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Placement of "es"

O.K. I have a problem.

When I first started out Spanish what I understood was that when asking a question you would never change the placement of the verb is.


Is the dog yours?

  • El perro es tuyo?

The dog is yours

-El perro es tuyo.

But now I'm noticing that they now put "es" in front of the sentence just like english.


Is the concert fun?

  • Es el concierto divertido?

The concert is fun

  • El concierto es divertido.

Is there a real grammatical reason for this? A glitch? And when am I supposed to use them?

June 18, 2018



El perro es tuyo.
Es tuyo el perro? *Es el perro tuyo? is not common because does not sound natural. We emphasize the pronoun since it is the center of our question, so we place it right after the verb.

El concierto es divertido
Es divertido el concierto? You want to know if the concert is fun, so the adjective is emphasized and placed right after the verb.


In English, you can make a declarative sentence interrogative by saying it with a rising intonation. For example: "The dog is yours?"

More formal is to invert the word order as well: "Is the dog yours?"

Both of these are possible in Spanish as well: ¿El perro es tuyo?" and "¿Es el perro tuyo?".

Spanish also allows "¿Es tuyo el perro?", which has no counterpart in English.


I have heard, "Is it yours, the dog?" You HAVE to have the pause from the comma, though!


That's not really correct English, but it can be heard in casual conversation.

  • 1599

Spanish word order is much more flexible than in English. Whether or not you're asking a question, you can change the order of words to emphasize different things.

"El concierto es divertido" is the same thing as "Es divertido el concierto."


"¿El concierto es divertido?" is the same thing as "¿Es divertido el concierto?"

Note: this flexibility of word order is one reason why Spanish often requires some extra words we see as unnecessary (examples: the "personal a", or the rule that subjects of the sentence almost always have an article in front of them). Those extra words make it clear what role each word serves when they get shifted around a sentence.

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