Spanish Punctuation Marks: The Complete Guide | Learn, Mastering

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  • Patricia Doval
  • 25 Feb, 2024
  • 5 Mins Read

There are 18 punctuation marks in Spanish. Examples of the most commonly used Spanish punctuation marks are punto, coma, dos puntos, barra, signo de interregación, signo de exclamación.

Spanish Punctuation forms the basis of written language. They express the meaning of the sentence and provide effective communication. Punctuation in Spanish is the same as in other languages. Knowing Spanish punctuation marks is necessary to write Spanish accurately and fluently.

punto.full stop/period
punto y coma;semicolon
dos puntos:colon
punto suspensivoellipsis
comillas«»quotation marks
guiónen dash
paréntesis( )parentheses
signo de exclamación!exclamation mark
signo de interregación?question mark
viñetabullet point
guion bajo_underscore/low dash
principio y fin de interrogación¿ ?double question marks
principio y fin de ¡ !double exclamation 


How to Use Punctuation Marks in Spanish?

The types of punctuation in Spanish are listed below.

Punto – Period(.)

 The period, known as “punto” in Spanish, is the most fundamental punctuation mark. It serves the same purpose as in English, indicating the end of a sentence or an abbreviation.
For example:

  • El niño juega en el parque. (The boy is playing in the park.)
  • Tengo sueño. (I am sleepy.)

The period is straightforward to use, and it signifies the completion of a thought or idea. It is worth noting that there are three types of periods in Spanish: “punto y seguido,” “punto y aparte,” and “punto final.” These variations indicate different contexts within a paragraph, indicating whether to continue within the same section or start a new paragraph.

Coma – Comma(,)

 The comma, known as “coma” in Spanish, is another essential punctuation mark that assists in creating clarity and conveying meaning. It is used to indicate pauses, separate items in a list, and set off clauses or phrases within a sentence.

In Spanish, the usage of the comma is similar to English, with a few notable differences. Unlike in English, Spanish does not use the Oxford comma (a comma before the conjunction “and” in a list). Additionally, when using quotation marks, the comma is placed after the closing quotation mark in Spanish, while it is placed before in English.
For example:

  • Mis colores favoritos son el rojo, el amarillo y el verde. (My favorite colors are red, yellow, and green.)
  • “Te amo”, le dijo con una sonrisa en la cara. (“I love you,” he said with a smile on his face.)

Dos Puntos – Colon(:)

The colon, known as “dos puntos” in Spanish, is used to introduce an explanation, list, enumeration, or quotation. It signals that what follows the colon provides further information or elaborates on the preceding statement.
For example:

  • Estaba cansado: había estado escribiendo toda la noche. (He was tired: he had been writing all night long.)
  • Los signos de puntuación son los siguientes: el punto, la coma, el punto y coma, etc. (The punctuation marks are as follows: period, comma, semicolon, etc.)

Punto y Coma – Semicolon(;)

The semicolon, known as “punto y coma” in Spanish, is a versatile punctuation mark that bridges the gap between a comma and a period. It indicates a longer pause than a comma but shorter than a period. The semicolon is primarily used to separate closely related independent clauses and to clarify complex lists or ideas.
For example:

  • En verano voy a España; en invierno voy a las montañas. (In summer I go to Spain; in winter I go to the mountains.)
  • En la reunión se discutirán los avances en el programa de pagos automáticos; las nuevas ideas de producto; los ganadores del premio de puntualidad y las propuestas para la cena de Navidad. (At the meeting, we’ll discuss the advances in the automatic payments program; the new product ideas; the winners of the attendance and punctuality prize, and the proposals for the Christmas party.)

Puntos Suspensivos -Ellipsis(…)

The ellipsis, known as “puntos suspensivos” in Spanish, serves the same purpose as in English. It indicates an omission, creates suspense or expectation, or suggests a trailing off of thought. The ellipsis can also be used to express hesitation or uncertainty.
For example:

  • Si tan solo… bueno, ya no importa. (If only… well, it doesn’t matter anymore.)

Signo de Interrogación – Question Mark(?)

In Spanish, the question mark is called “signo de interrogación.” It is used in the same way as in English, with one key difference: Spanish requires an upside-down question mark at the beginning of a question in addition to the regular question mark at the end.
For example:

  • ¿Cómo te llamas? (What’s your name?)
  • ¿De dónde eres? (Where are you from?)

Signs de Exclamación – exclamation mark(!)

Similar to the question mark, the exclamation point in Spanish is called “signo de exclamación.” It is used to convey strong emotions, exclamations, or direct commands. Like the question mark, Spanish requires an upside-down exclamation point at the beginning of an exclamation.
For example:

  • ¡Qué maravilloso! (How marvelous!)
  • ¡Cuidado! (Be careful!)

Comillas – Quotation Marks(«»)

Quotation marks, known as “comillas” in Spanish, are used to indicate direct speech, quotes, or titles of short works. Spanish utilizes different types of quotation marks for aesthetic purposes, such as angled quotation marks (“comillas españolas”) and straight quotation marks (“comillas inglesas”).
For example:

  • “Tengo sueño”, dijo María. (“I am sleepy,” said María.)
  • Quiero leer «Romeo y Julieta». (I want to read “Romeo and Juliet.”)

Barra – Slash(/)

The slash, known as “barra” in Spanish, is a special character used to indicate alternatives, dates, or fractions. It can be used to replace the conjunction “or” in lists or to express a range of possibilities.
For example:

  • El libro está escrito en inglés/español. (The book is written in English/Spanish.)
  • La reunión será el 10/03/2022. (The meeting will be on 10/03/2022.)

Mastering Spanish punctuation marks is essential for effective communication and accurate expression in writing. By understanding the usage and nuances of each punctuation mark, you can elevate your Spanish language skills and convey your thoughts and ideas with clarity and precision.

Each of these marks serves a unique purpose, and understanding their usage will enhance your writing and enable you to communicate more effectively in Spanish.

How to Make Spanish Punctuation Marks on the Keyboard?

To use Spanish punctuation marks on your keyboard, you must hold down the “ALT” or “CTRL” keys and click on the relevant punctuation mark.

Patricia Doval

Patricia Doval is a Spanish linguist at She holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Western Ontario, specializing in language contact. She's a bilingual Spanish-English. She has a master's in Spanish grammar and is responsible for our grammar-related articles.

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