Spanish Lessons

Topics

Spanish punctuation: 8 simple rules for writing better

Spanish punctuation may seem difficult if you are just learning the language. However, if you keep in mind the following rules, you will definitely improve your writing and the use of punctuation in Spanish.

 

1. Learn the names of the basic punctuation signs in Spanish

 

  1. Punto (Period)
  2. Coma (Comma)
  3. Punto y coma (Semicolon)
  4. Dos puntos (Colon)
  5. Comillas (Quotation marks)
  6. Signo de interrogación (Question mark)
  7. Signo de exclamación (Exclamation point)
  8. Paréntesis (Parentheses)
  9. Corchetes (Square brackets)

 

2. Remember that question marks and exclamation points are always double-sided

In Spanish, you always need to use opening and closing punctuation. Keep this in mind especially for question marks and exclamation points.

 

a. Question marks ¿?

¿Qué más cosas hay en el sueño?

What other things are there in the dream?

Caption 15, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

 Play Caption

 

b. Exclamation points ¡!

¡Todo el mundo paga para que lo escuchen!

Everyone pays for them to listen to you!

Caption 45, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

c. Parentheses () 

d. Square brackets []

D.A.S. [Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad].

A.D.S [Administrative Department of Security].

Caption 28, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 10

 Play Caption

 

e. Quotation marks " "

 

3. Never put a period after a question mark or an exclamation point

After a question mark or exclamation point, you can put any punctuation mark except a period.

 

4. Use capital letters after a closing punctuation mark that's at the end of a statement

¡Acompáñame! Este recorrido inicia en la Calle Doctor Coss,

Join me! This tour begins at Doctor Coss Street,

Captions 5-6, Paseando con Karen Canal Santa Lucía

 Play Caption

 

5. Avoid punctuation marks before an opening parenthesis

Don't put a comma or semicolon before an opening parenthesis. However, feel free to put those marks after the closing parenthesis.

 

6. Put a period after a closing quotation mark

If you want to put a period at the end of a sentence that is between quotations marks, you need to put the period after the closing quotation mark.

La cita de hoy es de Aldous Huxley y dice así: "Todos los hombres son dioses para su perro".

Today's quote is by Aldous Huxley and goes like this: "To his dog, every man is Napoleon" [literally "To their dog, all men are gods].

Captions 8-10, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

7. Use lower case after a colon

Unless you are quoting something (as in the example we mentioned for rule 6) or writing a particular document (e.g. a letter), you always need to use lower case after a colon.

Luego tendrá usted que rellenar un formulario con las siguientes cuestiones: país de recogida, ciudad de recogida,

Then you will have to fill out a form with the following questions: country of pickup, city of pickup,

Captions 14-16, Raquel Alquiler de coche

 Play Caption

 

8. Use lower case if there is a comma or semicolon before an opening question mark or exclamation point

Sí, Zárate, ¿qué pasó?

Yes, Zarate, what happened?

Caption 20, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 12

 Play Caption

 

There are many more rules regarding punctuation in Spanish. However, we invite you to keep in mind the rules we just mentioned here because that way you'll certainly improve your writing in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

You May Also Like