"What had happened?"
Translation:Τι είχε γίνει;
In multiple choice I ticked "Ποιο είχε συμβεί;" as correct, as well "Τι είχε γίνει". Presumably this is wrong because ποιο can't be used in this way? But as the neuter form of ποιος it would appear to mean "what" - so what's the distinction?
Ποιος/ποια/ποιο are used for both 'who' and 'which one'. Τι is used to literally ask 'What is this?'
Ok I think I get that - so "what was the car you bought?", which could also be expressed as "which was the car ...", would it be correct to use ποιο for that?
I don't think the distinction between ποιος/τι works just as well with these car examples, because in both cases there is the implied context that both speakers know what they're talking about: someone bought a car and both people know what a car is. Consider the following:
"which was the car you bought?" - Ποιο ήταν το αυτοκίνητο που αγόρασες:
This basically means "Name the car model please", i.e. "which one", or something like "the red or the black one", depending on context. In both cases this is equivalent to the "which one of the (known) available options".
"what was the car you bought?" - Τι ήταν το αυτοκίνητο που αγόρασες:
it asks for any characteristic of the car: type (sedan, convertible etc.) , brand, model, color (again depending on context). In the context mentioned above, this works like 'which' in Greek, but only in this context. If the person asking does not know what a car is, your reply changes to 'a means of transport'.
Consider this, context removed:
Ποιο είναι το αυτοκίνητο; Which (one) is the car?
Τι είναι το αυτοκίνητο; - What is the car? This in Greek elicits the answer 'a means of transport'!
Ποιο είναι το βιβλίο της Χημείας; - Είναι αυτό με το κόκκινο εξώφυλλο. (Which is the Chemistry book? - It's the one with the red cover.)
Τι είναι το βιβλίο της Χημείας; This really sounds like literally asking "What is 'the Chemistry book'?" pointing to "It is this set of sheets with information on the science of matter." :)
There is a mismatch of use of what/τι between the two languages and I realise these examples may not be the best, but in general my previous comment should cover most, if not all, situations. Depending on context. ;)
That is a brilliant explanation and the examples are nothing short of genius.
Great explanation D_! I more or less understand the difference between the two on an intellectual level, but still struggle with which to use on a practical basis. Your comments have helped a lot though.