"What necessities can cover that?" actually makes no sense (I made the same mistake with my answer). It would mean the necessities (needs) are doing the covering. An example might be: I have twenty dollars, what necessities can that cover? The other way doesn't work: I have twenty dollars, what necessities can cover that?
Wow! The placement of the word ESO is what confuses me. Is ESO the subject? The object? Or what? "What necessities can cover THAT" and "What necessities can THAT cover" are two very different sentences. How do I know how to read this sentence? Does the fact that the sentence is a question & not a statement allow ESO to be the Subject, and not the Object? Somebody please help me break this sentence down?
The key here is the verb form "puede". If "necesidades" was the subject, the verb form would be "pueden", so "eso" is the subject. Think of rearranging the English trranslation to read. "That can cover what needs?" I had to think about it myself before I answered. Hope this helps.
As a native english speaker I do not understand the sentence either. Here is an example. You have some money to donate to charity. And you want to ask the charity worker how much use the money will be in helping to give people what they need. so you say. Here is $100. What needs can that cover? (hope that helps someone)
What needs can that take care of? What needs can that pay for? (I'd be OK with "which" as well) with the verb "to cover" in this context there is a strong sense of money being involved. (example sentence: you have coffee with someone and you get the check and you say "I'll cover this," means you'll pay). So in the case of this sentence, you can think of a scenario in which you get this large donation and you're wondering what needs all that money can cover. At least that's how I'm reading it.
Simple (but incomplete) answer: The accented form is used when it is a question. Better explanation: http://spanishgrammargenius.com/accents_que_cual_in_middle_of_sentence_spanish.htm
Can someone offer some clarification? I translated this as "what needs can cover that" and it was accepted as correct with the alternate "what needs can that cover." That is a subtly different sentence. In mine the needs are doing the covering and "that" is being covered by them. In the other sentence "that" is covering an undetermined set of needs. Or do I need to stop thinking and have a coffee, lol?