Week 10 of Learning Spanish!

This week in Spanish I am learning “Questions”. I always remember my high school Spanish teaching saying that she always remembers young students shouting “que!? que?! que?!” and that it would drive her nuts! Haha. I was thinking of her this lesson because I was asking myself a lot “que!!??!!”

Que – what

Como – how

Cuales – which

Quien – who

Cuanto(s) – how many/how much

Cual – what/which

Cuando – when

The Upside Down Question Mark

In written Spanish, questions should always start with an upside down question mark (¿). For example, to ask “What are you eating?” you would write “¿Qué comes?”

Position of Personal Pronouns

When asking a question, it is possible to place the personal pronoun in different places without affecting the meaning. For example “¿Qué comes tú?” and “¿Tú qué comes?” mean the same thing (and also the same thing as “¿Qué comes?”).

The position of the personal pronoun is sometimes used for emphasis. For example “Tú qué comes” places the emphasis on “you” and would mean something like “You, what are you eating?”

“Por qué” versus “Porque”

Even native speakers sometimes confuse “por qué” and “porque,” because they sound exactly the same. However, “por qué” means “why” and “porque” means “because.” That is, “por qué” is typically used when asking a question and “porque” is used when answering it.

  • Q: “¿Por qué no eres un niño?” (Why are you not a boy?)
  • A: “Porque soy una niña” (Because I am a girl)

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