Here're the basic punctuation rules for Spanish, from the US-GPO's Style Manual (March 1984 edition, page 445):
·PERIOD (.) and COMMA (,): Used about like in English.
·QUESTION (¿ ?) and EXCLAMATION (¡ !) MARKS: Demarcate questions and exclamations as in English—the difference here (in Spanish) is that the inverted forms (¿ ¡) begin such sentences, while the regular forms (? !) are found at the end of them.
·QUOTATION (“ ‘ ’ ”) MARKS: These are only found (in Spanish) to reproduce texts, statements, and short quotes; for longer quotes and dialogue, introductory em-dashes are used instead.
·(EM-)DASHES (—): The em-dash (in Spanish) replaces the quotation marks (from English) in dialogue and longer quotations. An em-dash introduces each speaker's lines, as in this discourse by Pío Baroja (in Las Inquietudes De Shanti Andía), on that same page:
——Yo soy Juan de Aguirre, el marino, el hermano de su madre de usted, el que despareció.
——¡Usted es Juan de Aguirre!
——¡Y por qué no habérmelo dicho antes!
·HYPHEN (-): Only for syllabification.
·APOSTROPHES (‘ ’) usually aren't used in Spanish.
A suitable translation into English of the above discorse would also be very helpful. Thank You!
Robert Lloyd Wheelock
Augusta, ME USA
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