"What is your favorite sport?"
Translation:¿Cuál es tu deporte preferido?
Meanwhile, the Spanish speaking learners are learning favorite/favorito. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/18715549/Cu%C3%A1l-es-tu-deporte-favorito
Cual means which and que means what. This is how it was explained to me: use cual in the case where there was the possibility to list the diverse choices: for names, sports, religion, etc. You could generate a list of possible choices, and you would say which in English too. Which show were you watching on TV?
There is only one choice when answering the question “What day is it?”. Today can only be one of the seven days. It can’t be any of the other six. For example, if someone asked me today “What day is it?” I can only answer “Thursday”. One answer. The other six days of the week aren’t even on the table. They’re all wrong answers.
When theres multiple things 2 and up that youre choosing between it is Cual. Like this time "what is your favorite sport " theres multiple options. Basketball, baseball, excetra and so in spanish they use cual for this type of question. Que is what, how or that. Por ejemplo: "qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre" what do you like to do in your free time [i think] is using que because its not choosing between or which.
I thought the same thing until I checked out the site that Hippoposthumous posted.
Duolingo is good but doesn't explain much. You really need outside sources to get the answer to your questions.
https://www.realfastspanish.com/vocabulary/que-vs-cual? has both an article and a video that offer a great detailed explanation but here are the rules in a nutshell:
If you're using the verb "to be" (ser), and are asking for a definition, use "¿Qué es…?" ("What is 'book'?” =¿ Qué es 'libro'?
Otherwise, use "¿Cuál es…? (What is the name of the book? = "¿Cuál es el nombre del libro?")
When used with the word "of" (de), You use ¿Cuál de…? (Which of these books do you prefer? = ¿Cuál de estos libros prefieres?)
If it's immediately followed by a noun, use "qué". ( Which book do you prefer? = ¿Qué libro prefiere?)
If it's followed by a conjugated verb and there isn’t a limited set of choices, use "Que". For example, asking, "What happened in the book?" = "¿Qué pasó en el libro?"
If it's followed by a conjugated verb and the choices are limited, use "Cual". "Which of these three books do you want?" = "¿Cuál de estos tres libros quieres?"
What is permanent? Can you think of anything that does not change?
There are numerous posts and discussions about ser and estar, and many discredit the rule about permanence. There is some validity to it but it is more complicated than that.
Check out http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-ser-and-estar/
Ser is used for "how someone spends his or her time".
Again look at these postings and you can see how inconsistent this is....iit is a wonderful system for learning but poorly administered. In many cases an english tranlation is given as correct when it is gramatically poor English and yey my good English is marked jncorrect...I never hear anyone say Tennis is so FUN...you wouldnt accept bas spanish grammar no matter who uses it...but sometimes it is right and other times wrong??