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?"
- Usted es Ricardo Gómez García, ¿verdad?
- You are Ricardo Gómez García, right?
- Trabaja para IBM, ¿cierto?
- You work at IBM, don't you?
You also can add a questioning tone to a statement, just as we do in English:
- ¿Vives tú en la Calle Robles, número 131?
- You live at 131 Oak Street?
- ¿Eres estudiante?
- You're a student?
- ¿Es Franziska de Alemania?
- Is Franziska from Germany?
- Sí, Franziska es de Alemania.
- Yes, Franziska is from Germany.
- 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.")