"La gente quiere explicaciones por lo que pasó."

Translation:The people want explanations for what happened.

July 18, 2014



Why do you need 'lo' when there is already another pronoun (que)

August 1, 2014


I'm not a native speaker but I believe I saw a comment from a native speaker who explained it as follows:

  1. "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"

  2. 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."

  3. "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!

August 6, 2014


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.

November 25, 2014


Wow, great explanation! Thank you both, you and the native speaker you paraphrased from!

August 7, 2014


Glad to help!

August 8, 2014


DL only gave one explanation for paso, and that was "passed." They marked it wrong!

April 24, 2016


Me to. I wrote "The people want explanations for what came to pass"

October 7, 2016



May 11, 2018


i replied " the people want explanations for the thing that happened" is it right in english? btw, DL checked it incorrect

April 30, 2016


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.'

June 25, 2016


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?

September 1, 2016


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.

September 1, 2016


Spot on y-ademas!

January 30, 2019


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?

December 2, 2016


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.

November 6, 2017


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.

September 7, 2018


Can we say "La gente" referring to "us"?. (common practice in portuguese)

January 12, 2017


No, not really.

November 6, 2017


why doesn't que have an accent?

February 28, 2017


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.

April 4, 2017


but it doesn't here, that was my question. Que without an accent here means "what"

April 26, 2017


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.

April 27, 2017


thanks so much

April 30, 2017


Why is there quiere instead of quieren, anyone?

June 4, 2018


La gente is thought of as "it" thus third person singular "quiere"

September 23, 2018


"as to" should be accepted instead of "for"

June 6, 2019
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