The use of the orthographic accent on Spanish words such as qué (what), cómo (how), and cuánto/s (how much/many) usually indicates that those words are part of an interrogative or exclamatory sentence. The following examples review how to use qué, cómo, and cuánto as exclamatory words.
Qué can be used right in front of nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. It means "how" or "what a." In our newest episode of Muñeca Brava, Mili uses qué with an adjective when she talks about the Christmas party:
¿Viste todos los regalos? ¡Qué linda! -Sí, estuvo estupenda.
Did you see all the presents? How lovely! -Yes, it was great.
Caption 2, Muñeca Brava - 30 RevelacionesPlay Caption
Qué can also be combined with an adverb to express surprise about the way an action was done:
¡Qué bueno he sido pa' ti Y qué mal te estás portando!
How good I've been for you And how badly you're behaving!
Captions 17-18, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesaPlay Caption
Qué can also be placed in front of a noun:
¡Ay, qué espanto! ¡Y pensar que el hombre ese estaba en mi cama!
What a scare! And to think that man was in my bed!
Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La ApuestaPlay Caption
Cuánto (how much) can be used in front of nouns and verbs. When used with a noun, this exclamatory word must agree in gender and number:
¡Cuántos frijoles hubiéramos hecho!
How many beans we would have produced!
Caption 28, Con ánimo de lucro - CortometrajePlay Caption
When cuánto is accompanied by a verb, we always use the masculine, singular form. If a direct object pronoun is required, we must place it between the two words:
¡Ay, no sabes cuánto lo lamento!
Oh, you don't know how much I regret it!
Caption 17, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
Finally, the exclamatory cómo is used in front of verbs. This example requires the use of a reflexive pronoun (me), which is also placed between the two words:
¡Guau, cómo me gustan esos hobbies!
Wow, how I like those hobbies!
Caption 38, Karla e Isabel - Nuestros hobbiesPlay Caption
We hope you have enjoyed this brief review on exclamatory words.