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  5. "¿Qué es esa cosa?"

"¿Qué es esa cosa?"

Translation:What is that thing?

June 9, 2018

39 Comments


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

It sounds too colloquial or translated. "¿Qué es eso?" is the common way.

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel996280

In English too it's more common to hear "What's that?"

"What is that thing?" implies a strong emotional reaction like shock or revulsion to something unexpected and unfamiliar

June 9, 2018

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

"What is that thing?" implies a strong emotional reaction like shock or revulsion to something unexpected and unfamiliar

The same applies to the Spanish one.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevNull.PT

Agreed... an alternative for this could be "¡Que asco! ¿Qué es eso?"

February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

Yes, I think this may be one of Duo's little "wake ups." When I hear "Que es esa cosa? (sorry, no Spanish keyboard), I picture something green and slimy with sharp teeth. I will now remember that "cosa" requires "esa," while the usual expression is "¿Que es eso?"

October 16, 2018

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

This sentence made me think of the movie "Princess Bride" and why Humperdink's ears shouldn't be removed.

November 21, 2018

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

¡Aiee! Es un monstruo!

July 11, 2019

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

That's what she s.... No. I'm not doing this here.

October 12, 2018

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

gordonjackson & DevNull.PT You are both right - HA! But when I first took a 30-day course in Spanish, the TEACHER didn't speak really fast!

Trying to learn another language & taking this course have both given me a much better understanding & sympathy for those learning English. I try to enunciate words better, not use too much slang & keep verb tenses simple, to be nice & helpful.

One must walk before one can run.

July 11, 2019

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

skepticalways @ gordonjackson1 (edit) - sorry, I forgot the "1" on your name. My comment refers to what you said further down the thread.

July 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kat784339

When said, it sounds like que and es are almost merged into one word. Am I hearing it wrong or is that how it is?

May 26, 2019

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

The final sound of qué and the initial sound of es are the same, so of course they merge.

May 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevNull.PT

It may be common to hear it like that (almost merged/joined sounds) from natives.

May 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nb.batman

Why not cuál es esa cosa?

August 23, 2018

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

With "¿Qué es...?" you ask for a definition, which is what you want in this particular case. :)

November 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1rjU9yOO

But you're not asking for a definition here. Presumably the speaker already knows what the words "esa cosa" mean. He wants to identify the object he is looking at, not to define those words. From my understanding of the difference, I think "¿Cuál es" seems more appropriate here than "¿Qué es". But I'm not a native speaker.

See example question phrases 1 and 2: https://www.realfastspanish.com/vocabulary/que-vs-cual

April 6, 2019

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

You don't want to know the meaning of the words, no. Instead, you're asking for a definition for "that thing". "What is its nature?", not "What does is mean?"

I know it's a bit counterintuitive to the usual use of qué and cúal, but that's how it's commonly used. In an "Explain to me what that is" kind of fashion.

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevNull.PT

This sentence is said exactly like it is translated in English, that is:

  • it is used to ask what something unknown is (in this sense, "that unknown thing"); or
  • to express repulsion ("asco" in Spanish) towards something. In this later sense, it is irrelevant if "the thing" is known to the speaker or not.
April 6, 2019

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

"Cuál" is used for a countable number and something that is known, and "qué" is used for something that is unknown when the question is asked.

I also learned that I learned that "cuál" is used when one is choosing from a limited set of items that is already known, while "qué" is used when the questioner has no idea of what the answer could be.

September 11, 2018

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

I think Qué=what, cuál=which

February 26, 2019

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

You can't exactly map qué and cuál to "which" and "what". The translation of these question words depends a lot on the structure of the sentence:

  • ¿Qué es la amistad? - What is friendship?
  • ¿Qué libro leíste? - Which book did you read?
  • ¿Qué tan lejos está la estación? - How far away is the station?
  • ¿Cuál es tu canción favorita? - What is your favourite song?
  • ¿Cuál quieres? - Which one do you want?

Here is a good article about these.

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

You are a rascal, Ryagon--I just used up all my Spanish study time reading that article and thinking up examples! But, it's helpful . . . and saved. Thanks!!

February 27, 2019

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

Thank you!

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronJacob307

Jarl Ulfric, what is that thing? Could the legends be true?

October 9, 2018

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

Idk you tell me

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gordonjackson1

At normal speed that girl is way too fast for a learner. Give us a break DL!!! Even knowing what she is saying, I would never get it.

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevNull.PT

Native Spanish speakers can speak even faster...

May 5, 2019

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

How are you going to learn to speak like a native speaker if you can't learn to listen like a native speaker?

September 2, 2019

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

una araña

November 6, 2018

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

It's a wookiee, sir.

December 15, 2018

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

What is the difference between that and this in Spanish?

February 5, 2019

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

This - este, esta, esto
That - ese, esa, eso

"This" and "these" have t's.

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MirandaRai10

What would, "What is this thing?" be?

September 26, 2019

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

"¿Qué es esta cosa?"

September 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolMathi5

I have been writing and saying that. It tells me it is wrong.

March 12, 2019

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

"¿Qué es esa cosa?"
"¡Guárdalo!"

September 1, 2019

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

In English we usually ask what is that?

September 24, 2019

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

In Spanish you'd also normally ask "¿Qué es eso?" But here we're talking about a very specific thing.

September 24, 2019
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