I came to know from the duolingo application that Que means what. And is an interrogative sentence:

What is the question?

It translates to Spanish as

¿Cuál es la pregunta?

Why not?

¿Qué es la pregunta?

3 Answers 3


The sentence "¿Qué es la pregunta?" does not make sense in Spanish. It can be understood as "what is the definition of the question?", but grammatically sounds bad.

Here I paste a graph showing the difference between qué and cuál. (I don't know the source, only found among my docs).

enter image description here


It can be hard to pick up on the nuances of this issue. Cuál means 'Which' (as in which one?), and is usually the right word to use when followed by 'to be', as in ¿Cuál es la pregunta? Qué is used when immediately followed by the noun, as in ¿Qué pregunta tienes?

  • 1
    Brief, right and easy.
    – Rodrigo
    Feb 8, 2015 at 13:52

Cuál es la pregunta. You asking basically what's the question.

Qué es la pregunta? In other cases could have sense, but not here. For example: What is this? Would be: Qué es esto? ("Cuál es esto" doesn't exist)

Translated in English would be as you say "What is the question" both, with the difference that the first has sense and the second doesn't.

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