"Lequel a un chapeau ?"

Translation:Which one has a hat?

January 6, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand why "who has a hat" is wrong here. Because among the definitions of the Lequel there is "who".


sometimes their system of "we want you to translate precisely" doesn't match with the objective "we want you to translate correctly and beautifully"


lequel, lequels, laquelle, lequelles mean which one/ones.... it doesn't mean "who"... qui means who... :)


So the phrase in french started off wrong, it should be "qui a un chapeau?"


actually the meaning here is, which one (among you, for example) of you has a hat... coz lequel is which one.. here, it refers to maybe a group of people to whom the question was asked.... sometimes, we have to think a bit out of box to understand... if u do word to word translation from english to french or vice versa, you won't understand.... even i struggled with it at first... :-)


Just pretend that there are dogs wearing costumes or pretend that it is a reference to a group of men/women and no names are known.


Actually I do not think it is wrong... it is just a very flawed section in Duo... but this is just my opinion I am not really competent to say this...


What does the sentence mean by the way?!


''WHO has a hat'' is the best translation for this sentence and ''which has a hat'' (also offered as correct?!) is definitely wrong. You can also say ''which one'', but not just ''which''. But ''who'' is the best English speaking solution. Duolingo should change this.


I disagree. If I wanted to say "who has a hat", I'd say, "Qui a un chapeau ?"

[I deleted the part of my original comment where I wrote, "What's more, 'lequel' only works for inanimate objects, not for people"]

The reason I deleted that is because this might only be true for relative pronouns, but not for interrogative pronouns.


First time I've heard that about "lequel", thanks.


Regarding "lequel/laquelle", I think that you are wrong here. It was used before for "enfant, fille, .." and it was never said that it should be used only for inanimate objects. This is interrogative or relative pronoun which can also be used for human beings and for animals, as well as for things - it can be used instead of all nouns. In the following link, I don't see any reference to your claims: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/lequel.htm


I've updated my response, but my point still stands on how I would ask "Who has a hat?"

What's funny is I think I used that link you provided to aid me in my initial response:

" 2) Relative pronoun: Lequel replaces an inanimate object of a preposition. (If the object of the preposition is a person, use qui.) "

That said, I am beginning to think it's okay to use it as an interrogative pronoun when referring to a person. Like for instance, "Lequel enfant aimes-tu le mieux" --> "Which child do you like the most?"

Thank you.


I agree with you that "qui a un chapeau"/"qui est-ce qui a un chapeau" would be best for "who has a hat", and I didn't question that - you are completely right here, in my opinion.

As you have quoted yourself (regarding "lequel"), this is only mentioned when it is used as a relative pronoun, but I haven't seen any reference for the interrogative pronoun, which is (obviously) the one used here, in this sentence.

I had suspected that maybe you had some other source in mind, which contradicts about.com. Anyway, it seems to me now that we agree on that one too.

  • Lequel a un chapeau ?

The key is that lequel is an interrogative pronoun that replaces quel plus a noun. In this case, we don't know which (masculine) noun is replaced. (I think it's safe to assume a human, since mostly only humans wear hats.)

The quel part is asking the respondent to make a choice from a limited class -- like "which". Lequel is not like qui, which can refer to a choice from an unlimited class -- like "who" in English.

So the two pronouns would be like this:

  • "Qui (out of all the male humans in the entire world) a un chapeau ?" Unlimited choice.

  • "Lequel (out of the several males we're choosing from) a un chapeau ? Limited choice.

Another example: My mother is showing me a photograph of my five uncles. One uncle is wearing a hat, four are bare headed. It would be wrong to ask "Qui a un chapeau ?" The proper question is "Lequel a un chaoeau ?" because the choice is from a limited class.

This rule exists in English, but we're not very strict about it. In French however, the rule is strictly applied, according to thoughtco.com.


But "Who has a hat?" has a different meaning from "Which one?". The answer to the first might be nobody has a hat the second indicates that somebody does have a hat and you have to identify them. Semantics! Semantics!


lequel simply means which one, we do not know that a person is involved; it could be a mannequin, or yes a fence post, somebody or something has a hat - therefore who is not really correct


Can someone please explain to me the difference between the words "quelle", "laquelle", "lequel", and "lesquelles"? Don't all of those words mean "which"? In what context would one use each word?

  • quel (m) and quelle (f) mean "which". It is an adjective and will be used before a noun. Ex: Quel chien ? = Which dog? Quelle robe ? = Which dress?

  • lequel (m) and laquelle (f) mean "which one". It is a pronoun (i.e., used as if it was a noun). Lequel a un chapeau ? = Which one has a hat? Laquelle est la bonne ? = Which one is the good one?

  • "lesquels" is the plural of the masculine (lequel). It translates to "which ones?"

  • "lesquelles" is the plural of the feminine (laquelle). It also translates to "which ones?"

Want to know more? http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/lequel.htm


Very helpful, thank you George


Thank you. I think that clears a lot of confusion. "which" in English never is a noun. that is why it needs the which "one" to make it more understandable.... so i think it would be better or more explanatory to say in the translation... which one of you....


a "thing" = which does not have a hat !!!! The correct translation must he "who has a hat"


Please read the other comments above.

[deactivated user]

    I heard the fast voice say "Lequel est un chapeau," in which case the translation would be "Which one is a hat?" Correct?


    * This time, sounding exactly the same, it wants 'lequel' 4th time in a row been asked this question. Which ever I Reply (Laquelle or Lequel) it wants the other one. Yet sounds the same each time!!!@@###*


    I have been asked this question 4 times in a row.. Whichever I write ,Laquelle or Lequel, it wants the other one!! Sounds the same each time. So I can't get past this question! Help!!


    These are pronouns, meaning they replace nouns. If the noun being replaced is masculine, lequel is used. If the noun being replaced is feminine, laquelle is used.

    If your difficulty involves hearing the difference... There is a difference which can be heard between lequel and laquelle. If you're not hearing the difference, it's because you're a beginner and your ear is not trained. You must practise listening A LOT in order to hear the difference. If you don't practise A LOT, I'm afraid you'll never get this.


    which one of you has a hat should be accepted I think it is better English


    Which has a hat is definitely wrong!!!!! but acceptable to Duo.with the moderatrs help I do understand the French version better, but I think this section of the course with lequel is still very confusing for many.... and i believe it is the English translation that confuses so many ( it had confused me until I read the moderator's helping comment.)

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