Friday, October 15, 2021

Upside Down Question Mark- Known to UnKnown

Upside Down Question Mark- Known to UnKnown

People who generally use the English Language know that upside down question marks have no use there. However, the use of punctuation can be seen in the Spanish Language. You can use it when you have any query in Spanish. If you want to use this punctuation, you need to put this in a sentence's beginning. It helps to let you know that it is an interrogative sentence. 

As a result, you can be ready for a question before going to read the sentence. Users can get this symbol in multiple software and in-built keyboard shortcuts. In this article, we have given a few ways that ask you how to use the symbol, where to type in a sentence, etc.

What Does An Upside Down Question Mark Mean?

The inverted question mark or the upside down question mark is the rotated form of the ordinary question mark "?". In Spanish, the interrogative sentence or the clause starts with the inverted question mark to notify the reader that a question follows. Most languages that have a cultural tie with Spanish, such as Galician, Warry, etc., do the same. You can insert it directly with your keyboard. Unicode, HTML, and ISO 8859, and other various standards support it.

When you use punctuation in Spanish, use it at the beginning. People willing to use the sign with exclamation points can use such as ¡¿Qué pasa con usted?!. If you want to use these symbols in a combo, then use like ⸘Qué pasa con usted‽.

You can see uses of inverted punctuations in Spain and Latin American Spanish languages. These symbols indicate the beginning of an interrogative sentence or clause. Usually, you can see the standard symbol printed along the baseline of a sentence.

Who Invented Upside Down Question Mark Idea?

In Spanish, the sign is very essential. The reason is that you can use the syntax of the language as statements, exclamations, etc., for similar wording.

The Real Academia decided to implement the punctuation in the second edition of the Ortografía de la Lengua Castellana in 1754. It is the orthography of the Castilian language. It looks like:

¿Cómo estás? – How are you?

However, changes have come. In the nineteenth century, writers didn't prefer to use these punctuation.

¿Te gusta el té verde? – Do you like green tea?

Te gusta el té verde. – You like green tea.

Here, you can see that both the statement and interrogative sentences are similar in Spanish.

In a few cases, you can see some writers don't use the inverted symbol for a short unambiguous interrogative sentence like Quién viene? (“Who’s coming?”). As per some Catalan-language authorities, these signs should be present both at the opening and closing for clarity.

Why Should You Use Upside Down Question Mark?

The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) asked in 1754 that people can use punctuation as a sign. People use the sign to clarify and communicate. You can see the usage of this sign when you use terms like where you are, who you’re speaking with, etc. People prefer to use this universal symbol because of its distinct purposes.

To Indicate a Question Is Imminent:

It lets you know the type of sentence at the beginning. We have given here a few instances where you can see its uses.

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

¿Quieres un poco más de agua? (Would you like some more water?)

¿A qué hora cierra la tienda? (What time does the store close?) 

To Take the Place of an Interrogative Word:

Using the sign, you can exchange the wording of interrogative sentences with it.

A few examples of Spanish interrogative words that people usually use are as follows:

¿Cómo? (How?)

¿Cuál? (Which?)

¿Cuándo? (When?)

¿Cuánto? (How much?)

¿Dónde? (Where?)

¿Por qué? (Why?)

¿Qué? (What?)

¿Quién? (Who?)

In most cases, people use an interrogative word at the beginning. However, sometimes you can convey a message by shortening the sentence except for losing its meaning.

Look at the instances that we have given here.

¿Dónde está el baño? (Where is the bathroom?) → ¿El baño? (The bathroom?)

¿Cuándo llega el tren? (When is the train arriving?) → ¿El tren? (The train?)

¿Pasarías la sal? (Would you pass the salt?) → ¿La sal? (The salt?)

Determine A Place To Raise Speaking Tone:

You can know where you should use the sign in a sentence or phrase. Thus, you get to know whether the sentence is interrogative or a statement. Therefore, you can know if you want to raise the tone of that sentence.

When you raise your speaking tone, it will turn a statement sentence into an interrogative sentence.

Juan va a la florería. (Juan goes to the flower shop. ) → ¿Juan va a la florería? (Is Juan going to the flower shop?)

Hablas inglés. (You speak English.) → ¿Hablas inglés? (Do you speak English?)

El autobús llega muy tarde. (The bus is very late.) → ¿El autobús llega muy tarde? (Is the bus very late?)

