of distinct purposes, making that a an extremely versatile and also well-used part of composed Spanish.

Let’s watch what it’s generally used for.

To suggest a question Is Imminent

The upside-down question note is an at an early stage sign that what’s come come—namely, a question!

This dot mark’s main duty it to relay that a concern is gift asked.

¿Cómo estás? (How space you?)

¿Quieres un poco más de agua? (Would you like some much more water?)

¿A qué hora cierra la tienda? (What time go the save close?)


To take the place of an questions Word

The upside-down question note can additionally take the place of questions words.

The generally used Spanish ask words are:

¿Cómo? (How?)

¿Cuál? (Which?)

¿Cuándo? (When?)

¿Cuánto? (How much?)

¿Dónde? (Where?)

¿Por qué? (Why?)

¿Qué? (What?)

¿Quién? (Who?)

Most of the moment we use an interrogative word in ~ the beginning of a question. Yet shortening a question regularly conveys the message without losing its meaning, even without an questions word in ~ its beginning.

The tone shows that a concern is gift asked and the (missing) interrogative word is implied—and understood.

¿Dónde está el baño? (Where is the bathroom?) → ¿El baño? (The bathroom?)

¿Cuándo llega el tren? (When is the train arriving?) → ¿El tren? (The train?)

¿Pasarías la sal? (Would you happen the salt?) → ¿La sal? (The salt?)

To represent a Spot come Raise speak Tone

This point symbol mirrors where come raise the tone in a sentence or phrase. The signifies the the i is a question, rather than a statement, therefore readers recognize to raise their tone if speak the written words aloud.

Raising her speaking tone transforms a statement right into a question and also the upside-down question marks indicates that you must do so.

Juan va a la florería. (Juan goes to the flower shop. ) → ¿Juan va a la florería? (Is Juan going to the flower shop?)

Hablas inglés. (You speak English.) → ¿Hablas inglés? (Do friend speak English?)

El autobús llega muy tarde. (The bus is really late.) → ¿El autobús llega muy tarde? (Is the bus an extremely late?)

How to use Upside-down question Marks

Just remember that once you’re asking a written concern in Spanish, you’ll have to use two inquiry marks. It’s twice the fun!

You should put upside-down concern marks in ~ the start of a question and at the finish of one.

¿Cómo car llamas? (What is her name?)

¿A qué hora llegaron a la fiesta? (What time walk you all arrive to the party?)

You may an alert that the upside-down question note is becoming less typical in casual writing. As soon as texting, using WhatsApp or creating informally, Spanish speakers won’t always use it, and also you probably don’t have actually to, either.

Still, mean to check out the upside-down question mark in books, traditional writing and also even in movie subtitles.

Using the Upside-down Question mark in the middle of a Sentence

Take note: We said that the upside-down question note is put at the start of a question. However, that doesn’t always mean the it’s inserted at the beginning of a sentence. Sometimes, it appears within a sentence.

If it’s not put at the start of a sentence, it’s inserted at the begin of the actual inquiry within the sentence.

That sounds complicated, but it’s not. One of the most common times you’ll see upside-down inquiry marks in the middle of a sentence is through tag questions, i m sorry are used to check on a reality that the speaker believes is true.

Eres la prima de Pablo, ¿no? (You’re Pablo’s cousin, aren’t you?)

Esta camisa es nueva, ¿verdad? (This shirt is new, isn’t it?)

In general, you have the right to use her tone the voice (as discussed above) to recognize where the question mark belongs. Look because that the part of a sentence that reads like a question, and then surround it with concern marks.

Si bailamos, ¿ellos también van a bailar? (If we dance, will they run too?)

Vamos a cenar sushi, ¿te parece bien? (We’re going to have sushi because that dinner, does that sound good?)

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Using Upside-down concern Marks v Exclamation Points

Much like question marks, Spanish exclamation points additionally appear in pairs, v the first one upside-down.

Don’t it is in surprised to check out passages that use both upside-down concern marks as well as upside-down exclamation points.

¡Buenos días! ¿A dónde vas, Susana? (Good morning! Where room you going, Susana?)

¡Ayuda! ¿A dónde va con mi bolso? (Help! whereby is she going through my purse?)

¡Ahora no! ¿Podemos hablar después? (Not now! deserve to we talk later?)

How to form Upside-down inquiry Marks

Using a Mac

To form the upside-down question note on a Mac, ar the cursor whereby you desire the punctuation suggest to appear. Climate depress the Option and also Shift keys. Finally, hit the concern mark key to form the upside-down concern mark.

Using a PC

It’s a snap to form the upside-down question note on a PC. Simply hit the Alt key and type 168 to type this Spanish point mark.

If you’re utilizing an worldwide keyboard setting, friend can acquire the upside-down question mark by holding down regulate + Alt + Shift, and then pressing the “/” key.

To kind other Spanish point marks, Useful Shortcuts provides a handy reference table that’s really concise!

Using an iphone or iPad

To insert the upside-down question mark using an iphone or iPad, access the conventional question mark on the device’s keyboard. Press the inquiry mark and also hold the down. A little blue bubble will certainly appear over the question mark, providing the alternative to use either a question note like the one ~ above the key-board or the upside-down mark.

Using an Android Device

Android tools users have actually a quick and also easy means to usage Spanish dot on their devices: Just pick the “sym” (for “symbols”) on your keyboard, and navigate come the second page. There, you can uncover both the upside down inquiry mark and the upside down exclamation point.

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For an ext precise typing, Spanish Keyboard is an application that provides all Spanish punctuation—including upside-down question marks—readily accessible.

Learning Spanish is a wonderful undertaking. There are lots of factors to choose up this beautiful language—including travel opportunities and also becoming among the countless Spanish speakers throughout the globe.

While the upside-down question mark is various from the conventional English, there’s no reason to be intimidated through it.

And currently that you understand all the hows and whys of making use of it, there space no secret Spanish dot marks to host you back!

The rules room so simple that even children learn lock without any trouble. To tell the truth, as soon as I to be a son I loved writing questions in Spanish—just so I might practice writing that fun upside-down concern mark.

Remember, there’s no factor not to love this quirky point point!

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