Have you ever struggled with some Spanish words? If so, El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school is going to explain the difference between two interrogative pronouns that are often used incorrectly: qué and cuál. This post will clear up any doubts about their proper use.

One of the most common mistake that Spanish students make concerns the correct use of qué and cuál. Doubts are very likely to arise when it comes with choosing one of the two to be used in a question.

First of all, both qué and cuál are Spanish interrogative pronouns that introduce questions to get different kind of information.

We use QUÉ:

– To ask for a definition or meaning of something

¿Qué es la siesta? = What is siesta?

¿Qué significa “ir de tapas” = What does “ir de tapas” mean?

– To ask for or to suggest a choice of an item from an heterogeneous group.

¿Qué compramos: carne o pescado? = What shall we buy: meat or fish?

– Ask general information about objects

¿Qué postre te gusta más? = What dessert you like the most?

We use CUÁL

– To ask for a name or identification

¿Cuál es el plato típico de esta región? = What is the typical dish of this region?

¿Cuál es tu nombre? = What’s your name?

– To ask for or to suggest a choice from an homogeneous group

He sacado todos los vestidos del armario. ¿Cuál me pongo? = I took out all my dresses from the wardrobe. Which shall I wear?

– Asking about an object when we already know it or have mentioned it before.

¿Has probado las tartas? ¿Cuál es la más buena? = Did you taste the cakes? Which is the best one?

How to use qué and cuál in a question

Qué is invariable and is followed by a NOUN when we ask for specific information

¿Qué hora es? = What time is it?

¿Qué trabajo haces? = What is your job?

Or by a VERB, when we ask for a more general information

¿Qué opinas de la última obra de Mario = What do you think about Mario’s last work?

¿Qué le pasó a tu perro? = What happened to your dog?

Unlike qué, cuál has a plural form (cuáles). The two forms can be followed by a verb or preposition DE + noun or pronoun. In no case cuál/cuáles is placed before a noun.

¿Cuál es tu número de teléfono? = What’s your phone number?

¿Cuál de las tres opciones prefieres? = Which of the three options do you prefer?

We hope this blog will help you use these two Spanish interrogative pronouns properly. Our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem invites you to keep working on your Spanish, enriching your vocabulary with new Spanish words.

Although our Spanish school in temporarily closed, we continue teaching Spanish online. Get in contact with us to know more about this option.

Till the next blog!