Spanish Answering Questions

Overview

In Spanish, the simplest way to ask a question is by taking an ordinary sentence and changing your intonation at the end. We ask questions in this exact same way in English.

The Introduction

Asking questions is very important to keep a conversation flowing. The way we ask for or about something in Spanish is somewhat similar to English. One immediate difference is the use of question marks.

Questions marks in Spanish are called SIGNOS DE INTERROGACIÓN. As a general rule, these punctuation marks are used at the beginning and at the end of all questions in the Spanish language. The question mark at the beginning should be placed upside down, whereas the question mark that comes at the end of the sentence should be written just like in English. When writing, it would be incorrect to omit any of the two Spanish question marks.  Also note, when it comes to speaking, questions in Spanish have a different intonation sometimes.

Correct written form: ¿Estás estudiando español?

Incorrect written form: Estás estudiando español?

The verbs SER, ESTAR, TENER, PODER and HACER are often used to make Si/No Spanish questions, so when someone asks using any of these verbs we can reply with SI or NO. Most of the time, we add information besides SI or NO, and more importantly, when we pronounce this type of basic Spanish questions, the intonation should go up in the end.

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Additional Topics

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The conditional is a structure that we use to express possibility or probability, wishes, excuses, and even suggestions or requests. It can also be used to talk about things we would do, if a certain action happens (ie. hypothetical situations).

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The Simple Future (Futuro simple), is used to describe actions that will happen in the future, without indicating a specific point in time.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
Reading:
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
Listening:
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.