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  5. "Lequel est ton chapeau ?"

"Lequel est ton chapeau ?"

Translation:Which one is your hat?

March 24, 2013

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/i_am_an_owl

Would "Which hat is yours" work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R.White

Duo doesn't accept, although sounds correct to me (English is not my native language)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

More common response Simple message


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnzoVan

Why "lequel" and not "quel"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"lequel" implies there is a choice among several hats.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renn_Xu

I encountered "quel" in the sentence translating to "which horse is black?", which seems similar to this sentence. So when should "lequel" or "quel" used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso

Actually, you could meet both sentences meaning quite the same thing:

  • "Lequel est ton chapeau?": more common, popular, it implies more the idea of "which one among those hats (we're seeing/talking about, etc.)"

  • "Quel est ton chapeau?": a bit more formal, and more vague also. With this example, I can imagine that being asked at a cloakroom, there are plenty of hats and the guy lost his number or whatever.

It is clearer with another example: "What's your favourite animal?" or "Which is your favourite animal":

  • "Quel est ton animal préféré?": your favourite animal among all the existing (or extinct) animals in the universe, i.e. "What is...?"

  • "Lequel est ton animal préféré?": which one among those (here / we're looking at / we're talking about / etc.), i.e. "Which is...?"

So, non, it's not simply a question of "quel + noun" and "lequel" standing alone. Yes indeed, "lequel" will always be alone (or "lequel de ces animaux...", "which of those animals..."), but "quel" is not automatically seen just next to the respective noun, cf "Quel est ton animal préféré?", "Quelle est votre adresse", "Quel est le chemin le plus court?", etc.

Hope it helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"quel" is an adjective which needs a noun: quel cheval ?

"lequel" is a pronoun, used as a noun: lequel est ton cheval ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso

Because even in English, that means something else:

  • "Is that your hat?" = you're showing one specific hat and you're asking IF that's mine

  • "Which is your hat?" = you have two or more hats in front of you and you're asking WHICH ONE is mine.

In French, those two different questions give respectively:

  • "Est-ce ton chapeau?" (quite formal). More informal: "Est-ce que c'est ton chapeau" or "C'est ton chapeau?". All 3 forms have exactly the same meaning.

  • "Lequel est ton chapeau?"

Basically, "quel" or "lequel" ask about "what (exactly)", "which", "which one", etc. Whereas a question like "Is that...?" (simple inversion) asks "whether or not" - that would be an inversion in French too (or "Est-ce que...?", or just a clear intonation showing it's a question).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iyyume

hey sitesurf, why is "is that yuor hat" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iyyume

Hokay... I get it now. =D Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jade834220

Looks like lequel translates to 'which one' and quel translates to 'which'. So, lequel est ton chapeau = which one is your cap. Quel est ton chapeau = which is your cap.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sydney_adelle

why lequel instead of lesquelle?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso
  • "ton chapeau": "ton" is singular for "your"; "chapeau" is the singular form of "hat". "Chapeau" is a masculine noun in French (UN chapeau, LE chapeau), hence "ton" and not "ta".

  • plural "hats" would be "chapeaux", which differs only in writing and indeed sounds exactly the same as the singular form. Yet, with the rest of the question having "est" and "ton" (singular forms of "to be" and "your"), it can only be about "chapeau" in the singular.

  • therefore, the question word at the beginning of the question ("Which...?") MUST be singular AND masculine, in agreement with the main subject of the sentence, i.e. "ton chapeau". That's a basic grammatical rule in French: articles, pronouns, adjectives, roughly every word grammatically related to a noun, change their form according to the gender and number of the noun they relate to.

  • so, here: "lequel" = singular masculine form for the equivalent of "Which one" in English. While "lesquelle", as you wrote it, doesn't even exist. If not "lequel", It can only be either "lesquels" (masc. plural), "laquelle" (feminine singular) or "lesquelles" (feminine plural), so "lesquelle" is nonsensical since it has the mark of plural at the start ("les-") but no at the end ("-quelle").

But again here, with the rest of the sentence, you should deduct that it is "lequel".

