You’re studying a Spanish textual content and instantly, ¡wham! You’re greeted by an the other way up punctuation mark.
This could be a little bit of a shock should you’ve by no means run into an the other way up query mark or an the other way up exclamation level earlier than.
There’s no actual secret to mastering this matter—you simply have to know why and the best way to use the other way up punctuation marks in Spanish.
On this put up, you’ll be taught why Spanish has the other way up punctuation, when to make use of it and the best way to kind inverted query marks and exclamation factors on any system.
¡Vámonos! (Let’s go!)
The Historical past of Inverted Punctuation Marks
Do you know that the the other way up exclamation level was originally proposed for use in English?
Within the mid-1600s, British clergyman and thinker John Wilkins steered utilizing an inverted exclamation mark to indicate irony. This, as it’s possible you’ll know, didn’t fairly take off (although the web age has adopted the inverted smiley face in its stead).
Using inverted punctuation marks in written Spanish truly didn’t occur till later than Wilkins’ ill-fated try on the identical. The Actual Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) initially steered using inverted query and exclamation marks to point an upcoming query or exclamation in the mid-1700s.
As with many new guidelines, the language was fairly gradual in adopting this as normal. Nonetheless, by the 1900s, the the other way up punctuation marks had change into a ubiquitous image of Spanish writing. Immediately, they’re a part of formal writing in Spanish (each Latin American and European) in addition to in different Iberian languages comparable to Galician and Catalan—although they’re typically omitted for brief questions and exclamations, and in additional informal writing.
Why Use an Upside Down Query Mark
In Spanish, inverted punctuation is used to talk clearly in written kind. An the other way up query mark is positioned initially of a sentence that’s a query, to indicate that there’s a query developing.
Check out these two English sentences:
We’re going to the theater.
Are we going to the theater?
Now take a look at the identical sentences in Spanish:
Vamos al teatro.
¿Vamos al teatro?
In English, it’s clear when a query is developing as a result of the query phrase begins the sentence that poses a query. In Spanish, nevertheless, the 2 sentences are similar. Situations like this are why the inverted query mark was launched into the written Spanish language!
The the other way up query mark is used for the next causes:
- To point a query
- To exchange an interrogative phrase
- To sign a change in tone
Learn on to see extra concerned explanations and examples.
To Point out a Query
The best operate is that an inverted query mark tells you a query is coming.
(How are you?)
¿Quieres un poco más de agua?
(Would you want some extra water?)
¿A qué hora cierra la tienda?
(What time does the shop shut?)
To Substitute an Interrogative Phrase
¿Dónde está el baño? → ¿El baño?
(Where is the bathroom?) → (The bathroom?)
¿Cuándo llega el tren? → ¿El tren?
(When is the train arriving?) → (The train?)
¿Pasarías la sal? → ¿La sal?
(Would you pass the salt?) → (The salt?)
To Signal a Change in Tone
In Spanish, declarative statements and questions may only differ by punctuation. If you’re reading aloud, the upside down question mark tells you when to raise your tone for a question.
Juan va a la florería. → ¿Juan va a la florería?
(Juan goes to the flower shop. ) → (Is Juan going to the flower shop?)
Hablas inglés. → ¿Hablas inglés?
(You speak English.) → (Do you speak English?)
El autobús llega muy tarde. → ¿El autobús llega muy tarde?
(The bus is very late.) → (Is the bus very late?)
Why Use an Upside Down Exclamation Point
Unlike the slightly more nuanced upside down question mark, there’s really only one reason to use an inverted exclamation point in Spanish:
To signal an exclamation.
The upside down exclamation point simply tells the reader that this is an exclamatory sentence.
You don’t have to wait until the end of the sentence to find out the tone was meant to be excited the whole time!
¡Me encanta esta canción!
(I love this song!)
¡Lo siento, no puedo oírte!
(Sorry, I can’t hear you!)
How To Use Inverted Punctuation Marks
Use Two Punctuation Marks
When writing questions or exclamatory sentences in Spanish, you’ll just need to remember to use two punctuation marks—one at the beginning and one at the end.
¿Cómo te llamas?
(What is your name?)
¡Vamos a llegar tarde a la fiesta!
(We’re going to be late for the party!)
