Unit 2: Basics
Spanish usually inverts the order of the subject and verb when forming a question. (In addition, as you have seen, a question is both preceded and followed by a question mark.)
In colloquial speech -and, on occasion, in writing- subject and verb are not always inverted, though punctuation will always indicate that the sentence is indeed a question.
|¿Están los muchachos en la ciudad?||Are the boys and girls in town (in the city)?|
|¿Cecilia está allí?||Is Cecilia there?|
¡Ojo! (This literally means “eye,” but used here means “watch out” or “pay close attention” and is used like the Italian Nota bene [N.B. or “note well”].) In many cases, when someone is asking whether someone is “here,” “there,” or “at home,” the words aquí, allí and en casa are understood and not expressed:
|¿Está Mamá?||Is Mom here (there, at home)?|
|¿Están los señores Alférez?||Are Mr. and Mrs. Alférez home (here, there)?|