Qué vs. Cuál - Interrogative Pronouns   By Ron Slone

Interogative Qué vs. Cuál - What? or Which?

Interrogative pronouns are the same as the relative pronouns, only they are written with an accent:
  • ¿Cuál,-es? (which?)
  • ¿Qué? (what?)

Cuál (which) is often used instead of the English "what", as:

  • ¿Cuáles son sus intenciones?
    What are your intentions?

Qué is used in exclamatory sentences--"what a", as:

  • ¡Qué lástima!
    What a pity!
  • ¡Qué bonitos angelitos!
    What nice little angels![2]
Note: Before an adjective without a noun following "qué" translates the English "how":--¡Qué bonito! how nice!]
An emphatic tan or más may be inserted, thus:
  • ¡Qué paño tan bonito!
    What a very nice suit!
  • ¡Qué hombre más rico!
    What a very rich man!

Cuál is used in exclamatory clauses, as:

  • ¡Cuál le han reducido las desgracias!
    How (to what a state) misfortunes have reduced him!
  • ¡Cuál la ví!
    How (in what a state) did I see her!

Cual without article and without accent is used for "as," as:

  • Una casa (tal) cual yo la deseaba.
    A house (such) as I liked.



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