Optimnen: foreign language courses from Daniel Tammet

Optimnen: foreign language courses from Daniel Tammet
Optimnem: The Official Website of Daniel Tammet

Spanish Punctuation Spanish Punctuation

lQuestion/Exclamation Marks

Spanish questions begin with an inverted question mark. This is also true for sentences using an exclamation mark. You can reproduce these on your keyboard by pressing the number lock button, then ALT + 168 for ¿ and ALT + 173 gives you ¡.

Quotation Marks

To quote someone word for word, use of double angle brackets is common: << >>.

Direct Speech

Long dashes indicate dialogue in a Spanish text:

-- ¿Viste el hombrazo con las gafas? -- le preguntó.

-- Sí.


Spanish uses points to indicate a number in the thousands: 1.000 (1,000 in UK English).

A comma is used in Spanish to show a decimal: 3,4 (3.4 in UK and US English).


Spanish uses the colon at the beginning of a letter, in place of the British comma:

Estimado Sr Brown: (Dear Mr Brown,)

Capital letters

Proper names in Spanish are written (as in English) with a capital letter: Madrid, Juan.

However, there are several instances where in Spanish no capital letter is used. For example, when writing about a country's inhabitants or languages, no capital is used: 'una francesa', 'francés', 'español'. Also nouns and adjectives derived from schools of thoughts or ideological movements: 'maoismo', 'cristiandad'.

Weekdays and months of the year are also written without a capital: 'jueves', 'abril'.


Spanish texts use a number of abbreviations, the most common being: p. ej. (por ejemplo). There are also acronyms, including: AVE (A high-speed train) and OTAN, the Spanish for Nato.

You can also download a word version of this exercise.


©2015 Daniel Tammet. All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without permission from the author.