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Examples:

Lo que pasa es que el niño no fue a la escuela porque se fracturo el tobillo.

Lo que quiere es una computadora para hacer sus tareas.

Lo que dice es mentira.

Lo que no entiendo es por qué no tiene hambre si no ha comido nada desde la mañana.

The pattern is "lo que (verb) es/son [que]".

  • What's the function of "lo" in "lo que"?
  • What is "lo" referring to?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's a pronoun, being used to refer to actions, concepts and ideas, never for nouns, which require the use of "El que...". Check this page for more examples.

Consider the sentence:

Lo que necesitamos es más tiempo.

In English it would be "What we need is more time" (Translation might seem clumsy, but it's to allow you to understand); "what" refers to "time".

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"Lo que" indeed means "what", not in the interrogative sense, but in the sense of "that which..."

Consider the following examples:

Lo que importa es... / What matters is...

Lo que me molesta es que ... / What bothers me is that...

¿Oíste lo que dijo? / Did you hear what s/he said?

Haz lo que quieras. / Do whatever you want.

Pase lo que pase / Whatever happens ... happens.

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