Quick answer
"What are" is a phrase which is often translated as "qué son", and "what is" is a phrase which is often translated as "qué es". Learn more about the difference between "what are" and "what is" below.
what are(
wuhd
 
ar
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (asking for a definition)
a. qué son
What are those? - They're my new earrings.¿Qué son esos? - Son mis nuevos aretes.
2. (selecting one of many)
a. cuáles son
What are your favorite dishes?¿Cuáles son tus platos favoritos?
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what is(
wuhd
 
ihz
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (in general questions)
a. qué es
What is that nasty smell?¿Qué es ese olor repugnante?
b. cuál es
What is your favorite color?¿Cuál es tu color favorito?
2. (mathematics)
a. cuánto es
What is 3 x 12? - 36.¿Cuánto es 3 x 12? - 36.
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