  • so even though "quel", "quels", "quelle" and "quelles" all sound the same, and even if you can't hear the difference yet between the "le" and "les" sounds, however you should know those differences and their reasons why - grammatically and so when you write.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrJohnHouse

Okay, this is really bizarre. French must've changed in the 30 years that I had to speak/write it, or maybe somewhere I just wasn't taught this whole "laquelle" and "lequel" thing. Seriously, this is messing me badly on these test-outs. We were always taught "que", "quel", and "qui" and the various. And I don't recall (from my time living in France, but that was long, long ago) any "laquelle"s or "lequel"s. Am I just...going senile or something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles are interrogative or relative pronouns.

They generally correspond to "which one, which ones" or "which/what" depending on the construction of the sentence:

  • among these hats, which one is yours? = parmi ces chapeaux, lequel est le tien / lequel est à toi ?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrJohnHouse

Why...did people downvote me on that. That's not nice--I was just saying that I'd never encountered it, even when I was living in the south of France. But thanks for explaining it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/djangothedog

I translated as 'which hat is yours?' This is exactly the same as the stated correct translation 'which one is your hat?' Both imply there are multiple hats (not necessarily just two) and that the real question is about 'your' ownership of one of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Please back translate your sentences to check if you get back to the original sentence exactly.

"Which hat is yours?" = Quel chapeau est à toi ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/none4

Don't you think "Which hat is yours?" should be accepted as well? It sounds 'even more appropriate' in English in my opinion. In this particular case these 'rules' do not make much sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mylenthes

Wouldnt "lequel est ton chapeau" and "lequel est un chapeau" sound the same? I put the second


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

nasal sounds "un" and "on" are different. you should try to listen to them on Google/Translate as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyIs2Kool

Would "which one is your hat?" also work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes it would work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AarushiVerma

ton and votre both are your ,how come


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tashi-vani

I accidentally thought chapeau was chateau, as in castle, so i thought it was "which one is your castle?" Which is pretty ridiculous, not sure how I thought that was right!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

It is not that ridiculous, since in France there are over 7,000 châteaux belonging to private individuals.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DubordTristan

Isn't it chapeaux whit an x because their is more than one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buttsbutts1

"Which one is your hat" should be marked correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Libellule808

Wow, I heard "lequel est un chapeau."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nayefahmad

Why not "Lequel es ton chapeau?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"es" is the conjugation for 2nd person singular (tu) and you need 3rd person singular: est


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyJennett

lequel vs.laquelle vs. lequelle!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf
  • lequel is masculine singular

  • laquelle is feminine singular

  • lesquels is masculine plural

  • lesquelles is feminine plural

lequelle does not exist.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laurefindil

What about "laquel"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Please watch the pattern again:

  • lequel = le + quel - masculine singular
  • laquelle = la + quelle - feminine singular
  • lesquels = les + quels - masculine plural
  • lesquelles = les + quelles - feminine plural

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laurefindil

Ok, just wondering. ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rabeeee

Why "which" and not "what"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso

First, French does not have that distinction between "what" and "which".

As for English, simply put, you ask "what [something]" when the choice, the possibilities of answers are very wide:

  • What is your favourite animal [among all the animals on Earth] ? = Quel est ton animal préféré [parmi tous les animaux de la Terre] ?

  • Of all animals, what is your favourite ? = De tous les animaux, lequel est ton préféré ?

BUT, if you talk about specific animals (whether in a limited context or a certain category), then you should ask "which":

  • Which kitten is your favourite (out of the kittens you have at home) ? = Quel chaton est ton préféré / Quel est ton chaton préféré (parmi les chatons que tu as à la maison) ?

  • Your kittens are so cute, which [one] is your favourite ? = Tes chatons sont si mignons, lequel est ton préféré ?

As you can see, there is no difference in French (each time, we used "quel" or "lequel") whereas English uses "what" for general questions and "which" for specific, limited choices.

Take the famous "What's your number ?" or "What's your name ?" (Quel est ton numéro / ton nom ?): there is an ocean of possibilities and probabilities which to answer from.

