Señora, ¿qué / cuales síntomas tiene su bebé?

Hola todos,

I was reviewing some grammar about the difference between "qué" and "cuál" and saw the sentence "Señora, ¿___ síntomas tiene su bebé?". I saw that the correct answer was "qué". Why can't "cuál" go here? There is a list of symptoms from which to choose which ones your baby has.

How about these sentences?

¿Cuáles son los síntomas de su bebé?

¿Cuáles de los síntomas tiene su bebé?

Also, is there a clear rule for remembering the difference between "qué" and "cuál"? Are there examples where they are interchangeable? I asked one of my Spanish-speaking friends and he said that they use them interchangeably sometimes.

Gracias de antemano,
drei
 
  • Monnik

    Senior Member
    Mexico - Spanish/English
    Hi again, drei...

    You are right... In this case, you simply cannot use "cuál" because the sentence speaks of a plural noun (síntomas), in which case you would need to use "cuáles". Now, in that case, the use of "cuáles" would have been correct.

    I don't know about any rules that would establish the specific use of "qué" and "cuál", but I can tell you that "qué" is more commonly used in meaning "what", and "cuál" is more commonly used in meaning "which".

    Let's see what others have to say.

    Have a good one...
     

    Herenia

    Senior Member
    son errores frecuentes que cometemos, caemos en el "queìsmo", y estos peligros queístas se reflejan, muchas veces en las malas traducciones, en especial en libros cientificos y técnicos

    algunos errores:
    "Es por este camino que se va al cementerio"
    correcto: "es por este camino por donde se va al cementerio"
    y asi sucesivamente...asi es que hay que poner más atención. aburrrrrrrrrrrrr
     

    Jhorer Brishti

    Senior Member
    United States/Bangladesh English/Bengali
    I learned that the correct form was "Que" in this type of a sentence. Apparently both are used and the older way to say it was using cual but now it's Que. I actually had a question about this before since for a practice AP Spanish exam that my class took a sentence dealing with just this was the only question I answered wrong. If I remember correctly the sentence was "(blank)museo prefieres?el de alli o el que esta mas cerca a nuestro hogar. I answered with "Que" but the correct answer was cual. When I checked with native speakers from this forum they said that they would also have used Que. So now I'm not exactly sure which would be the correct form(even though both of my teachers taught us to use Que). Assuming that Que would be the correct way to say it, the rule is that if the next word is a noun then que should be used. So in your example, sintomas is a noun thus requiring Que instead of cual. Otherwise whenever there is more than one choice Cual/es should be employed.
     

    diegodbs

    Senior Member
    Spain-Spanish
    Jhorer Brishti said:
    I learned that the correct form was "Que" in this type of a sentence. Apparently both are used and the older way to say it was using cual but now it's Que. I actually had a question about this before since for a practice AP Spanish exam that my class took a sentence dealing with just this was the only question I answered wrong. If I remember correctly the sentence was "(blank)museo prefieres?el de alli o el que esta mas cerca a nuestro hogar. I answered with "Que" but the correct answer was cual. When I checked with native speakers from this forum they said that they would also have used Que. So now I'm not exactly sure which would be the correct form(even though both of my teachers taught us to use Que). Assuming that Que would be the correct way to say it, the rule is that if the next word is a noun then que should be used. So in your example, sintomas is a noun thus requiring Que instead of cual. Otherwise whenever there is more than one choice Cual/es should be employed.
    "¿Cuál museo prefieres"? sounds awkward.

    - ¿Qué museo prefieres? or ¿Cuál de estos museos prefieres?
     

    Jhorer Brishti

    Senior Member
    United States/Bangladesh English/Bengali
    Yet another person who agrees with me.;). Does anyone know whether there are any ways to complain to the College Board that some of their questions are worded ambiguously and more importantly the makers of the tests are making mistakes in their answers! Why don't they employ native spanish speakers to write these tests especially since I see no large dearth of them here in the US!
     

    diegodbs

    Senior Member
    Spain-Spanish
    Jhorer Brishti said:
    Yet another person who agrees with me.;). Does anyone know whether there are any ways to complain to the College Board that some of their questions are worded ambiguously and more importantly the makers of the tests are making mistakes in their answers! Why don't they employ native spanish speakers to write these tests especially since I see no large dearth of them here in the US!
    Según la RAE:
    que.
    3. pron. interrog. Agrupado o no con un nombre sustantivo, inquiere o pondera la naturaleza, cantidad, intensidad, etc., de algo_ORTOGR. Escr. con acento . ¿Qué castillos son aquellos? ¿Qué buscan? No sé qué decir

    cual.
    5. pron. interrog. U. como sustantivo y menos veces, con el valor de qué, como adjetivo_ORTOGR. Escr. con acento . ¿A cuál de ellos prefieres?


    Lo normal es utiilizar "qué".

    - ¿qué niño ha hecho eso?
    - ¿qué museo vas a visitar hoy?
    - ¿qué libro has leido hoy?

    Se utiliza "cuál" en estos casos:

    - ¿cuál de estos niños ha hecho eso?
    - ¿cuál es el museo que vas a visitar hoy?
    - ¿cuál es el libro que has leido hoy?


    A.- Esta mañana he visitado un museo.
    B.- ¿qué museo? / ¿cuál?
     

    Maitote

    New Member
    Spanish, Spain
    Herenia said:
    "Es por este camino que se va al cementerio"
    correcto: "es por este camino por donde se va al cementerio"
    aburrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Pues yo creo que "Es por este camino que se va al cementerio" también podría ser correcto dependiendo del contexto, porque se podría decir : "Es por este camino por el que se va al cementerio" De modo que la elisión de "por el" sería un modismo. Creo yo.ciaito!!
     
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