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"What document did he present?"

Translation:¿Qué documento presentó él?

January 13, 2013



I thought that this kind of "what" was "cual" instead of "que" when you are talking about specific items ( the document) as opposed to non specific ( ie que quieres?)....?? I know "cual" also means "which" and this is how I "used" to know when to use it i.e you can say "which" document but you don't normally say "which" do you want..


This may help explain it. From a native speaker who also teaches Spanish: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/279614/qu-o-cul-uf-qu-dolor-de-cabeza


This article explained it really simply! Basically, since "what" was followed by a noun (documents) you would use que.


Interestingly enough this article provides almost the same information as the other except it does say that it is not necessarily wrong to use cuál in front of a noun and you will see it sometimes. http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/que_vs_cual.htm

Of course without more information or examples that leaves me no where. I found a similar issue in a discussion here about indirect object pronouns. A native speaker said that the indirect object pronoun is not NECESSARILY required if the indirect object is named. That was in direct conflict with what I had learned, but when I researched it I found conflicting answers. I always wonder when I see these discrepancies if it is a regional thing or if it is a result of changing grammar rules. Certainly English grammar rules are changing.


I know that the difference between using que and cual, in formal Spanish is this... Cual should be used for anything that is quantifiable, even if the possibilities are seemingly endless. Like when asking for the password for the WiFi, you would say cuál es la clave instead of qué. Qué is used for things that are not quantifiable. Like what are you doing, qué haces.


Then why is it "que" in this case? Documents are quantifiable


so this be "cual" not "que" ... correct?


Yes, but I think I rather say that "cuál" is used for a choice among many things, as you state, such as asking "Cuál es tu carro?" in a parking lot full of cars. It seems to be the difference in English when asking "Which is your car?" not "What is your car?" when the speaker surely knows what a car is. Have a lingot.


So which do we use here? Is it "Cual"?


In English, it's more correct to say "which" as well. Can a fluent Spanish speaker attest to this?


I think the 'what' implies the type of document, i.e 'what type of document did he present?'.


Generally same.

Cuál....which document: Knowledge that there is more than one document to use.

Qué....what document: No knowledge of any documents to use.


Why is the personal "a" not used here? Qué documento presentó a él?


The personal a sets up the following word as the direct object. Your sentence means " What document did he/she present to him?" In your sentence, "a él" means "to him."


To clarify: "él" in this case is the subject of the sentence, not an object. The only reason there is confusion is because the pronoun is placed at the end of the sentence rather than the beginning (which is usual with questions).


It is refering to it in third person, hope this helps :)


Why is "¿Qué documento él presentó?" not correct?


The correct word order in Spanish would look something like, "What document presented he?"

It is just something you have to get used to.


My first translation was '¿Qué documento presentó?' without a pronoun. It is not needed since the verb is in third person, and in common speaking if you know who are you speaking about, the pronoun is omited. Your sentence has a strange order. It is not fully wrong, but it sounds like yoda speaking.

  • 1853

I understand the comments here, but nevertheless, it's accepted now, October 2014.


Could you say "El presento que documento?


It's generally accepted is it not that the interrogative sentence will begin with interrogative and that the verb will proceed the subject?


Why not "que documento hizo el presento"?


The did in English questions is not translated. This is the way we form questions in English. You will notice that in questions like What did he do. There is no double use of the verb to do here, the did is just used to form the question. In Spanish that would be Qué hizo él. We don't reverse the subject and verb in questions, we use the "do".


The dictionary hints under 'did' said [pasado de] hacer. I put hacer in my answer and it didn't include it at all!!!


Carolyn, you probably know this by now. But for others who may have the same question, DL's drop-down dictionary showed "pasado de hacer (past of 'do')" because that would have been so if the English "did" were the main verb. But in our sentence here "did" is not the main verb but rather it's there because that's just how we form question sentences in English; it doesn't need to be translated for the Spanish (because the Spanish doesn't use an extra verb to form a question as English does). The (main) verb we need to translate to form the equivalent Spanish sentence is "present" in its past form for "Él" (which is "presentó).


Why use "que" here instead of "cual?" Would either be correct?


why isn't it "lo presento'" ? "What document did he present him?"


how come "él lo presentó que document?" is not accepted?


Can you say presento qué documento?


Why isn't Cual used instead of que? I did not see a reply toa similar questions beow


Regarding "Qué" vs. "Cual", this excellent explanation from a native speaker may help settle the debate:



Why not "Que documento el presento?" or "El presento que documento?" - Why does the "el" come right at the end?


In many languages including Spanish one of the standard ways of forming a question is to reverse the subject and the verb. English has this as well, like Are you tired? Will she go? or Have they eaten. But in English most questions use auxiliary verbs, and in the absence of one in the declaratory sentence that is required, a form of do is used. The verb to be is always reversed, and to have can be, although Has he time is less common than does he have time probably. Spanish does also allow for many questions to be presented as questions simply by vocal inflections. English has this as well of course, but perhaps not as frequently. But questions formed with interrogative pronouns will use the reversed subject verb model, except of course that subject may be a subject pronoun that can often be omitted. There are also other factors that can cause or at least allow the subject to follow the noun in Spanish. This is not the case on English.


Why can't I say "¿Qué documento presentaba él?"


I'm sure it's presente and not presentó


No. Présent tense would be presenta, but this is past tense so it uses the preterite form presentó


"Él presentó qué documento?" was marked wrong. Can someone please tell me why?


It was probably just because you switched the syntax. Duo likes you to only change the syntax on translation based on a standard difference in syntax. Though possible in Spanish, I don't think a native speaker would prefer your sentence. But part of it is simply the mechanics of allowing different syntaxes in the database. They can certainly do that, but it makes it a lot more complicated. That's why it is essentially reserved to cases where it is teaching something about Spanish, or at least how it differs from English.


i put "el presento que documento "-- why is this not acceptable?


Think of it like 'que' meaning 'define' or 'what' - for example, '¿qué es este libro?' (what book is this/define what boom this is)

However, think of cuál as which for example, '¿cuál es tu asignatura favorita?' - what is your favourite lesson. If you used qué in this situation it would be 'define: your favourite lesson '

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