Spanish punctuation marks are easy to type if you have a Spanish keyboard that boasts crucial symbols like: ¿ ¡ ° ñ ´ ¨ ` ^ ~
I used to have a Spanish keyboard, but now I have a normal American one with the keys reconfigured for the Latin American keyboard. Life is so much easier this way: typing accents on letters is effortless, I know where ñ is at all times (under my right pinky), and should I decide to get fancy and begin my questions and exclamations with their proper punctuative introductions, I’ve got easy access to the correct upside-down squiggles. Highly recommended!
I can use Spanish punctuation marks, diacritical marks and typographical marks like nobody’s business (I remember that one of my ex’s first piropos to me was him marveling that I always put the accents on the right words), but I never really learned what they were called. I use them for my purposes and get on with it, but I had never stopped to ask them their names and how they were doing. Then I happened to ask Mónica yesterday how you say exclamation mark in Spanish, thinking it would be something like signo de exclamación. No. (Well, you can say that, but it’s not as common) Signo de admiración. ¡¡¡ !!! Get out! I said to her, doing my best Elaine Benes imitation. Admiration mark?!?! I seriously almost fell out of my chair. Admiration mark! Yes. Admiration mark. In Spanish, admiración means not only admiration but also amazement. This was news to me. Also, I found it adorable. I consequently decided to brush up on my other punctuation terms in Spanish and share the bounty. I had already picked up most of these sobre la marcha, but there were still some gaps.
Signos de puntuación, signos diacríticos y signos tipográficos en español
Spanish punctuation marks, diacritical marks and typographical marks
. Punto Period, full stop (UK)
… Puntos suspensivos Ellipsis, dot dot dot
, Coma (f) Comma
; Punto y coma Semicolon
: Dos puntos Colon
– Guion/guión Hyphen
– Raya Dash
_ Guion/guión bajo, raya al piso Underscore
/ Barra oblicua/inclinada, diagonal, “slash” Slash
« » “ ” Comillas Quotation marks (little commas!), inverted commas
¡ ! Signos de admiración, signos de exclamación Exclamation marks/points
¿ ? Signos de interrogación Question marks
( ) Paréntesis (m) Parentheses, brackets (UK)
[ ] Corchetes (m) Brackets, square brackets (UK)
´ Tilde (f) Accent mark
¨ Diéresis Dieresis, umlaut, two dots
‘ Apóstrofe/apóstrofo Apostrophe
* Asterisco, estrellita Asterisk, star
# Numeral, signo de número, almohadilla, cuadradillo, gato Number sign, pound sign, hash
@ Arroba At, at sign
aa~ Vergulilla, tilde Tilde (mostly seen in ñ), squiggly line
Any other good ones that I missed? I would say that the most useful ones for me in my Spanish-speaking experience have been arroba and punto. Any guess as to why? That’s right–for giving out my email address. Also, the phrase entre comillas is handy for the English phrase “quote unquote”/ “so-called.” And, yes, people do the same wiggly thing with their second and third fingers to indicate this, as least in my experience. Happy punctuating!
_________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with these words? Had you heard them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?