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Cuál or Qué?

 

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  #1  
Old June 20, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Cuál or Qué?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonso View Post
Poli, you say: ¿cuál es su título...?
Estimados hispanoparlantes,
Necesito su asisténcia. Pensaba que cuál significaba which.
¿Cual de los dos títulos es correcto?,por ejemplo.
Ahora veo que cuál a veces significa what tambien.
Tiene que ser un ley. ¿Cuál/qué es la ley?
Hablo español todos los días.(en mi modo), y quiero pulir mi estilo de hablar. Cuál/qué son unas de las pequeñas palabras que son trampas para mi.
Gracias

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This post was originally a reply to this thread. -Tomisimo
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Last edited by Tomisimo; June 20, 2008 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Added a note about moving this post.
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  #2  
Old June 20, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
Estimados hispanoparlantes,
Necesito su asistencia. Pensaba que cuál significaba which.
¿Cuál de las dos traducciones es la correcta?,(por ejemplo.)
Ahora veo que cuál a veces significa what también.
Tiene que ser una regla. ¿Cuál es la regla?
Hablo español todos los días.(a mi modo), y quiero pulir mi estilo de hablar. Cuál/qué son unas de las pequeñas palabras que son trampas para mi.
Gracias
Yo te hago las correcciones, la explicación se la dejo a Alfonso que controla más.
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  #3  
Old June 20, 2008, 08:15 AM
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I'd love to hear Alfonso's explanation as well, but I'll give it a try.

There are a few rules that will help you know when to use the interrogative pronouns ¿qué? and ¿cuál?.

1. Generally, qué = what and cuál = which, but there are some caveats.
2. Always use qué if a noun comes right after it: (Whether or not you would use which or what in English). Qué is used as an adjective here.
¿Qué regla es la que debo aplicar aquí? - What rule should I apply here?
¿Qué cosa? - What?
¿Qué color te gusta más? - What color do you like better?
3. Use qué to ask for an explanation, description, definition etc, when not followed by a noun: (qué is a pronoun here)
¿Qué es esto? - What is that?
¿Qué significa esa mirada? - What does that look mean?
4. If you use 'what' and you can substitue 'which' or 'which one(s)', then use cuál. Of course, using which or which one might sound stilted in English, but you can say which is the topic for today?, but you could never say *which means that look? Note that you're asking for a specific thing (regla, tema) instead of asking for an explanation, description, or definition as in #3.
¿Cuál es la regla? - What is the rule?
¿Cuál es el tema de hoy? - What is today's topic?
¿Cuál de los dos me queda mejor? - Which one fits me better?
¿Cuáles son las notas de esta canción? - What are the notes for this song?
5. Note that cuál is never used with a noun right after it.
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Old June 20, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Thank you very much, David. Your explanation or the rule is very clear
You are quite helpful.

Poli
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Old June 20, 2008, 09:37 AM
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I wouldn't have been able to write such a wonderful explanation, David.
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  #6  
Old June 20, 2008, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
Thank you very much, David. Your explanation or the rule is very clear
You are quite helpful.

Poli
Thank you. If Alfonso comes along and feels up to giving an explanation, I'd love to hear what he has to say too.
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  #7  
Old June 20, 2008, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemma View Post
I wouldn't have been able to write such a wonderful explanation, David.
It's funny, as far as explaining rules goes, I know Spanish grammar better than English grammar.
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  #8  
Old June 20, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Nice explanation,David

I think it was the best I have ever read!

However, it seems to me that I have heard cuál used before a noun in exclamations when expressing surprise.

¡Cuál regla!? (Like what rule are you talking about?!)

Or am I imagining this?

Marsopa
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  #9  
Old June 20, 2008, 09:49 AM
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You might be imagining it. I would never say that. Maybe in South America...
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Old June 20, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomisimo View Post
It's funny, as far as explaining rules goes, I know Spanish grammar better than English grammar.
Same thing here, but the other way around.
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