"Quale" or "Qual" in Italian. When to use which?

Dear Italian learners,

Could anyone explain to me the rules behind "Quale" and "Qual" in asking questions? Like, when should I use "Quale", and when should I use "Qual" instead? The instructions on the Duolingo mobile App don't seem very clear to me. Thank you very much! Molte grazie!

May 16, 2017


Quale (Italian for which) like it's English equivalent implies a choice There are only three forms to Quale (to agree in number, it is invariable in regards to gender) The three forms are:

Quale - Singular Quali - Plural Qual - used before è

Gli esempi (examples);

Quale piatto è il tuo? - (Which plate is yours?) Quali lezioni hai capito? - (Which lessons do you understand?) Qual è il libro più interessante da leggere? - (Which is the most interesting book to read?)


May 16, 2017

Wow... Duolingo didn't even talk about the plural form of "which" in Italian. Molte grazie! Have a Lingot on me! :)

May 16, 2017

Quale is used before singular words that begin either with a vowel or with a consonant:

quale uomo
quale cifra
quale epoca
quale sport
quale nuovo elemento

Quali is used before plural words that begin either with a vowel or with a consonant:

quali uomini
quali cifre
quali epoche
quali sport
quali nuovi elementi

Sometimes in poetry quale is replaced with qual (no apostrophe!), but this never happens in the spoken language, with one notable exception (an idiomatic expression):

Qual buon vento ti porta? = What lucky chance brings you here?

Qual is also used before singular inflections of the verb essere that begin with 'e', according to the following scheme:

  3rd person singular:
qual è

  singular persons:
qual ero
qual eri
qual era

...but before plural persons:
quali eravamo, alternative spelling: qual'eravamo (rare)
quali eravate, alternative spelling: qual'eravate (rare)
quali erano, alternative spelling: qual'erano.

May 16, 2017

Is the same meaning, just when the first letter of the next word is a vowel you need to use "Qual". Otherwise use "Quale".

May 16, 2017

I am asking the same question! Can someone help?

August 29, 2018
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