The Difference Between Que And Cual/Cuales In Spanish

The difference between Qué and Qué in Spanish is often a matter of concern for Spanish learners whose mother tongue is English and who cannot make a literal translation into their own language. In this lesson we will look at the differences between the two words.

First, let’s see what happens to the verb SER.

What is it: this form implies the question for a definition.

What is a cat? / What is a cat?

A cat is a small, feline animal that is usually kept as a pet. / A cat is a feline and a small animal, generally taken as a pet.

What it is: This is a question for an election. From a homogeneous group, you have a choice. You want to know a name.

What is your favorite movie? (of all possible movies) / What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Terminator / My favorite movie is Terminator.

What is the capital of Argentina? (of all possible capitals) / What is the capital of Argentina?

The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires./ The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires

What’s your name? (from a long list of possible names) / What’s your name?

My name is Anna./ My name is Anna.

When the question is “what is it” you should only answer with one option, but this question has a plural version, where you can answer with more than one option.

Which are your favorite books? / Which are your favorite books?

My favorite books are “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “13.99 euros”. My favorite books are “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “13.99 euros”.

What are the colors that you like the most? / What are the colors that you like the most?

The colors I like the most are red and blue. / The colors I like the most are red and blue.

What + Verb

When I ask: What do you want to drink? / What do you want to drink? I am not giving you options, you can answer anything from a heterogeneous group: coffee (coffee), milk (milk), water (water), beer (beer), strawberry smoothie (strawberry milkshake) , etc.

Or: What do we cook, pizza or empanadas? / What should we cook, pizza or empanadas?

Which + Verb

When I ask you: Which one do you prefer? / Which one do you prefer? I have some options for you, and I show them from a table or I have them in my hands: Which one do you prefer, this one or this one? / Which Do you prefer this or this?

We can ask the same thing using What + the noun + Verb.

What drink do you prefer? / What drink do you prefer?

What color do you like more? / What color do you like more?

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