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who
[huː]
pronoun
1. quién (in questions) (singular) ; quiénes (plural)
  • who is it? ¿quién es?
  • who with? ¿con quién?
  • who is it for? ¿para quién es?
  • who's speaking? ¿de parte de quién? (on phone)
  • who did you say was there? ¿quién has dicho que estaba allí?
  • who does he think he is? ¿quién se cree que es?
2. que (relative)
  • the people who came yesterday las personas que vinieron ayer
  • those who have already paid can leave los que ya hayan pagado pueden marcharse
  • Louise's father, who is a doctor, was there estuvo allí el padre de Louise, que es médico
who [huː]
pronoun
1 (in direct and indirect questions) quién
singular
; (s)
quiénes
plural
; (p)
who is it? ¿quién es?; who are they? ¿quiénes son?; who are you looking for? ¿a quién buscas?; who does she think she is? ¿quién se cree que es?; I know who it was (yo) sé quién fue; you'll soon find out who's who pronto sabrás quién es quién
2 (in exclamations) quién
guess who! ¡a ver si adivinas quién soy!
who would have thought it!
who should it be but Neil! ¿a que no sabes quién era? ¡Neil!; ¡no era otro que Neil!
3 (relative) que; (after preposition) el/la que; quien; el/la cual (formal)
my cousin who lives in New York mi primo que vive en Nueva York; the girl who you saw la chica que viste; the girl who you spoke to has since left the company la chica con la que or con quien or (formal) con la cual hablaste ya no trabaja en la empresa; those who can swim los que saben nadar; he who wishes to ... el que desee ...; deny it who may aunque habrá quien lo niegue
In direct and indirect questions
In direct and indirect questions as well as after expressions of (un)certainty and doubt (e.g. no sé), translate who using quién/quiénes when it is the subject of a verb:
Who broke the window? ¿Quién rompió la ventana?
She had no idea who her real parents were Ignoraba quiénes eran sus verdaderos padres
When who/whom is the object of a verb or preposition, translate using quién/quiénes preceded by personal a or another preposition as relevant:
Who(m) did you call? ¿A quién llamaste?
Who(m) is she going to marry? ¿Con quién se va a casar?
You must tell me who you are going to go out with Tienes que decirme con quién/quiénes vas a salir
In exclamations
Translate using quién/quiénes with an accent as in the interrogative form:
Who would have thought it! ¡Quién lo hubiera pensado
As relative
When who/whom follows the noun it refers to, the most common translation is que:
Do you recognize the three girls who have just come in? ¿Reconoces a las tres chicas que acaban de entrar?
Peter, who was at the match, has told me all about it Peter, que estuvo en el partido, me lo ha contado todo
That man (who(m)) you saw wasn't my father El hombre que viste no era mi padre
Personal a is not used before que.
"Who" as subject of a verb
When who is the subject, que can sometimes be substituted by el cual/la cual or quien (singular) and los cuales/las cuales or quienes (plural). This can help avoid ambiguity:
I bumped into Ian and Sue, who had just come back from Madrid Me encontré con Ian y con Sue, la cual or quien acababa de regresar de Madrid
Only que is possible in cases where subject who can be substituted by that, i.e. where who defines the person in question and the sentence does not make sense if you omit the who clause:
The little boy who won the cycle race is Sarah's nephew El niñito que ganó la carrera ciclista es el sobrino de Sarah
"Who(m)" as object of a verb or preposition
When who(m) is the object of a verb, you can translate it using que as above. Alternatively, especially in formal language, use personal a + quien/quienes or personal a + article + cual/cuales {etc} or personal a + article + que:
The woman (who or whom) you're describing is my music teacher La señora que or a quien or a la cual or a la que describes es mi profesora de música
"Who(m)" as object of a preposition
After prepositions, you should usually use que or cual preceded by the article or quien:
This is the girl (who or whom) I talked to you about esta es la chica de la que or de la cual or de quien te hablé
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