There are several sentences below:

¿Qué opinas tú?

¿Dónde vives tú?

¿Cuándo vas tú?

¿Cuál quieres tú?

¿Quién piensas tú que es el culpable?

¿Cómo estudias tú?

¿Cuánto ganas tú?


  1. What difference in meaning in these sentences will be if you put personal pronoun before interrogative pronoun/adverb OR in the end of sentence ("Qué opinas tú?" vs "Tú qué opinas?")?

  2. Am I correct in this particular case that if there is change of meaning in these sentences, it is more so in written speech, while in oral speech intonation makes more importance in general than the sequence of words?

P.S. Some time ago I read a very good article regarding how subtle meaning of a complex sentence changes depending on word order - https://www.espanolavanzado.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=788:enfasis-en-espanol&catid=25:gramatica After reading this article I thought that "accentuated" information you should put mostly in the end of sentence. BUT after reading this thread (What is the rule for word order when using Usted with second person verbs (and second person phrases)?), I understand that intonation sometimes matters more than word order. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Don't forget questions of this form: ¿Qué opinas? Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


Yes there is a nuanced tone that the order may add.

Normally the placement of the personal pronouns brings a subtle meaning that helps stressing the most important aspect of the question being asked

For example, you may ask someone about what is what he or she wants to do

¿tu qué quieres hacer? (where the default emphasis goes in the what)

While, if particularly interested in what that person wants,—say you have heard about others already— you would invert the order to focus on what is the specific thing she or he wants

¿qué quieres hacer ?

  • Wouldn't the same meaning be conveyed by both sentences if I emphasized the pronoun "tú" in them, regardless of its position? Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 6:10

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