https://www.duolingo.com/Shaphee

Lequel vs quel

On thoughtco.com I found this sentence

De tous vos matches, quel fut le plus difficile ? > Of all the matches you've played, which (one) was the most difficult / which was the most difficult one ?

Why isn't lequel used here? Usually, "which one" is translated as lequel. What's the rule? Is it because of passé simple here, or is it the register or...?

November 13, 2017

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Simon104416

it should be lequel indeed - a native french speaker

November 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SmashCookie

I'm not native in either language but I think:

"Quel(s)/Quelle(s) = What (m. and f.)"

Used when you ask for an answer that is in a broad group of possible answers that can be undefined:

"Quelle est ta voiture préféré ? - C'est l'Audi"

"Lequel/Laquelle/Lesquels/Lesquelles = Which (m. and f.)/ Which ones (m. and f.)

Used when you have a defined set of answers:

"Laquelle de ces trois voitures es le tienne ? - Celui à gauche"

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaphee

To my knowledge, quelle/quel can definitely be translated as 'which'. Because, even if you implicitly know you are talking about a group of, say, three cars and you're asking about one of those three, you won't say "laquelle voiture a-t-elle", you'd say either "quelle voiture a-t-elle" or "laquelle a-t-elle".

Here is a thoughtco article on this topic, the one from which I took the sentence in the original post: https://www.thoughtco.com/french-interrogative-adjectives-1368795

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gc49k

Interesting...I used to go to place called Quel Fromage. Does that translate to "what cheese" or "which cheese" or something else?

November 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaphee

I would say that it can be both depending on context. You wouldn't use "lequel" here, just like you wouldn't say "which one cheese". It's either "one" or "cheese".

But I'm only a learner so I might be wrong.

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SmashCookie

Yeah, it depends wheter it's asking about a countable smaller amount of options of cheesse (in which case you use "which") or it's asking about any cheesse from a broader spectrum of cheesses (in which case you use "what"). In French is asking "Quel" and not "Lesquels" so I think the former would be the case.

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gc49k

Interesting...the cafe had a modest selection of cheeses at one point. I guess "which" does sound right. But then cheese selection discontinued, so "what" unintentionally applied - that's pretty funny!

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nattheweirdo

in the english sentence you could say 'which' (quel) or 'which one' (lequel), which is basically what has happened here and it is one of the few circumstances where they are both equally correct

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shaphee

if you're referring to the two translations of this sentence I provided, they both contain "which one", only that in the second variation "one" is on the end of the sentence.

November 15, 2017
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