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Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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To make a yes/no question

You can simply make a statement and add what we call a "tag". Tags are expressions like, "right?" "isn't he?" "true?" "don't you?"

In Spanish, Cierto, Verdad, sí and no are all tags that mean "right?" or "true?"

You also can add a questioning tone to a statement, just as we do in English:

Notice that in Spanish, as in English, when forming a question, the subject and verb may switch places. Normally (when not being poetic) we have a subject-verb order in sentences. In questions this reverses to a verb-subject order:
  • ¿Es Franziska de Alemania?
      • Is Franziska from Germany?
  • Sí, Franziska es de Alemania.
      • Yes, Franziska is from Germany.
  • Susana estudia mucho.
      • Susana studies a lot.
  • ¿Realmente estudia Susana mucho?
      • *Does Susana study a lot, really?

* Notice in the last example that English uses the auxillary verb "to Do" to form the question, while Spanish needs only the conjugated verb.

When answering Yes/No questions negatively in Spanish, you may need to use "no" twice.

This is because the first "no" means "no" and answers the question.

The second "no" means "not".

For example, if I ask you, "¿Usted es de España? "
To tell me, "No, I am not from Spain", you respond:

    • No, no soy de España.

The first no means "no". It is followed by a comma to show that it stands alone as the word "no".

The second no preceeds the verb (soy) and means "not". It belongs to the verb as it is negating it: no soy "I'm not"

However, you could simply answer:

No, soy de California ("No, I'm from California.")