"What are the differences?"
Translation:¿Cuáles son las diferencias?
I was taught that "que" is used when asking a question with an open number of possibilities, and "cual" is for choices or or the expectation of a limited inventory of answers. What "que" is your favorite film? Which (Cual) of these three do you prefer?
In this case then, it seems ambigious which of the two to use. We aren't providing the the person being asked with a limited selection of answers so why cual? Also if it is that the selection of answers be the requirement for cual why would asking what someones favourite film is be que? Theres only a limited selection of films available for a person to choose from, albeit a very large selection.
I was debating between cual and que and chose que; your explanation makes sense to me.
The reasoning I've seen previously is that "Qué" would imply that you want a definition of differences. So the answer to the question would be, "differences are what things do not have in common." Where as "Cuál" or "Cuáles" is asking what specifically those differences are.
Of course each question word can be used for other purposes as well. "Cómo?" Is frequently used as a single word to ask someone "What did you say?"
eghost, yours is my preferred explanation for the difference between qué and cuál.
Also, in French, "comment" (how) is the usual way to ask someone "What did you say?". I wonder if that similarity comes from Latin. How about in Portuguese, Italian and Romanian?
In general, and I've seen rspreng mention this as well, use cual when the verb ser follows and use qué when estar follows.
I totally agree. Why not ¿Que and están. I 'am a beginner. This is very confusing.
From what I have found, 'Cuales' should here translate as 'which' and not as 'what'. 'What' is for a body of difference, whereas 'which' stands for a number (cuales) of differences or am I wrong?