I have this sentence in a speech, and I don't think it makes sense:

Lo que menos me gusta es viajando por avión.

I'm trying to say:

What is least pleasing to me is traveling by airplane.

I'm not sure "lo" is necessary...

  • Correctamundo!! – dockeryZ Oct 13 '14 at 23:58
  • "Lo que menos me gusta es VIAJAR en avión" es la frase correcta. "Lo que" es correcto, no así "viajando" – YoMismo Oct 16 '14 at 13:45

The lo is correct and necessary.

It's a stand-in for the thing that is pleasing to you. Without it, que doesn't get parsed as what we in English think of as what, rather as that and the entire clause becomes the subject, rather than just the thing that pleases you. In other words, without the lo, your sentences starts of saying That it is least pleasing to me is… (or in other words, The fact that it is least pleasing to me is…)

You do, by the way, need an infinitive instead of a gerund with your last bit: ...es viajar por avión.

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  • 4
    or viajar en avión. Great answer. – Diego Oct 14 '14 at 1:19
  • @Diego para mí suenan bien tanto "por" como "en avión" – clinch Oct 19 '14 at 19:30
  • @clinch, para mi suenan bien los dos pero me inclino más por "por" en ese contexto. Mi sugerencia es un or, no una corrección a la respuesta. "Me gusta más viajar en avión porque es más rápido, pero hicimos el viaje por barco, porque salía más barato". – Diego Oct 19 '14 at 19:47
  • @clinch que sepa yo, lo normal es que las personas van en avión (viajes) y los objetos van por avión (correo) aunque es posible intercambiar. También serviría vía avión, pero me suena muy técnico ya que muy poca gente usa vía hoy en día como preposición. – user0721090601 Oct 19 '14 at 21:29
  • Why can't “qué” be used? – Aprendedor Jul 17 '15 at 14:25

If you want a direct translation you would write.

Lo que menos me gusta es viajar en avión.

Notice how you do not use Spanish endings "-ando", "-endo" because you are describing something you do not like to do.

However here "lo" is necessary. If you do not use "lo" you would need to write:

No me gusta viajar en avión.

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  • 1
    notice the diference between using is traveling by airplane. and is to travel by airplane. in spanish you can not do that sustitution – edgarmtze Oct 14 '14 at 1:32
  • 1
    Your explanation for using the infinitive is imprecise. In English, we can use either the infinitive or the gerund form of a verb as a noun--in Spanish only the infinitive us used. This is why "viajar" is the proper translation, it has nothing to do, per se with being something one likes or dislikes--it has to be with the verb being used as a noun. See more here. – Flimzy Oct 15 '14 at 16:41

You may think of "lo" as the literal English equivalent if "it". Think about how this sentence would appear in straight English translation:

It that least pleases me is ....

This, of course, is more colloquially expressed in English as "What least pleases me is..."

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  • The correct English translation of "lo que" is "That which", and that makes perfect sense in this context: "That which least pleases me..." – Flimzy Oct 15 '14 at 15:46
  • I have never heard anyone say "it that least pleases me", so I googled it and this post is the first result. The rest of the results contain punctuation or a different structure that allows that sequence of words to work. Are you a native speaker? – clinch Oct 19 '14 at 19:32

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