Spanish Language and Culture
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Learn Spanish Online - An Interactive Spanish Course for Young and Old
Lesson 3: Talking about doing Things

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How to ask questions in Spanish

In Spanish, as well as in English, there are different possibilities to ask a question. You probably already used one of these options in the previous lessons of this course: You simply raise your voice at the end of the sentence and thus transform it into a question.
Another option is through a so called tag-word at the end of the question, similar to the American 'right?' or the British 'isn't it?'. Those tag-words in Spanish are 'no' and 'verdad'.
Te gustan los deportes, ¿no?You like sports, don't you?
No es de aquí, ¿verdad?You are not from here, right?

But you can also simply change the order in a sentence to make a question out of a regular sentence. Therefore, you place the subject either directly behind the verb or at the very end of the sentence.
¿Quiere Estefania dar un paseo?Does Stefanie want to take a walk?
¿Van a trabajar mañana Carlos y Adán?Will Carlos and Adán work tomorrow?

Questions with the tag-words 'verdad' and 'no', as well as such questions, for which the order in the sentence changes, can usually be answered with 'sí' or 'no'. It then looks like this:
Helmut es de aqui, ¿verdad?Sí, es de aquí.
¿Es Tomás de Colombia?No, es de Peru.

If you use question words in Spanish, such as 'cuándo' (when), 'qué' (what) or 'adónde' (where to), you also have to change the order of the sentence. As mentioned above, the subject goes right behind the verb:
¿Cuándo va de compras Jaqueline?When does Jaqueline go shopping?
¿Adónde va Alfonso?Where does Alfonso go?

Lastly, here are some useful questions, which you use frequently in every-day life. These follow the just described rules for forming questions in Spanish. Please note that those questions are quite hard to translate literally into English. You should rather consider them as idioms and simply memorize them.
¿Cómo se llama él?What's his name? (lit: How does he call himself?)
¿Cuántos años tiene ella?How old is she? (lit: How many years does she have?)

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