 How to Use the Upside down Question Symbol In Different Places:

If you are going to write a question in Spanish, you may have to use two symbols of this type. Put the sign at the beginning and the ending part of the sentence. Look at the instances given over there.

¿Cómo te llamas? (What is your name?)

¿A qué hora llegaron a la fiesta? (What time did you all arrive at the party?)

The sign is not seen generally in casual writing nowadays. Spanish people don't use these when they text, write, or use WhatsApp. However, you can see it in books, movie subtitles, and standard writing.

How to Use Upside Down Question Mark In The Middle Of a Sentence:

Usually, people use the symbol at the beginning of an interrogative sentence. But it doesn't mean that you can't use punctuation in the middle of a sentence.

Sometimes, you may need to place this within the sentence when the actual query is starting. It looks complicated, but it isn't. You can see its uses mostly with tag questions in the middle.

Eres la prima de Pablo, ¿no? (You’re Pablo's cousin, aren’t you?)

Esta camisa es nueva, ¿verdad? (This shirt is new, isn’t it?)

Use your tone of voice for identifying the query if necessary. You should search for the sentence part that resembles a query. After that, you can surround that part with the symbol.

Si bailamos, ¿ellos también van a bailar? (If we dance, will they dance too?)

Vamos a cenar sushi, ¿te parece bien? (We’re going to have sushi for dinner, does that sound good?)

How to Use with Inverted Exclamation Mark:

You can see the Spanish exclamation point with this sign in pairs.

Let's have a look at the examples containing both types of symbols.

¡Buenos días! ¿A dónde vas, Susana? (Good morning! Where are you going, Susana?)

¡Ayuda! ¿A dónde va con mi bolso? (Help! Where is she going with my purse?)

¡Ahora no! ¿Podemos hablar después? (Not now! Can we talk later?).

How to Generate Upside Down Question Mark On Mac:

We have given a few ways here that let you know how to create it on Mac.

Method 1) Turn the Keyboard into the Spanish language:

People who know Spanish or are learning the language can type in Spanish accents. Switching the keyboard to another language is one of the processes you can follow. To do this, follow the steps.

       Your first task is to turn your keyboard to a toggle on the top-right hand of the display. Hence, for changing your keyboard to a toggle, you should install it first. 

       Then, your job is to navigate to the Apple menu. It is available on the top right-hand corner of the Mac. You should choose the System Preferences option from the drop-down list.

       When you are using the System Preferences window, you should search for the option Language & Region. Tap on the option. Next, find Keyboard Preferences for adding the second keyboard. You should check the box to get the small flag. It is available on the top right-hand side of the display.

       You are required to tap on the + sign for adding the keyboard. Then, you should find the Spanish option from the list. Here, two choices are available— Spanish, choose Spanish - ISO. Hit the Add button available on the right-bottom part of the display.

 Type in the sign:

You can get the Question marks available beside the zero. Just do back and forth using the – and the + keys.

Method 2) Tap on a Combination of Keys:

People who don't prefer to switch from one toggle or keyboard to another should try the method. Tap on the combination of keys on the keyboard. To use the process, ensure that the English language is set to default at your keyboard.

       Navigate to a program first to open it. Open a Word program or a Text Edit program.

       Now, your task is to navigate to the keyboard and, after that, look for the option, Shift, and Question Mark buttons. A regular question sign is available on the keyboard.

       You should now tap on these buttons at a time to get it.

 How to generate Upside down Question Mark Symbol:

In Microsoft Word:

In earlier times, people were unable to use the symbol. It is when people started to use Microsoft Word exclusively. You can type the sign-in in Microsoft Word. You should know that it is the most famous Word processor on any PC. First, your task is to tap on the Ctrl+Alt + Shift +/. Users can apply the sequence only in Microsoft Word. If you have any doubt, you can use this in any other text documents. However, don't get worried about the Word versions because you can get this available to all Word releases.

Use Alt Codes:

People who are writers or use Microsoft Word frequently use various types of alt codes. You are unable to add the codes to a single keyboard. It is the reason why producers use these as shortcuts.

You can type all unique characters on the PC with the help of the Alt codes. The sign "¿"  is known as a special character. Use Alt code to type the symbol.

       First, your job is to move the cursor to that place where you are willing to type the sign.

       You should check whether you have turned on the Num Lock of your keyboard or not. It indicates that you are capable of using the number pad.

       Tap the Alt button after that on the keyboard and then hold it down.

