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"¿De qué color son tus sábanas?"

Translation:What color are your bedsheets?

August 8, 2013



Well if we can't get others' comments time to figure it out for ourselves. I did find a reference that I believe applies to my previous question and alpaca's as well.

"The grammatical difference between those may not be obvious, but in the first one, que translates "that" as a relative pronoun, while in the second de que translates "that" as a conjunction.

Although que can be used as a subordinate or subordinating conjunction when it follows a verb, de que normally is used as a subordinating conjunction following a noun.

So how can you tell if you're translating a sentence of this pattern to Spanish if "that" should be translated as que or de que? Almost always, if you can change "that" to "which" and the sentence still makes sense, "that" is being used as a relative pronoun and you should use que. Otherwise, use de que."

My conclusion- well we don't have a perfect answer because 'that' doesn't really fit. It isn't a conjunction.

So back to research and found this reference-

¿Qué? means "What?"¿Qué es la libertad? What is liberty? ¿Qué estudias? What do you study?

¿De qué? means "About what?" or "Of what?" ¿De qué material es la pluma? What is the pen made of?Literally: Of what material is the pen?

But this doesn't really answer our questions yet so back to the search. I found this little tidbit.

Try not to confuse ¿Qué? and ¿Cuál? The first can be followed by any verb: ¿Qué es esto?, ¿Qué haces? Qué can also be followed by a noun: ¿A qué hora … ?, ¿De qué color … ? ¿Qué tren … ? The interrogative, cuál, on the other hand, can only be followed by forms of the verb ser or estar: ¿Cuál es tu nombre?, ¿Cuál está más cerca?

My impression is that Qué is usually followed by a verb. Notice the sample "de qué color". When Qué is followed by a noun we use a preposition and in our sample it is 'de'. Now lets see if anyone comments.


mcgwn- I said that a word was missing if we don't use the preposition D, in answer of someone else. You explained it with the real words, but as English isn't my first language, my comment was too simple, but I had in mind exactly what you said, no matter the negative votes, that I had. de was missing in the sentence, it was my way to explain it, with my deficient English talking.


I made a research in Internet, every place says de que color? When there's no DE before qué, it's because there's one after, for exemple : qué color de cabello te favorece? or que color de ropa te queda mejor? Also notice that with de que, it seems to be followed by ser or estar.


Since you mention the 'que vs cual', Watch Prefessor Jason explain it.



NIce explanation Rmcgwn. An added note, which you may be able to confirm. I think if we wished to use "Cual" instead of "De que" we could rephrase the question: "¿Cual es el color de tus sábanas?"


Interesting! Of what colour are your sheets" is plural in English we are translating to English. learning the idioma and reasoning no exact translation for some things.


Thank you so much, this makes a lot more sense.


This sounds like an uncomfortable pick up line.


There's only one way to find out.


I've notified duolingo requesting they place this line in the flirting bonus lesson


Good Lord! In my native language "sabana" means the sheets put in the coffin for the last big journey.....!!!! I am greek.


It's normal, in my native language "savan" means the white dead's (or ghost) dress and I am russian.


My first use of "de qué" which I assume is "of what color". What rule makes this necessary? Could you also say "de cual" instead?

I am editing this question because you will see my own detailed answer was posted above. (even though it came after this post). So you might wonder why am I asking this. I would delete this but then the following replies won't make sense.


That's what im wondering, because of what color does make sense in this case.


I think it's just the way things are commonly worded in Spanish. Even though it is technically correct to ask someone, "Do you want to see t.v.?" that's not how we say it. We usually ask, "do you want to watch t.v.?"


Qué and Cuál are used moreso like we would use What and Which. For the majority of statements/questions, Qué is used as a question of definition whereas Cuál is used as a determining a distinction between something.

For example, "Qué color" would mean "What color?" like you don't know what a certain color is or you're trying to find someone in a certain colored shirt. "Cuál color" would mean "Which color?" like you're making a choice between red or blue rather than seeking information about what red and blue are.


This may seem picky, but "bed sheet" was given by Duolingo just a few answers ago, then "bed sheets" was wrong in this answer-the inconsistency is frustrating sometimes.


