I am still very much a beginner, so mind the question.

Started playing games in Spanish and I came across an NPC asking what I have lost in spanish. I just don't understand why there is a need for the qué at the end.

If I was to write/speak the sentence before hand I would have just said ¿Que has perdido? Would I have been wrong or misunderstood?

  • Is the qué necessary at the end and if so why?
  • ¿que es NPC? ¿what is NPC?
    – alvalongo
    Jul 9, 2021 at 3:10

1 Answer 1


A very tricky question indeed.

Let me translate your sentences to English so you can observe the difference.

  • ¿Qué has perdido? / What have you lost?
  • ¿Que has perdido qué? / You have lost what!?

Notice that in the Spanish version, only the second qué has the accent mark indicating that it is a pronoun instead of a conjuction.

To ask about what has been lost, you have to use the first sentence

¿Qué has perdido?

If you have not hear what has been lost or you can't believe that such thing can be lost so easily and want to show your amazement or angriness, use the second option

¿Que has perdido qué?

Dialogue example 1
- I've lost my ... (inaudible)
- What? You have lost what?
- My phone.

In Spanish it would be
- He perdido mi ... (inaudible)
- ¿Que has perdido qué?
- Mi teléfono.

Dialogue example 2 (angriness)
- I've lost your phone. Sorry.
- You have lost what!?? How??

In Spanish it would be
- He perdido tu teléfono. Lo siento.
- ¿Que has perdido qué!?? ¿Cómo??

  • The atonic "que" is used often to introduce and emphasize an explanation, an answer, or other statements, as well as a way to clarify what has been said. You might hear somebody answer "que no" or "que sí" which would be a resounding no or an emphatic yes. It is also common to hear it used it to introduce an explanation, usually one that is less causative than if "porque" were used, for example: "No voy a la fiesta, que tengo mucho sueño".
    – nopaltepec
    Jul 6, 2021 at 13:45

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