I'm trying to make sense of this one... It really seems like if I asked "What card do you have?" in English, I'd be referring to having an individual card from a deck, in which case "carta" (or in some dialects "naipe") would be the better word for the Spanish version, and "cuál" would definitely be the better question word, since obviously we're in "list mode" not "definition mode", with the options limited to the set of cards in the deck.
Unless perhaps "what card?" is a special case, like "what color?"... I've never heard that before, but maybe that's what's going on here?
I'm imagining someone at a restaurant saying nervously, "I know they take Visa and Mastercard, but I'm worried that they won't take my credit card." And so then the person they're talking to says, "Why? What card do you have?"
As far as 'what' vs 'which', I think this must be regional in the US, because to me, either seems idiomatically correct.
My last paragraph wasn't talking about English dialects, I was referring to the qué / cuál thing. In Spanish you say, "¿De qué color es?" for "What color is it?" even though that violates the usual rule that when asking for an answer that comes from a list (even a very long one, like the list of all positive integers), you use cuál.
The reason is that this fits with the rule that you use qué in combination with object nouns ( http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/que_vs_cual.htm ). But since we usually talk about colors as adjectives (una camisa roja), it can be a bit confusing.
"What" is used before nouns, such as in this question (in Spanish), but "Which" could be used too because the question asks for more than one answer choice.
eso depende mucho de los países, Babella ! aqui ( Ecuador/Peru donde vivo desde hace mas de 53 anios), cuando Ud dice tarjeta la gente entiende " tarjeta de credito" sino tiene que decir tarjeta de presentación, de Navidad, de cumpleanios, etc. es como la diferencia entre esto y eso, aqui tenemos países ESO y paises ESTO. los dos se usan de manera indiferente. Yo,por ejemplo, hablo mucho " eso" porque en Guayaquil la gente habla mas "eso" que " esto" Y NO TIENE LA MAS MINIMA IMPORTANCIA. Si Ud, quiere vivir en America LAtina, se dará rapidamente cuenta que el vocabulario es bastante diferente según los paises. Por ejemplo, en Ecuador, trabajo se dice CAMELLO, trabajar es CAMELLAR, en PERU se dice CHAMBA, el verbo es CHAMBEAR , En Ecuador un derrumbe es un derrumbe o un alud, en el PERU es un huayco, En Ecuador un amigo es un PANA, en PERU es un PATA ! y la lista no tiene fin ! y después vienen las jergas ! yo hablo bastante bien la de Guayaquil en Ecuador y algo de la de Pucallpa en la Amazonia Peruana. QUE ES UN IDIOMA ? no pretendo ser Cervantes ni Miguel de Unamuno, pero si hablo, leo, escribo, castellano de manera totalmente fluida. Los pequenos detalles no tienen importancia. Perdone los errores de acentos, es que mi tablero esta en francés ! y no los tiene. Y si Ud compara el castellano de Mexico con aquel de Argentina, se pegara una buena sorpresa. Y también aquel de Colombia con aquel de Chile. Mejor dicho CADA pais tiene un vocabulario bien diferente. Y a veces eso puede crear confusiones desagradables, dependiendo de con quien esta hablando. En Chile dicen " al tiro" para decir " rapido" en Ecuador si Ud esta con una mujer y le dice " vamos alla al tiro" le dará una bofetada, porque en Ecuador : al tiro": significa " ir a tirar" es decir ir a la cama !! Conozco todos los países de America Latina desde 1966, incluido Brasil, he vivido en todos ellos o casi. tuve que aprender estas diferencias y recibí bofetadas !! jajaja !
Yes it could. Note the posts in this thread beginning, with the 8th post, regarding this discussion. Babella and AurosHarman almost always have very insightful comments. Basically, if a question asking "what" in English can be used to mean "which," then the Spanish translation is usually "cuál." If the English question is asking something to be defined with the word "what," then the Spanish translation is usually "qué." But, all of that can be disregarded when specific idiomatic phrases are used.
Ah, one of the most common mistakes made in Spanish. Tu eres no solo, mi amigo! I, too, have struggled with this...this PREPOSTEROUS idea of "Cuál" y "Qué" and when to use them. I love this feeling of adrenaline I'm getting; I hope I get to help someone. My blood's boilin'! Sorry, I'm crazy. Anyways:
¿Qué dirección es?
Notice here how we don't use "cuál"? That's because it's a specific location/object.
You would reply: Este
Also notice how the answer is specific and straightforward ALSO there's a little tackle here. You would think you'd need cuál here because there's more than one direction possible. This is undoubtedly true but I guess you could say this is a special question. Need more info? Check out your local Spanish dictionary or ask a trusty Spanish native, if you know any. A little rhyme? Qué sounds somewhat like direct, no? Well close enough. Now onto the worst part, "Cuál"
¿Cuál es tu parte favorita?
Here, we use cuál rather than qué. Can you figure out why?
I'm guessing you figured it out: here, the question is looking for a DESCRIPTION or an EXPLANATION. I cannot express that enough.
You would reply: No me gusta eso/que.
If this explanation didn't at all help you, please don't hesitate to ask or tell me about it. I would be more than happy to answer your knowledgeable and curious questions. :-)
P.S. (this is just a small message I'm sending to members of DuoLingo who seem to be really into it and want to learn)
Hola, mi amigo!
Enjoying DuoLingo, I presume? Well if you are, I'm sure you wouldn't mind going head-to-head with me and other competitors! Yep. I'm running a contest to see who can get the highest amount of XP and the longest day streak. Don't worry about your day streak as of now because guess what? The contest runs from now till next year! (Hoy es 1 de diciembre de 2015) I'm not going to say there's a huge prize (there probably isn't ;)) if you win. But I'm super positive you'll have fun. If you want to join just give me a follow and I promise to follow back ASAP! Don't hesitate!
Well, here's an easy tip for "cual", "como", "que", "donde", "quien", etc. When any of these words is used in a question, the accent mark as used to help denote that it is a question. If your using one of these words in a statement, that is not a question, then no accent mark is used. For all the many other Spanish words with accent marks .... just learn them.
Glazewg, I up-voted you on your comment about Babella and Auros Harmon, and like your helpfulness. I hope you will take my comment as helpful, not "picky." (Perhaps you know and just made a typo!) But a very common mistake in English is using "your" and "you're" incorrectly. While speaking, some people pronounce them the same, so it wouldn't be noticed, but since some people practice their English and learn from these written comments, you seem the type of person who would want to be correct. "Your" is used to denote possession only, not as a contraction for "you are." For non-English speakers, a tip on how to listen to the difference is that if you say the possessive, it sounds like the long "o" and rhymes with "more." "You're" sounds like "yoor," just as you would quickly say "you are."
I think this App for learning Spanish is OK because it's for free but it's not very reliable/efficiant.often you start a new lesson and can't finish because it stucks or you give a right answer which is nevertheless wrong (in their opinion).also the answers are often quite stupid.should offer be more grammar practice lessons