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Which

As a pronoun

In questions

The pronoun which (one) used in questions is translated by cuál; this agrees in number with the noun it refers to:

 

  •  which (one) of all these cars is yours? = ¿cuál de todos estos coches es el tuyo?

  •  which (ones) are your magazines? = ¿cuáles son tus revistas?

 

In relative clauses

When which is the subject or direct object of the verb in a relative clause, it is translated by que:

 

  •  the plane which has just arrived = el avión que acaba de llegar

  •  the book which I read = el libro que leí

 

When it appears after a preposition, it is translated by el que, la que, los que, las que, depending on the number and gender of the noun referred to, or, less commonly, by el cual,

la cual, los cuales, las cuales:

 

  •  the money with which she paid the bill = el dinero con el que or con el cual pagó la cuenta

  •  the city in which I was born = la ciudad en la que or en la cual nací

  •  he earns $30,000 a year, out of which he saves $10,000 = gana 30.000 dólares al año, de los que or de los cuales ahorra 10.000 dólares

  •  the boxes in which the presents arrived = las cajas en las que or en las cuales llegaron los regalos

 

▪ When which used as a relative pronoun refers to something which is not specified for gender, it is translated by the neuter lo que or lo cual:

 

  •  the house was untidy, which was most unusual = la casa estaba desordenada, lo que or lo cual era rarísimo

  •  we had breakfast, after which we went shopping = desayunamos, después de lo cual fuimos de compras

  •  he says that they did it, which they deny = dice que ellos lo hicieron, lo que or lo cual niegan

 

For more examples and particular usages see the entry which1

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