Spanish Questions Guide: Know What to Ask

Gordon Feliz • Updated March 6th, 2024

How to ask questions in Spanish

Apprendre en français

Aprender em Português

Spanish questions.


Whether you're just dipping your toes into language learning or you're a seasoned Spanish speaker looking to polish your skills, this blog post is your go-to resource for enhancing your ability to ask questions in Spanish.


We'll dive into the different types of questions and show you how to use them with essential phrases in conversations.


Essential Spanish Question Words for Daily Conversations

Ready to embark on a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or keen to level up your Spanish conversational prowess? Mastering key Spanish question words is an excellent first step.


Familiar greetings in Spanish, such as:

"¿Cómo estás?" (How are you?),
"¿Qué tal?" (What’s up?), and
"¿Cómo te llamas?" (What’s your name?)

are fundamental in building connections with the locals. However, to truly engage in more meaningful exchanges, there's a variety of Spanish questions you should know to smoothly navigate day-to-day interactions.


Here's a list of common Spanish questions and their English translations to get you started:



¿De dónde eres?

Where are you from?

¿Hablas español?

Do you speak Spanish?

¿Dónde está el baño?

Where is the bathroom?

¿Cómo llego a…?

How do I get to…?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

How much does it cost?

¿Podría ver el menú, por favor?

Could I see the menu, please?

¿Qué recomienda?

What do you recommend?

¿Tienes una habitación disponible?

Do you have a room available?

¿Cómo es el clima hoy?

What’s the weather like today?

¿A qué hora abre/cierra?

What time does it open/close?

¿Cuándo sale el próximo bus/tren?

When does the next bus/train leave?

¿Dónde puedo comprar un boleto?

Where can I buy a ticket?

¿Cuál es la contraseña del wifi?

What’s the wifi password?

¿Dónde está la estación de trenes?

Where is the train station?

¿Me puedes ayudar?

Can you help me?

¿Está lejos de aquí?

Is it far from here?

¿Cómo se dice … en español?

How do you say … in Spanish?

Mastering Spanish Questions with Unique Punctuation

Spanish divides questions into two broad categories:

Yes/no questions
Open-ended questions

Getting the hang of forming questions in Spanish is straightforward with a bit of practice.


A key distinction in Spanish is its unique approach to punctuation. Unlike English, which uses a single question mark at the end, Spanish questions start with an inverted question mark and end with a regular one, framing the question clearly from the beginning.

¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?)


This distinctive punctuation immediately signals to the reader that the sentence is a question.


Types of Spanish Questions #1: Crafting Yes/No Questions

Crafting yes/no questions in Spanish is relatively easy and they're quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. These questions typically anticipate a simple "yes" (sí) or "no" response.


The tone of your voice and the placement of question marks often differentiate a question from a statement in Spanish.


¿Tienes hambre?” (Are you hungry?)
“Tienes hambre.” (You are hungry.)

The sentences share the same structure but convey entirely different messages!


Below, we've listed some common yes/no questions you might come across or use in Spanish-speaking settings.



¿Estás bien?

Are you okay?

¿Puedo ayudarte?

Can I help you?

¿Quieres más?

Do you want more?

¿Estás seguro?

Are you sure?

¿Es esto correcto?

Is this correct?

¿Has terminado?

Are you finished?

¿Podemos ir?

Can we go?

¿Está incluido?

    Is it included?

¿Vienes con nosotros?

Are you coming with us?

¿Está abierto?

Is it open?

Types of Spanish Questions #2: Unlocking Conversations with W-Questions


Diving deeper into Spanish, W-questions open doors to rich, informative exchanges.


Unlike the straightforward yes/no questions, W-questions seek detailed responses and are essential for anyone looking to engage in meaningful conversations in Spanish.


They cover the basics of who, what, when, where, why, how, which, and how much/many, allowing for a wide range of inquiries.


