Spanish Punctuation and Capitalization

Spanish Punctuation

Spanish Capitalization

Spanish punctuation is rather straightforward. Using punctuation in Spanish is almost exactly the same as in English. In English, we place an exclamation mark or a question mark at the end of a sentence. In Spanish, you would place one both at the beginning and at the end.

The reason for doing this, is to let the person reading know what the sentence is about beforehand. Anotherwords, the speaker or reader would know immediately that the pitch of their voice should change. Don't you think this is better, instead of seeing an exclamation mark at the end of the setence and then trying to change your voice? You can do so gradually with the mark at the front.

The punctuation of the English language is very similar to that of Spanish. Coming into the language, you may not notice any differences. In fact, I didn't when I started. The only thing that really strikes you is the upside down question marks. Oh, and the upside down exclamation marks too. There are differences though.

One of the other major differences in Spanish punctuation is the use of a dash "-". This dash, is normally used to seperate something, from the start of dialogue. It is also used to end dialogue. Thirdly, it can be used in place of quotation marks like we are used to seeing in English. So if you come across a dash, it could either be quotation marks, the start of dialogue, or the end of dialogue. It is up to you, to know which context the writer is trying to convery.

As for Spanish capitalization, Spanish uses fewer capitals than English. In fact, they use a lot less. There are only certain instances where the capital letter is used. Some may surprise you, some may not. Below is a list of where the capital would be used in a sentence.

  • Any kind of religion

  • The names of places

  • The title of someone

  • The calendar

  • Numbers of ordinance (such as King Jones IV)

  • The title of written works

  • The names of languages

  • The nationality of things

The last thing I can think of is the use of Spanish punctuation with numbers. Their number system is a little different from ours. For longer numbers, English would use a comma to seperate the ten thousand bracket, then a period to indicate the start of the cents. In Spanish, this is reversed. Keep in mind though, that they do use the same numbering system we do. Take care, and see you in the next lesson. Prepositions>>