Llegué a la estación. ¿Estación de qué? La estación de tren.

Tin

Senior Member
Catalan - Majorca / Spanish - Spain
Llegué a la estación. ¿Estación de qué? La estación de tren.

I'm interested in this "¿Estación de qué?" question. Something tells me that the literal translation "Station of what?" doesn't make sense in English. How do you ask this kind of clarifying question in informal English?

My attempts:

A)
- I got to the station.
- Station of what?
- The train station.

B)
- I got to the station.
- What kind of station?
- The train station.

C)
- I got to the station.
- What station?
- The train station.

Any other possibilities?
 
  • gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    "What station?" works for me.

    Me, too. Although it is ambiguous and could mean either "what kind of station" or "which station (among the various stations on a line)," the context makes clear the intended meaning.

    -After that I went to the station.
    -What station? (= bus or train or what?)

    -We'll take the train there. I'll meet you at the station at six.
    -What station? (= which station on the line?)
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    - I got to the station.
    - Which station?
    - The train station. (as opposed to the bus station)

    To me, "which" implies selecting among a group within a category, and that question would only be used to ask which station on a certain line. For example, the local subway here (BART) has various stations on each line, and I would use the above question to ask about a certain one.

    -Which station?
    -Montgomery Street.

    "What," on the other hand, can encompass the meaning of "what kind," as in the case of asking about bus or train.

    I'm not saying that your suggestion is wrong, just that it could be confusing, because some people might think it means what I explained above.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    I find the question ¿Estación de qué? a little off-putting. ¿Cuál estación? seems much more natural to me, and it encompasses both ¿Qué tipo de estación? and ¿Qué estación? (e.g., which metro stop)
    It is not more natural in Spain ( that's where Tin comes from). "¿Estación de qué? " is what we ask when we want to know what type of station the other person is talking about. " ¿ Qué estación?" also works with that meaning if the context is not ambiguous. It can also mean "which station on the line". At least where I live, it is not common to use "cual estación" , it sounds like Latin American Spanish.
     
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