       When you hold the button, you are required to type 168, 0191, or 6824 on the number pad. All of these can make your job done. So, you are capable of using any of these.

       Now, release the Alt button. When you release the Alt button, you can see 168 appearing. 

 Take help of the US-International Keyboard Layout:

Usually, the physical layout of the keyboard remains the same. Therefore, these are static. What you can do most is to change the logical structure through in-built software. Using this software, you can type any language other than English or other versions. Just type () when you use the keyboard in the US International layout.

With the help of the US-International layout keyboard, you are capable of writing the Spanish question mark. In this case, you should hold the "Alt Gr" button first and then the "In the US-International layout" button.

On Windows Only:

 If you want, you can take the help of a character map to type the symbol. This rule is for Microsoft Windows only.

       First, hit the Start key on the taskbar. Then, your task is to move to the search bar.

       As soon as you go to the search bar, you should write "Character Map." Then, you should choose the app to open. Here, all the computer signs are available on the internet.

       Whether you don't prefer to see all the characters manually, then tap on the tick box. You can see the "Advanced view" option in the box on the bottom-left corner of the app.

       You can see another search box available at the bottom of the app. Hence, you only have to write "inverted question mark." As soon as you type, you can see the sign appearing on any of the boxes above. Now, you can copy it and paste it into any text document.


       To do so, you should tap two times on the sign to copy it. You can hit the Select key also.

       When you have chosen the symbol, tap on the Copy key.

       Next, keep it anywhere you prefer for inserting the sign. To paste this, you have to type Ctrl+V.


It is the process through which you can perform the copying and pasting process through the Character Map dialog.

Use insert Upside down Question Mark Symbol Dialog Box:

If you are looking for all symbols, then use the insert symbol dialog box. Just select any of these you prefer. Then, insert it into the Word document with a few mouse clicks.

Follow the steps if you are willing to insert the symbol in the Word with the help of this insert symbol dialog box.

       First, your task is to keep the insertion pointer at the place you want to insert it.

       Then, you should move to the Insert tab.

       After that, tap on the Insert tab.

       Next, you should tap on the Symbol drop-down option that is available in the Symbols category. Then, choose More Symbols. To do this, you should navigate to the Symbols option and then choose the option More Symbols.

       Now, you can see the Symbol dialog box appearing. Choose the options Latin Supplement that you can see in the Subset drop-down list. When you select this, it will showcase symbols in this category, including that.

       Choose the inverted symbol after seeing it and tap on the Insert key. If you want, you can insert that into your document. But for this, you are required to tap two times.

       Perform copy and paste process.

       At last, you should turn off the dialog. Now, you can insert the sign at the place where you keep the insertion pointer.

 Using these steps of insertion, you can put the sign in the Word document.

Use AutoCorrect:

AutoCorrect feature is also one of these through which you can obtain the symbol. This feature helps to correct spelling mistakes like "thsi"  to "this," etc.

Using it, you can assign your shortcuts to symbols you type daily in your document.  For example, whether you type the sign frequently, assign a shortcode such as UPSIDE?? to this sign. Thus, while you are going to type this text, Word will think about the symbol. Then, it will change the text into a sign automatically.

This tool allows you to assign any code you prefer. Word will insert it when you type this code.

Look at the steps given underneath.

       First, your task is to navigate to the insert tab.

       Perform the 4th and fifth steps of the earlier method. Make sure that you will choose the Latin1 Supplement from the list.

       Now, you are required to choose the sign. Then, your task is to tap on the AutoCorrect key.

       Then, you can see this AutoCorrect dialog box appearing. You can put your preferred shortcode or text to assign to the sign.

       Make sure that the symbol is available in the following field.

       Hit the Add key after that and then tap on the OK button. During the procedure, while you write the text UPSIDE?? in your Word, it will change the text to the symbol.


The tool won't make any changes to the autocorrection if the text is present within any text. For instance, if you type XUPSIDE??, Word won't convert into any symbol. The reason is that the text is joined with another character, X.

How to Make the Upside down Question Mark Symbol on Your Device:

When you create this symbol, it can seem daunting to you. However, it doesn't need any unique equipment or keyboards. If you are using any Spanish language keyboard or having access to one digitally can help you hence. In case it isn't, then use some basic commands. It relies upon the device that you use.

On an iOS Device:

You can generate the symbol easily on the iOS device.

       To do this, first, your task is to pull the keyboard up on the mobile. You can place it under iMessage or another app available on your mobile phone.

