Quick answer
"What" is a pronoun which is often translated as "qué", and "how many" is a phrase which is often translated as "cuántos". Learn more about the difference between "what" and "how many" below.
what(
wuht
)
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
1. (in questions)
a. qué
What do you want me to do?¿Qué quieres que haga?
b. cuál
What was the reason for Jim's departure?¿Cuál fue la razón por la que se fuera Jim?
c. cómo
What's the weather like where you are?¿Cómo está el tiempo donde estás tú?
What's their house like?¿Cómo es su casa?
2. (in relative clauses)
a. lo que
He smoked what he had left in the pipe.Se fumó lo que le quedaba en la pipa.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
3. (in questions)
a. qué
What movie did you want to see?¿Qué película querías ver?
4. (in exclamations)
a. qué
What a nice day!¡Qué bonito día!
An interjection is a short utterance that expresses emotion, hesitation, or protest (e.g. Wow!).
5. (used to express surprise)
a. qué
What? That can't be true!¿Qué? ¡No puede ser verdad!
6. (not understanding)
a. qué
What? Speak louder, please.¿Qué? Hable más alto, por favor.
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how many(
hau
 
meh
-
ni
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (in questions)
a. cuántos
How many days will you be out?¿Cuántos días vas a estar fuera?
How many pets do you have?¿Cuántas mascotas tienes?
2. (countable quantity)
a. cuanto
You pay depending on how many you choose.Pagas en base a cuantos escojas.
b. número de
There is a limit to how many times a cell can divide.Hay un límite al número de veces que una célula se puede dividir.
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