Here's a quick guide to these pivotal question words:

  • ¿Quién? – Who?
  • ¿Qué? – What?
  • ¿Cuándo? – When?
  • ¿Dónde? – Where?
  • ¿Por qué? – Why?
  • ¿Cómo? – How?
  • ¿Cuál? – Which?
  • ¿Cuánto/a/os/as? – How much/many?


These inquiries pave the way for deeper dialogue since they're designed to elicit more than just a 'yes' or 'no'. Here’s how you can use them effectively:



¿Quién es tu mejor amigo?

Who is your best friend?

¿Qué estás haciendo?

What are you doing?

¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

When is your birthday?

¿Dónde vives?

Where do you live?

¿Por qué estás triste?

Why are you sad?

¿Cómo se llama tu perro?

What's your dog’s name?

¿Cuál es tu libro favorito?

What is your favorite book?

¿Cuánto cuesta este vestido?

How much does this dress cost?

Navigating Formal and Informal Spanish Question Words

Understanding the nuances of politeness and formality is key in Spanish conversations, influencing how questions are framed.


Regardless of the setting, polite phrasing is always a plus, fostering respect and trust. Formal inquiries often incorporate "usted" (the formal "you") and "por favor" (please) to show respect, especially with elders, in professional contexts, or when meeting someone new.



¿Usted podría ayudarme, por favor?

Could you help me, please?

¿Podría repetir eso, por favor, usted?

Could you repeat that, please?

¿Podría usted darme direcciones, por favor?

Could you give me directions, please?

¿Cómo se llama usted, por favor?

What is your name, please?

¿Dónde vive usted, por favor?

Where do you live, please?


On the flip side, informal Spanish invites a more relaxed approach, often incorporating slang, colloquialisms, or humor.




¿Qué onda?

What’s up?

¿Cómo andas?

How’s it going?

¿Todo bien?

Everything good?

¿Qué te cuentas?

What’s new with you?

¿Vamos a tomar algo?

Shall we grab a drink?

¿Qué piensas?

What do you think?

¿Cómo fue tu día?

How was your day?

¿Cuándo nos vemos?

When shall we meet?

¿Dónde has estado?

Where have you been?

¿Qué haces este finde?

What are you doing this weekend?


Whether you're aiming for formal respect or casual camaraderie, knowing how to phrase your questions can make all the difference in your Spanish conversations.

Spanish questions guide lesson
Additional Resources To Learn More About Spanish Questions


Here are three articles that would significantly complement your knowledge about asking questions in Spanish, each offering unique insights into different aspects of Spanish language learning:


Navigating the Nuances of 'Qué' and 'Cuál' in Spanish: This article delves into the subtle differences between two commonly confused question words in Spanish, "qué" and "cuál." Understanding when and how to use these words correctly can enhance your question-asking skills and improve your overall fluency. A must-read for anyone looking to polish their Spanish questioning abilities.


Learn Spanish Fast: Key Phrases for Travelers: If you're planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, this article is packed with essential phrases and questions that can help you navigate various travel situations with ease. From finding your way around to ordering food, these key phrases are indispensable for any traveler.


Speak Like a Local: Common Spanish Slang Words and Phrases: To truly blend in and understand the local culture, getting familiar with Spanish slang is crucial. This article introduces you to common slang words and phrases, allowing you to ask questions and engage in conversations more naturally and authentically. It's an excellent resource for anyone looking to sound less like a textbook and more like a native speaker.


Hola Qué Pasa offers an in-depth look at specific question words, their meanings, and nuanced uses, including prepositional variants for "dónde" (where) and detailed explanations on the usage of "cómo" (how) and "cuánto/a/os/as" (how much/many). This resource is perfect for learners who want to dive deeper into the intricacies of Spanish question words.


Berlitz provides pronunciation guides and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) notations for each question word, making it invaluable for learners focused on improving their pronunciation and understanding the phonetic differences between these essential words.


Spanish Academy explores the differences between "qué" and "cuál," both translated as "what" in English, offering clear examples to help learners distinguish between these often-confusing question words. This guide is particularly useful for intermediate learners who want to refine their question-asking skills.

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