Exclamative Adverbs

Adverbios exclamativos

Spanish exclamative adjective
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An exclamative adverb is a word or phrase used to express a strong emotion like surprise or awe.

Characteristics of Spanish Exclamative Adverbs

  • Invariable
  • Placed in front of adjectives, adverbs, or verbs
  • Always accented

There are 3 Spanish exclamative adverbs:

  1. cuánto
  2. cómo (de)
  3. qué (de)

Cuánto

As an exclamative adverb, ¡cuánto! has an accent and is invariable, just like when it’s an interrogative adverb. It may be followed by a verb or clause.

Por ejemplo…

¡Cuánto quiere a su mujer!   He loves his wife so much!
(lit, "How much he loves his wife!)
¡Cuánto gastas en zapatos!   You spend so much on shoes!
(lit, "How much you spend on shoes!)

 Cuánto can also be used with nouns, in which case it’s an exclamative adjective.

Cómo (de)

¡Cómo … ! is used with verbs.

¡Cómo escribes!   How (well) you write!
¡Cómo hace calor!   How hot it is!

To use a verb + adjective, add de between them:

¡Cómo es de inteligente!   How smart he is!
¡Cómo estás de bonita hoy!   How pretty you are today!

 In Latin American Spanish, you can use cómo + verb + adjective without de:

¡Cómo es inteligente!   How smart he is!
¡Cómo estás bonita hoy!   How pretty you are today!

Qué (de)

As an exclamative adverb, ¡qué! is equivalent to what…! what a…! or how…! and can be used with adjectives and adverbs.

¡Qué! can be followed an adjective with or without a verb.

¡Qué bonita!   How pretty!
¡Qué hermoso!   How lovely!
¡Qué interesante!   How interesting!

The adjective or adverb can be followed by a verb.

¡Qué alto eres!   How tall you are!
¡Qué rojo es!   How red it is!
¡Qué bien trabaja!   How well he works!
¡Qué lejos vives!   How far away you live!

 Accents matter!

Cuánto and cómo are exclamative adverbs or interrogative adverbs while cuanto is an adverb of quantity and como is an adverb of manner.

Qué is an exclamative adverb or interrogative pronoun, but que is a relative pronoun.

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Spanish exclamative adverbs