Interrogative Adverbs

Spanish interrogative adverbs
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Adverbios interrogativos

When, where, why, how? Use interrogative adverbs to ask these informational questions.

Por ejemplo…

¿Dónde trabaja?   Where does he work?
¿Cuándo vas a salir?   When are you going to leave?

Characteristics of Interrogative Adverbs

  1. Ask for specific information
  2. Can be used in indirect questions
  3. Are invariable (no plural or feminine forms)
  4. Always have an accent

Spanish Interrogative Adverbs

Spanish has five interrogative adverbs.

1) Cómo

Cómo usually means "how?"

¿Cómo está?   How is he doing?
¿Cómo has hecho esto?   How did you do that?

In certain contexts, cómo means "what?"

¿Cómo? No entiendo.   What? I don’t understand.
¿Cómo te llamas?   What’s your name?

Related lesson: Cómo vs como

2) Cuándo

Cuándo means "when?"

¿Cuándo quieres salir?   When do you want to leave?
¿Cuándo va a llamar?   When is he going to call?

Related lesson: Cuándo vs cuando

 To be more specific, you can ask ¿A qué hora? meaning “(At) what time?”

3) Cuánto

Cuánto means "how much?"

¿Cuánto cuesta la casa?   How much does the house cost?
¿Cuánto hiciste?   How much did you do?

4) Dónde

As an interrogative adverb, dónde means "where?"

¿Dónde vives?   Where do you live?
¿Dónde está?   Where is he?

When referring to a destination, dónde becomes adónde (literally, "to where?").

¿Adónde vas?   Where are you going?
¿Adónde fue?   Where did he go?

Related lesson: Dónde, donde, adónde, adonde

5) Por qué

Por qué means "why?"

¿Por qué lloras?   Why are you crying?
¿Por qué va al banco?   Why is he going to the bank?

Related lesson: Por qué vs porque

Indirect Questions

Interrogative adverbs can also be used in indirect questions, where the desire for information is found within a statement or command. Note that they still need accents.

Por ejemplo…

Quiero saber cómo está.   I want to know how he’s doing.
Dinos cuándo quieres comenzar.   Tell us when you want to start.
No sé cuánto trabaja.   I don’t know how much he works.
He olvidado adónde vas.   I forgot where you’re going.
Me pregunto por qué mintió.   I wonder why he lied.

 Related lessons

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Spanish interrogative adverbs

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