In a recent post in Meta, the title:

Preguntad, preguntad, malditos

does not, as I had expected, carry exclamation marks. I have looked through similar questions on this site and at this section in the DPD but I could find nothing on this site about commands specifically and the DPD is more about the correct way to write them.

So my question is whether the rule is that commands should have them, as in ¡Cállate! or is it optional?

  • 2
    I think is optional. I can calmly tell you cállate or I can yell _¡¡¡CÁLLATE!!!
    – DGaleano
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 16:18
  • @walen you must be psychic as I was planning to ask next why fedorqui was calling me maldito
    – mdewey
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 17:11
  • @walen please make it an answer. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


The title of the Meta post is mocking the title of this movie:


As you can see, it doesn't have any exclamation marks either.

Exclamation marks are for intonation, not for meaning.
One can give commands without as much as raising their voice, e.g.:

  • ¿Podemos salir a jugar?
  • No sé, preguntad a mamá.

The second sentence includes a command (preguntad), but it is to be read with a normal voice tone, so exclamation marks are not needed.

PS: Can't get the image to show on my cellphone, somebody please edit the link into a proper image, thanks.

  • The link works fine here. Note for anglophones that the film was called They shoot horses, don't they? in English. Link to IMDB imdb.com/title/tt0065088
    – mdewey
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 8:36

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