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Describing language
Describing language

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1.2 Questions in other languages

In French yes/no questions are formed from the verb by inverting the subject and verb (or auxiliary verb):

Declarative Translation Interrogative
Vous aimez Londres. You like London. Aimez-vous Londres?
Il veut apprendre l’anglais. He wants to learn English. Veut-il apprendre l’anglais?

In Spanish the verb usually appears without a pronoun: I eat = como (see Week 3). This means there is no way to swap the order of the subject and the verb. For this reason, the main way of forming a yes/no question from a declarative in Spanish is simply to ask it with rising (questioning) intonation:

Declarative Translation Interrogative
Tiene dos casas. She has two houses. Tiene dos casas?
Quiere aprender el inglés. He wants to learn English. Quiere aprender el inglés?