Useful Tips

Inverted Question and Exclamation Marks


1. The inverted question mark is used in Microsoft Windows operating systems, since it is forbidden to use the traditional question mark.
2. Inverted 180 degrees horizontally a question mark (curl turned in the opposite direction) is used in Arabic.
3. A vertically inverted question mark (ie, a dot at the top and a hook at the bottom) is used in Greek and Church Slavonic.

Perhaps it would be possible to use the question mark inverted and in our language as not interrogative, but rather affirmative and meaning that this is the answer to a question. But! Why are additional rules in Russian?


Inverted question and exclamation marks are used before the first letter of the interrogative sentence.

The second edition of Ortografía de la lengua castellana (1754), an inverted question and exclamation point, is recommended to indicate the beginning of the question and exclamation, respectively source not specified 518 days . However, these rules slowly came into use. source not specified 518 days . There are books of the XIX century what kind? , where these characters were not used during typing.

They can also be combined in several ways to express a combination of question with surprise or distrust. Initial characters are usually reflected at the end of the sentence by the usual question and exclamation marks (?,!), Which are used in most languages ​​of European origin. It should also be noted that inverted characters are placed below normal, that is, go beyond the bottom line of the line. In Spanish, inverted question marks and exclamations appeared only in the middle of the XVIII century, but they were not widely used right away. At the moment, under the influence of the English language, the opposite tendency is observed - to put signs only at the end. Inverted characters were first proposed by the Royal Academy of Spanish (Spanish Real Academia Española ) in 1754 and adopted over the next century.

Inverted characters on computers are supported by various standards, including ISO 8859-1, Unicode, and HTML. They can be set directly from keyboards intended for use in Spanish-speaking countries or through alternative methods on other keyboards. Also, flipped exclamation and question marks can be typed using the Compose key on systems where it is supported.

Some authors do not use these characters for short sentences. The same rule holds true for the Catalan language.

Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda refused to use an inverted question mark.

In correspondence on the Internet, correspondents may omit flipped characters to save input time.


Inverted question and exclamation marks are widely used in the Spanish language and sometimes in some other origin related to it, for example, in the old Galician standards (nowadays it is permissible, but not recommended) or Catalan, as well as in Varay and Asturian. In Spanish, the names are inverted interrogative (signos de interrogacion) and an exclamation mark (signos de exclamacion) In Spanish, when writing, question and exclamation marks are placed both at the end and at the beginning of the sentence: only at the beginning do these signs stand upside down.

In the nineteenth century, an attempt was made to introduce inverted question and exclamation marks into the Portuguese language, as mentioned in Napoleau Mendes de Almeida's book Methodical Grammar, paragraph 970. However, these signs did not take root in Portuguese.

What are the ways?

How to write an inverted question mark? To date, there are the following ways to perform such an operation.

  • With the installation of the Spanish language and the use of a separate key, specially designed for this.
  • ASCII codes.
  • The use of the on-screen keyboard.
  • Using a character table.
  • Paste the “¿” character into the Word word processor and transfer it to other applications using the clipboard.

Each of these methods will be described in detail within the framework of this material. From the standpoint of simplicity of execution, among them will be chosen exactly the one that is best used in practice.

Install Spanish

One of the main ways to insert “¿” into any application is to install Spanish on a personal computer. In it, a separate key is allocated for these purposes. Before writing an inverted question mark, you need to perform the following manipulations:

  • We go to the "Start" menu, then we need a "Control Panel". After that, open the shortcut with the inscription "Language".
  • In the window that opens after that, we find “Spanish” in the list, select it with a single mouse click and then click the button that says “Install”. In the future, the installation procedure for the language pack starts.
  • Close all previously opened windows. We launch Notepad.
  • In the lower right corner of the screen, select Spanish (it is indicated as "ESP").
  • Press the key combination “Shift” and “+” on the main part of the keyboard. After that, “¿” should appear.

Now, in the process of work, it is enough to switch to this keyboard layout and press the given key combination. Basically, a fairly simple way to print an inverted question mark. But he has two significant drawbacks. The first of these is the need to install an additional language pack. And the second - each time you enter such a sign, you will need to switch to it.

Another way to solve this problem is to use special ASCII codes. In this case, perform the following steps:

  • Open the application in which you want to insert "¿".
  • We turn on the key “Num Look” on the extended numeric keypad (its indicator light should be on).
  • We switch to English using the keyboard shortcut or using the manipulator.
  • Hold down the "Alt" key.
  • We sequentially dial the code "0-1-9-1" on the extended numeric keypad. After that, “¿” should appear.

As the previous method, the use of ASCII codes allows you to insert this character into almost any application. How to put an inverted question mark in this case? This is much more complicated here - you need to remember the code and enter “« ”with active English.

Screen keyboard

Another way is based on the on-screen keyboard. It is implemented as follows:

  • We launch the application into which you need to insert "¿".
  • Using the previously described method, set the Spanish language.
  • Launch the “On-Screen Keyboard” application (located in the “Start” menu, then “All Programs”, then “Standard” and “Accessibility”).
  • Switch to Spanish using the keyboard shortcut or using the paddle.
  • We find this sign on the on-screen keyboard and click on it with the left button of the manipulator once. After that, “¿” should appear in the workspace of the application.

This method is identical to the usual use of the keyboard, which was given earlier in the text. The only difference is that you need to run a separate utility. This additionally loads the resources of the personal computer. But the plus of such a decision on how to write an inverted question mark is that visually you can see the key to enter this character.

Table of symbols

A utility such as the “Symbol Table” also allows you to enter an inverted question mark. The symbol "¿" is entered as follows:

  • We start the program in which it is necessary to add the inverted question mark.
  • Go to the "Start" menu. In it we find “Programs”, then “Standard”, then we find “System”. Open the "Symbol Table" utility.
  • In the list that opens, find “¿”, select it and click the “Paste” button.

Special characters in Word and clipboard

Another option for making an inverted question mark is to use the Word test processor and clipboard. The algorithm for its implementation consists of the following stages:

  • Launch the Word.
  • Go to the tab called "Insert."
  • In the "Symbols" section, in the "Symbol" drop-down list, select "Other symbols".
  • In the window that opens, find "¿" and click "Paste."
  • Close the “Other Symbols” window.
  • Select "¿" with the mouse.
  • Go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Copy” button (it shows two pages with stripes).
  • Then we launch the second application.
  • Go to his workspace with a single click of the left mouse button.
  • Press “Ctrl” and “V” at the same time.

With a single entry of "¿" it is most rational to use the "Symbol Table". No additional software is needed to solve the problem of how to write an inverted question mark. In this case, the task is solved easily and quickly. But if you need to type in Spanish and there are many such sentences, it is better to install this language and use the combination of “Shift” and “+” on the main part of the keyboard.