Inverted Punctuation in the Middle of a Sentence
By now, you know the upside down question mark is placed at the beginning of a question. However, that doesn’t always mean that it’s placed at the beginning of a sentence.
Same goes for the upside down exclamation point. These inverted marks should be placed at the beginning of the question or exclamatory phrase.
Si bailamos, ¿ellos también van a bailar?
(If we dance, will they dance, too?)
Te veo el martes, ¡adiós!
(I’ll see you Tuesday, bye!)
Inverted Question and Exclamation Marks Together
Don’t be surprised to see passages that use both inverted question marks and inverted exclamation points.
¡Buenos días! ¿A dónde vas, Susana?
(Good morning! Where are you going, Susana?)
¡Ayuda! ¿A dónde va con mi bolso?
(Help! Where is she going with my purse?)
¡Ahora no! ¿Podemos hablar después?
(Not now! Can we talk later?)
You may also see upside down question marks and exclamation points used together.
Note that the punctuation may show up in either order, according to the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) which maintains the requirements for correct Spanish utilization.
¡¿Cómo me llamaste?!
(What did you name me?!)
¡¿El perro se escapó?!
(The canine ran away?!)
¿¡Dónde has estado!?
(The place have you ever been?!)
Inverted Punctuation in Casual Writing
In recent times, the other way up punctuation is turning into much less frequent in informal writing.
When texting or writing informally, Spanish audio system gained’t normally use it. Meaning you in all probability don’t should, both.
Nonetheless, you need to anticipate to see inverted punctuation in books, normal writing and film subtitles. You’ll additionally want to make use of it when writing in Spanish class!
You possibly can additional familiarize your self with how inverted punctuation marks are utilized in formal and casual conditions by reading in Spanish. Visit a Spanish-language social media page or read a news article. How do the two differ in their use of inverted punctuation?
You can even find upside down punctuation in Spanish subtitles. Using a program like FluentU lets you see Spanish and English dual-language subtitles which can be 100% correct (not like, as an example, YouTube closed captions).
FluentU teaches Spanish by means of genuine movies like film clips, music movies, commercials and extra, the place you possibly can see the other way up query marks and the other way up exclamation factors in motion.
Be looking out for these distinctive punctuation marks in any Spanish writing you come throughout, and also you’ll quickly have a greater understanding of how they’re utilized in totally different conditions.
How To Kind Upside Down Punctuation Marks
Utilizing a Mac
To kind the the other way up query mark:
1. Maintain down the Possibility and Shift keys.
2. Press the query mark key.
To kind the the other way up exclamation level:
1. Maintain down the Possibility key.
2. Press 1 (the button with the usual exclamation level).
Utilizing a PC
To get the inverted query mark:
1. Maintain down the Alt key.
2. Kind 168.
To get the inverted exclamation level:
1. Maintain down the Alt key.
2. Kind 0161.
In the event you’re utilizing an international keyboard:
- maintain the proper Alt key and faucet the query mark key for the the other way up query mark.
- maintain the proper Alt key and faucet the exclamation level key for the the other way up exclamation level.
To kind different Spanish punctuation marks, Useful Shortcuts gives a useful reference desk.
Utilizing an iPhone or iPad
For the the other way up query mark:
1. Discover the typical query mark on the system’s keyboard.
2. Press and maintain the query mark. Somewhat bubble will seem.
3. Within the bubble, you possibly can choose both the usual query mark or the the other way up mark.
Comply with comparable steps to search out the the other way up exclamation level:
1. Discover the normal exclamation level on the keyboard.
2. Press and maintain it till the bubble seems.
3. Inside the bubble, you possibly can select between the traditional or the the other way up exclamation level.
Utilizing an Android System
To seek out inverted punctuation marks:
1. Choose “sym” (for “symbols”) in your keyboard.
2. Navigate to the second web page.
3. Choose the inverted query mark or exclamation level.
Utilizing a Spanish Keyboard App
For extra exact typing, you should utilize an app that makes all Spanish punctuation—together with the the other way up ones—readily accessible. You may strive:
- Spanish Keyboard, for Android gadgets
- Gboard, obtainable for Android or iOS gadgets
- Spanish Keyboard & Translator, for Android or iOS gadgets
Now that you just perceive the hows and whys of utilizing the other way up punctuation in Spanish, you gained’t be shocked whenever you come throughout these marks within the wild!