Its not frustrating anymore once you understand, that you are the one who is correcting the content around here... hence it is a freebee! :)


why do we use "de" here?


I believe it is because it literally means "Of what colour are your sheets". That sentence doesn't really make sense in English of course, but in Spanish that's simply how it is said.


Duolingo doesn't not like non-American spellings like "colour"?? For shame!


This sounds like a Spanish chat up line to me


Could you also say "Qué color son tus sábanas?"


Based on references provided it would appear that if Qué is followed by a verb that's okay. But color isn't a verb (Is it not the subject with bedsheets being the object). And when asking the question we are really asking "of what color" meaning 'out of all the choices what color is it' I would say 'de que' is appropriate.


Putting this one in the "pick-up lines" hall of fame


I don't really understand why when you peek at 'De' it means 'of,' but if you type 'of' you are incorrect.


You want to avoid translating literally. It has been explained 'de que' so read above comments. However what may not be clear is, it doesn't mean you will translate each and every word. Translate meaning and phrases not words. This can get frustrating because you know the word but it isn't being used as expected. It also means you will make more mistakes. Don't let the mistakes bother you. You are learning. Hope it helps.


Then shouldn't the first option show up blank and 'of' be the second option? It is misleading.


Not when we realize that the options shown are not specific to any one sentence. Think of the options as "this may apply to this sentence". Options can help us think through the possibilities but they aren't going to give you exact answer. When we first start DL it seems like the answer is available but as you progress you soon realize it is just a hint.


But I think the hints do change depending on the context of the sentence. In another section, I came across the word sirve which was first translated as works, but in the next question it was translated as serves. The first hint changed because the context was different. That is what I'm suggesting for this question.


would this applied to como(w/ accent)


Because you have to choose the correct answer. It's a course here.


Why isn't the word colour accepted? We all know that it is British and just like General American is a standard so is Received Pronunciation


Is it just me, or is there a come-on in every one of these lessons? This unit had me giggling from the first lesson.


I said "what color are your sheets" and it did not work!! Why?


Same issue here, oliverwainman. First time I used just "sheets" worked. Suddenly it doesn't. Doesn't make sense; irritates me :(.


What?? You get a wrong answer if you write 'colour' instead of 'color'.... >:(


My question: When I gave "sheets" to translate sábanas, it was accepted and was given the alternative "bed sheets". Now when I entered "sheets" the second time Duo marked it wrong. I don't understand this.


Earlier, DL was allowing "blankets" as a translation, but on this sentence I lost a heart for using "blankets" instead of "bedsheets." Am I doing something wrong, or is DL just being picky?


It's not just you. Make sure you report the error so they fix it soon.


maddiebean- blanket is manta in Spain and cobija in America.


I got the answer wrong only because I entered colour, not color. Colour has been correct on other questions...


colour is used in UK and color in USA but both should be accepted


It's valid. You should report it as an error.


why is wrong "Of which color..." ?


It didnt accept the english spelling of colour! Lost a heart. Reported it but really annoyed.


I could not understand the first word


On this particular problem one is not told that a space needs to be included in "bedsheets." Which is good. Being told that is wrong. It's not two words.


I find it strange that I havent heard this rule about qué when it's followed by a noun in my year of spanish studies. It's not like "of what color" doesn't make any sense.


Ok why is de even there if you dont use it in the sentence???


What is wrong with interchanging "tus" and "sus"????? I have always grown up interchanging the two, depending how how formal I was trying to be. I'm not a native Spanish speaker, so please, let me know. And if I'm right... Duo, that's one more to add to your list of corrections


misssunshine- if you translate from English(your) and without any context like the Duo sentence, of course both are ok


Why couldn't you just say "que color son tus sabanas?" Instead of "Of What color"?


could you not have the "de"?


That was confusing!!


Why did they use the word ?De? Was it needed?


I am starting to think that this is creepy


Usually I hear "Colors" when talking about the color of many items. "What colors are your bedsheets" and "What color are your bedsheets" are interchangeable, but the first one sounds a bit more natural.


Think I've found my new chat up line.


you tryna find out

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