1.4 Punctuation and Capitalization

A. An inverted question mark is placed at the beginning of a sentence to indicate intonation:

  • ¿Estás listo?
  • Are you ready?

B. An inverted exclamation is placed before exclamations for the same reason:

  • ¡Qué bien hablan!
  • How well they speak!

C. An initial dash is usually used instead of quotations marks to indicate dialogue:

  • -¿Vas o no vas?
  • “Are you going or not?”
  • -No, me quedo aquí.
  • “No, I’m staying here.”

D. Spanish does not use capital letters in the following cases in which English does:

1. Days of the week:

      • Hoy es viernes.
      • Today is Friday.

2. Months of the year:

      • Mañana comienza abril.
      • April begins tomorrow.

3. Adjectives of nationality:

      • Hugo es uruguayo.
      • Hugo is Uruguayan.

4. Names of languages:

      • El húngaro no es fácil.
      • Hungarian is not easy.

5. Titles:

      • El señor Sotomayor vino hoy.
      • Mr. Sotomayor came today.

Last revised on December 8, 2020.