6. Purpose of the Upside Down Question Mark
i) Upside down question marks (¿) are used at the start of a question in Spanish, Catalan, and other languages influenced by Spanish.
ii) In these languages, the upside down question mark is used in conjunction with the right side up question mark. The upside down question mark is used at the start of a question, and the right side up question mark is used at the end. A Spanish reader can quickly tell that a phrase is a question before reaching the end.
iii) Here's an example of a question Spanish: ¿Qué tiempo hace? (English: What is the weather like?)
iv) Intrestingly, the upside down question mark was not always used in Spanish. The Real Academia, an institution in Madrid responsible for overseeing the Spanish language, recomended the use of the upside down question mark in the 18th century. Eventually, it was widely adopted.