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Exclamations in Spanish

03 Aug, 2017 Popular Articles
Exclamations in Spanish1 votes. 4.5 / 5

An exclamation or exclamatory sentence is used to express strong emotion such as surprise, anger, pain, or pleasure. In this lesson, we will learn some common exclamatory words and expressions in Spanish.

See also: How to use upside-down question and exclamation marks in Spanish

Exclamations in Spanish

Qué

The most common form of exclamation is the use of exclamatory adverb or adjective "qué" followed by a noun or an adjective. In this case, qué means How or What in English. It can also be an adverb followed by a verb. 

Note:

  • When qué is followed by a noun, you don't have to add an article before the noun.

For example:

¡Qué hombre! - What a man!

¡Qué lástima! - What a shame!

¡Qué bonita! - How cute!

¡Qué rápido pasa el tiempo! - How time flies!

¡Qué fuerte hombre! - What a strong man!

¡Qué inteligentes son! - How smart they are!

  • When an adjective follows a noun in a qué expression, it is often preceded by más or tan.

For example:

¡Qué mujer tan guapa! - What a beautiful woman!

¡Qué casa más linda! - What a lovely house!

Use qué - Exclamations in Spanish

Examples of qué in Spanish

Cuánto

Cuánto is often used to emphasize extent or quantity. It often goes before nouns or verb phrases to mean How, How much, How many, What, etc. Cuánto must match the gender and number of the noun it precedes. The masculine singular form (cuánto) is often used in order to modify a verb.

See: Gender of nouns in Spanish

For example:

¡Cuánto bailamos anoche! - How much we danced last night!/We danced so much last night!

¡Cuántas arañas! - What a lot of spiders!

¡Cuánto te quiero! - How much I love you!/I love you so much!

¡Cuánto he estudiado! - I studied a lot!

Cómo

Cómo is used before conjugated verbs to mean How.

For example:

¡Cómo canta esa mujer! - How that woman sings!

¡Cómo llueve! - It's raining so hard/How much it is raining!

Cuán

Cuán often goes before phrases that begin with an adjective or adverb and are followed by a verb phrase. It is mostly used in literary works. 

For example:

¡Cuán maleducados son! - How rude they are!

Other common exclamatory words and expressions

  • ¡No! - No!
  • ¡Ayuda! - Help!
  • ¡Bravo! - Bravo!
  • ¡Oye! - Hey!
  • ¡Cuidado! - Look out!
  • ¡Obvio! - Of course!
  • ¡Sale! - Ok!
  • ¡Guau! - Wow!
  • ¡No puedo creerlo! - I can't believe it!
  • ¡Ay! - Ouch!
  • ¡Es imposible! - It's impossible!
  • ¡Por favor! (short, sharp, with the stress on the "or" sound) - For goodness sake!
  • ¡Dios!/¡Dios mío! - My God/Oh my God!
  • ¡Venga! - Come on!
  • ¡Cállate! - Shut up!

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