I got this question in the section on adjectives/spelling. I didn't think "which/what" was an adjective, but does this mean that words such as как, что, etc. need to agree with the noun too?
For example, would you say чтяя кошка or чтый лев? (what cat? What lion?)
I think you've become confused here. It is much easier than that: words like что and как do not experience any agreement because they are not modifiers.
You can consider each question word as a replacement of a certain type word or a phrase. You will get such phrase as an answer to a question:
Что is a dummy noun (and so is кто). That's why it does not have to agree with the noun—it modifies no noun and could care less. When you use что in a question, you expect that a noun is the shortest answer (naturally, a question like "What's going on?" usually elicits a more elaborate answer):
- Что ты ешь? = What are you eating?
- О чём ты думаешь? = What are you thinking about?
Как is a dummy adverb, a way of performing an action; in Russian adverbs do not have any forms at all (apart from comparative degree for adverbs like "fast"):
- Как ты открыл дверь? = How did you open the door?
Какой is a dummy adjectival modifier. When you use it, you expect an adjective or a description as an answer:
- Какой свитер лучше? = Which(What) sweater is better?
Чей (whose) is a question word for possessive modifier:
- Чья это кошка? = Whose cat is it? (note the unchanging это)
Где replaces an adverb of place or a phrase describing a place:
- Где ты живёшь? = Where do you live?
Similarly, куда and откуда replace and adverb (a phrase) that means a direction TO some place or a direction FROM some place:
- Откуда вы? = Where are you from?
- Куда она переехала? = Where did she move to?
Зачем and почему describe a purpose / a cause (you can easily imagine what type of phrase they stand for).
So, какой can be also tranlated with "what kind" "which kind"? At least for the meaning to obtain as answer an adjective... In this specific question "Which kind of music do you have?".
Does Russian also use кторый as a question word meaning "which", as in кторую книгу хочешь?
It does but usually under a limited number of contexts. We do not have any sentences like that in the course. The most prominent is "Который час?" for asking the time.
Sometimes we use it to ask for the ordinal number, there are also instances of "Which one (exactly)?" , though Russian National Corpus has, maybe, five such sentences in the last 100 years.
- in the latter role, it is most useful when used as an unexpected reply, (e.g., "How is your boyfriend?" "Which one?")
The English course for Russian speakers uses который extensively to sifferentiate between "what" and "which". Truth be told, this is understandable by a native but not how people actually speak.
So I would use Какую книгу читаешь? for both "Which book are you reading?" and "What kind of book are you reading?" ?
Yes. You would pretty much only ask "Которую книгу ты читаешь?" if you don't know whether they are reading the 5th or, say, the 8th book of the series, and even then Какую is, probably, much more popular.
Can someone explain the usage of the different kak** endings? On this exercise I was given 4 different endings to choose from
It is an adjectival modifier that has the usual adjectival endings. Какой agrees with the noun it is attached to in gender, number, and case.
Большой, for instance, has the same endings (-ой is the Nominative masculine ending used in ending-stressed adjectives).
I was overthinking this as well. Thank you for your very helpful comments!
I have Dirty Dutch House, Melbourne Bounce, electro house, and party music.
About as correct as "You have what kind of music?" in English—certainly, more correct than "You of kind what have music?" yet generally not representative of typical ways of forming questions in English.
Does this sentence expect a singular reply, or could "What kinds of music do you have?" also be a reasonable translation?