When to use "lo que" | SpanishDict Answers
3 Vote

I saw an add for a beer today, in both English and Spanish. In Spanish, the words are "Eres lo que bebes" and, as I suspected, the same add in English next to it said "You are what you drink".

My question is why it was necessary to write "lo que bebes" instead of just "Eres que bebes". My initial thought was that you need it because that shows that both "que" and "bebes" fall under the predicate of the sentence. Am I close?

It's time for a HARDCORE GRAMMAR LESSON! \m\^.^/m/

10 Answers

4 Vote

Lo = the thing... (in some translations "what" sounds more natural, though)

"Eres que bebes" = You are that you drink

"Eres lo que bebes" = You are the thing that you drink (better translation: You are what you drink)

  • You have a great knack for explaining things so clearly and easily! Thanks. - DR1960 Apr 26, 2011 flag
2 Vote

lo que = the thing that .....

This is the translation that I normally use, Perry. Try substituting "what" with "the thing that ..." before translating to Spanish. I find it works about 95% of the time.

"Eres lo que bebes" - You are the thing that you drink

...... sounds ridiculous in English, good in Spanish. Try playing around with some sentences and let us know what you think. grin

  • So could you say "Eso es lo que de la escuela" as a translation of "That is what (the thing that) I hate about school" ? Or maybe I could say "Él come lo que me gusta comer" as a translation of "He eats what I like to eat"? Or am I not getting it? - Perry-Bleibe May 17, 2010 flag
  • Whoops, I meant "Eso es lo que odio de la escuela" for the first one - Perry-Bleibe May 17, 2010 flag
2 Vote

Hmm, well someone with great grammar skills is welcome - for myself I translate it in my head as 'that which'. In thiscase "Eres lo que bebes is 'abstract' you can't possibly be beer. If the sentence were 'You are the guy that ...' It would be 'Eres el que...' But this is an abstract thought and therefore needs the 'lo' 'You are that which you drink' Does it help at all?

  • I translate it the same. You are that which you drink. - LeslieW May 17, 2010 flag
  • I translate it the same. - Goyo Apr 27, 2011 flag
2 Vote

Eres lo que bebes is correct.

1 Vote

Hola todos, well you don't necessarily have to think whethere or not it is an abstract idea or not. Lo que in spanished is used for "whatever" so if you say "Eres lo que bebes" you're basically saying "You are whatever you drink" Sometimes people use "lo que" for "what" but "whatever" is used a lot more.

  • That makes more sense to me , thanks mate. - ray76 Mar 23, 2013 flag
1 Vote

No soy bruja. No soy lo que tu piensas que soy.

I know there are likely some unnecessary words there (but I was trying to maintain a little of the English rhythm so as to remember it) and now I wonder: should it be "la que?"

It depends on what you are trying to say.

I am not [the witch] that you (tú) think that I am. Yes, it is la que

I am not what you think that I am. Then, it is lo que.

In other words, the gender of the relative pronoun depends on the gender of its antecedent.

  • From my understanding, this is a correct interpertation, since "la" would be referring to the "witch" *bruja* whereas *lo* would be referring to "it" or a male object. - Xocoyote Jul 31, 2011 flag
  • I am beginning to get it , Gracias a todos. - ray76 Mar 23, 2013 flag
0 Vote

Seeing as you can't really literally be what you drink i guess that makes it an abstract idea.

When the relative pronoun refers to an abstract idea, use "lo que."

Lo que quieres no existe. That which you want does not exist.

0 Vote

Okay. I like this thread. I needed it About 6-7 months ago, to help me internalize the "lo" in "lo que," I adopted a little saying which goes thusly:

No soy bruja. No soy lo que tu piensas que soy.

I know there are likely some unnecessary words there (but I was trying to maintain a little of the English rhythm so as to remember it) and now I wonder: should it be "la que?"

Corrections (or flames) are invited.

  • No, tejano, your original instinct was correct. Lo is neither masculine nor feminine used it that context. - NancyGrace Apr 27, 2011 flag
0 Vote

link

0 Vote

In a song i heard, it says: mi mundo ilusión, es todo lo que tengo. My understanding of it is my world illusion is all that i have. Lo is basically it, so it could be it is all that i have. Most of the time "that which" works even if a little odd. Every situation i have come across "that which" has sufficed so i think that is safe translation.

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