       After that, your job is to hit the “.?123” key or “123” key available on the keyboard. It helps to display the numbers and symbols.

       Now, your task is to tap on the "?" symbol and hold it after that. You can see a bubble appearing above the symbol after a brief moment.

       As soon as you can see the bubble appearing in front of the display, you need to slide the finger up to the sign.

       Ensure that you have slid your finger up to the sign. If you take your finger off the keyboard, then the symbol will disappear.

 On an Android Device:

Follow these steps to figure out the method of typing the symbol on your mobile.

       Pull the keyboard up first on the Android mobile phone. For example, pull the keyboard of your Message app for texts.

       Then, you have to search for the “Sym” button on your keyboard to find symbols. People who come with Samsung Galaxy have to tap the “!1:)” key for accessing symbols.

       Now, hit the “1/2” key on the keyboard. You can see the button available directly above the “ABC” key in the bottom left of the keyboard.

       As soon as you hit the “1/2” key, the button will appear.

 On a PC or Mac:

Insert special characters: Now, you are capable of using the insert tab in both Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Thus, you can find special characters easily. If you want to include the sign, you only have to choose punctuation from the menu of special characters. A lot of filters are available in the special characters menu. It enables you to choose characters common to different languages.

Use a shortcut key: You may feel cumbersome when you insert them individually to write in Spanish long-term. That's why it will be better if you know some shortcut keys. The key you will use relies on the keyboard and operating system.

We have given you some basic ones that will help you to insert the sign.

       For English (US) keyboards with Microsoft Windows, you should hit the Alt+0191 button.

       If you use Microsoft Word, then tap Ctrl+Alt first. After that, your task is to hold when you tap Shift+?

       In the macOS platform, you should tap ⇧ Shift+Alt/⌥ Option+/.

 Switch your keyboard to US-International layout:

If you have a US keyboard, you can switch it to a US International layout. It will help you to convert the right-hand Alt key. As soon as you engage, the right-hand Alt key will call up characters. You can't find these generally on a standard keyboard if you tap them in combination with other keys.

Use Unicode code point entries:

If your software is compatible with the Unicode entries, then use them on any keyboard you prefer. You merely have to tap the Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u button at a time. After that, your job is to write BF for calling up the symbol. Then, you should tap the enter button to ensure.

Fonts & Encodings:

i) You can use these formats— Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, and Courier for this symbol. All of these are compatible with the symbol. Fonts you are using practically will support it also.

ii) This symbol is available in the Unicode character set (U+00BF), the Windows-1252 encoding standard, and the Latin-1 encoded standard. However, it is not mandatory that all encodings come with the symbol. But it is hardly said that you will encounter a website not compatible with the symbol. Like fonts, you don't need to get worried about the encoding sets also.


i) If you want to use the symbol in HTML, then use any of these codes: ¿ or ¿ or &#xbf. These three are completely synonymous.

ii) &iquest is known as a named character entity. The reason is that this "names" the character. The next two are known as numeric character references. These indicate the character with numbers. You should know that #191 and #xbf are the same.

iii) When you use Unicode encoding to serve an HTML document, then you can use it to copy and paste the symbol. UTF-8 is one of the examples that you can use as Unicode encoding.  Make sure that you will save your document in the same encoding where you serve.


We have given here different types of options to type the Upside Down Question Mark symbol in Microsoft Word. You can use these shortcuts for both Mac and Windows.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Which languages use this Upside down Question Mark Symbol?

In the eighteenth century, it was the Spanish language that started to use the symbol. It was recommended by the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy). You can see its uses in Iberian languages like Galician and Catalan.

  • Why are Spanish question marks upside down?

This symbol in Spanish means that you are going to receive a question in written text. In Spanish, the word order of an interrogative sentence won't change like in English.

  • How do you type the symbol on a Chromebook?

You should hit the Shift button along with the Plus keys.

  • What is backward Question Mark?

The backward question mark is called a Percontation Point or Rhetorical Question Mark. The backward question mark is the mirrored image of the question tag.  

It is used in Persian, Arabic, and Urdu scripts. These scripts are written on the page from right to left. Therefore to fall in style with the writing, the backward question mark is used.

Though Hebrew and Yiddish are also written on a page from right to left, they are not using the backward or mirrored question mark.

The backward question mark was briefly used in English to end a rhetorical question. It was proposed and used by Henry Denham in the 16th century, but it went out of use within a short duration of time.