So here, in this exercise, asking "What hat is yours?" would sound weird, because it would be like wanting to know what hat is potentially mine out of all the hats in the world (does not make much sense...). The context here could be, for instance, a cloakroom and the attendant asks the visitor which hat is theirs among the hats in the room... Limited choice, then "which".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"quel" and "lequel" actually differentiate "what" and "which" in many cases if not all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King2E4

Google "what vs which". You should get a lot of information. I'm a native English speaker, but even I don't know how to explain the difference. Although they are similar and can sometimes be used interchangeably, there are some situations wherein using one and not the other will sound strange and bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardsun16

I got this sentence as a translation, and I was wondering why Lequel chapeau est ton? doesn't work. Is it because the possessive "ton" always has to precede the thing being owned? Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso
  1. "Lequel" is a pronoun, not an adjective : it must be used alone, not with the noun it refers to. Otherwise, you use "quel" : "Quel chapeau ... ?". e.g. "Quel chapeau choisir ?" = "Which hat to choose ?". If we know what we're talking about (hats) and we just want to imply the noun, we then say "Lequel choisir ?" = "Which one to choose ?"

  2. "Ton" is a possessive determiner ; determiners act like adjectives, i.e. they are used with the noun they refer to. If you want to imply the noun, you must use the equivalent pronoun; with "ton" (your), it is "le tien" (yours). E.g. "Mon chapeau est bleu, le tien est rouge" = "My hat is blue, yours is red" (if you swap persons, it gives "Ton chapeau est rouge, le mien est bleu").

  3. So your sentence should be either the given translation in the exercise, or "Quel chapeau est le tien ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tormuto

I think "which on is your hat" should also be correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"which one is your hat?" is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willpac828

It's similar to the spanish difference of the interrogatives "qué + noun" and "cuál" if that helps anyone. Por ejemplo, "Qué color prefieres?" vs. "Cuál es tu color favorito?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neunuebel

My translator says this." qui est ta casquette ?" This is quite different from "Lequel est ton chapeau?" Pourquoi?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElGusso

What or who is your translator ?!?

This makes no sense: "Qui est ta casquette ?" = "WHO is your hat / cap ?".

"Quel est ton chapeau" or "Quelle est ta casquette ?" could be options. Read above for the nuances.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/myshastack

i just forgot a question mark and i got it wrong!!!! all the other times it does not do it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The absence of a question mark is not subject to rejection of a full sentence.

Please give the whole sentence you proposed so that we can tell you what was wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yahuwa

how do i define the different yours, like ton and votre


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Possessives match their relating personal pronoun.

If you talk to a friend or family member, you use "tu + ton, ta, tes"

If you talk to one person you don't know well or to 2 or more individuals, you use "vous + votre, vos"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yahuwa

oh, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freewams

why ''which'' insted of ''what''?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Because "lequel/which" suggests that there is a narrow choice of hats to pick from.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sam119475

it does not work my anwser shoudl be accespted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John27805

The more idiomatic English translation is: "Which hat is yours?", yet that is flagged incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ivan955926

Why is it not correct to say which hat is yours?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"Which hat is yours?" = Quel chapeau est à toi ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveWebb18

So, "Which hat is yours?" is incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msjocelyn

Hmm. My response of "Which hat is yours?" was not accepted, and I'm still (after reading the discussions) not sure why I was wrong. The word "which" indicates a choice of more than one hat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In this lesson, you are learning interrogative pronouns.

"Lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles" are the interrogative pronouns used in the French sentences, and you have to translate them to pronouns, not to adjectives.

Which hat is yours? back translates to "quel chapeau est à toi ?", with "which/quel" modifying "hat/chapeau", as adjectives.

"Lequel est ton chapeau ?" should therefore best translate to "which one is your hat?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sir_2

I'm sorry but this (very rare) time I can't agree with you. This lesson or other - the correct translation Which hat is yours should be accepted. Because of fact of his correctness and there is no difference of meaning between ton and à toi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Not only are you learning interrogative pronouns ("lequel" vs the adjective "quel"), but you are learning the difference in meaning between them.

Which one and which are not interchangeable either, and "lequel/which one" imply a narrower universe of choice (2 to 3 hats) than "quel/which" (more than 3 hats).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sir_2

I believe you, but I think it's a bit too high for most of us :) In this very simple situation we only want to use a correct sentence, that's all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam520742

Why use " Ton " here- " Lequel est ton chapeau " ? Why not " Votre " ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PrincePeccary

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