Translation:The people want explanations for what happened.
I'm not a native speaker but I believe I saw a comment from a native speaker who explained it as follows:
"lo que pasó" (note que has no accent so it would here mean "that") means something like "that which happened" which basically means "what happened"
This would be the same in meaning as "qué pasó" (note qué has an accent here so it would mean "what"). So this would mean "what happened."
"que paso" (note que has no accent so it here means "that") means "that happened" which is not the meaning you're going for here.
So I believe that 1 and 2 would be correct here while 3 would have a different meaning. However, since 2 and 3 are identical in pronunciation, people tend to pick 1 over 2 when going for that meaning.
Again, this is pretty much exactly paraphrased from a different user's great explanation so if anyone knows who the source of this is please point it out. Hope this helps!
According to my Spanish grammar reference, "lo" is also a neuter article. When used as such, it refers to abstract ideas. It seems it's best to remember "lo que" as simply an expression that's used in Spanish. It's equivalent to "that which", "which", "what", or "as far as".
An example in the reference is "Lo que importa es llegar a tiempo" ("What is important is to arrive on time")
I'm guessing "qué pasó" isn't used here because "qué" is used in questions only.
Wow, great explanation! Thank you both, you and the native speaker you paraphrased from!
DL only gave one explanation for paso, and that was "passed." They marked it wrong!
i replied " the people want explanations for the thing that happened" is it right in english? btw, DL checked it incorrect
I'll take a stab at it. It is close to the same meaning, but not a direct translation. I put 'for what has happened', and it was marked wrong, that would be 'ha pasado', or 'ha sucedido.' 'Lo que' generally means 'what', referring to a noun. Your translation inserts 'la cosa que', which is not in the original Spanish sentence. Your sentence is correct English, but probably not used very often. We would simply say, 'for what happened.'
I saw "lo" and thought it would be, "The people want explanations for what happened to him." Why doesn't the "lo" refer to "him" or "it" in this sentence?
It actually does refer to an "it" in the sentence. It's not how we would say it in English, but a direct translation could be "The people want explanations for it that happened". The "it" is what happened.
Since "la gente" is in singular form, I wrote "The people wants explanations for what happened", but it was deemed incorrect. I read "the people" as a singular noun, as you can do both in English. Why is it incorrect? Do you say something other than "la gente" when you're talking about a united group of people?
It sounds so odd in English. :´)
"La gente" is what you usually call "the people" in English, a bunch o' humans. If you want to have the singular "people", like a tribal nation, you can use pueblo for that.
Hm. I did read this in the key of political rheoric ('The Italian people wants explanations for why that bridge fell down'), and although not exactly a 'tribal nation' I instinctively put it in the singular in that context. I don't think it should be marked wrong.
Que or qué only has an accent if it is used in a question. Without an accent it can mean either "what","that" or "than" depending on context, but always means "what" if it has an accent.
but it doesn't here, that was my question. Que without an accent here means "what"
Qué has an accent if it is used as a question word. In this case, it means what, but is not being used to ask a question, but as a pronoun. That is why it doesn't have an accent here.