Quick answer
"Which" is a pronoun which is often translated as "cuál", and "how" is an adverb which is often translated as "cómo". Learn more about the difference between "which" and "how" below.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
1. (in questions)
a. cuál
Which are the classes that interest you this semester?¿Cuáles son las clases que te interesan este semestre?
Which do you prefer? The pasta or the salad?¿Cuál prefieres? ¿La pasta o la ensalada?
2. (in relative clauses)
a. que
The invitation, which was mailed to you, is for our wedding.La invitación, que se te mandó, es para nuestra boda.
b. el cual
The village has a castle, which dates from the 12th century.El pueblo tiene un castillo, el cual data del siglo XII.
c. la cual
The actor's house, which is on top of a hill, has a wonderful view of LA.La casa del actor, la cual está en lo alto de una colina, tiene unas vistas maravillosas de Los Ángeles.
d. lo cual
She didn't support me when I needed her, which made me realize that she wasn't a real friend.No me apoyó cuando la necesité, lo cual me hizo pensar que no era una amiga de verdad.
e. los cuales
There are several books on the subject, which are available in the library.Existen varios libros sobre el tema, los cuales están disponibles en la biblioteca.
f. las cuales
He explained it using some scientific words, which I have forgotten.Lo explicó con unas palabras científicas, las cuales no recuerdo.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
3. (in questions)
a. qué
Which type of food do you want to serve at the party?¿Qué tipo de comida quieres servir en la fiesta?
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An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (manner)
a. cómo
How did you get here so quickly?¿Cómo llegaste tan rápido?
I don't know how to do this.No sé cómo hacer esto.
b. de qué manera
How did you put together the machine?¿De qué manera armaste la máquina?
2. (degree)
a. cuán
How tall is he?¿Cuán alto es?
It doesn't matter how talented you are; you must practice.No importa cuán talentoso seas; tienes que practicar.
b. qué tan
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
How sick is he?¿Qué tan enfermo está?
I don't know how tall he is.No sé qué tan alto es.
3. (state)
a. cómo
How is your grandmother today?¿Cómo está tu abuela hoy?
b. qué tal
How's the water?¿Qué tal el agua?
4. (in exclamations)
a. qué
How impressive!¡Qué impresionante!
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
5. (the way)
a. como
You can make the lasagna how you like. I trust you. I know you're a very good cook.Puedes hacer la lasaña como quieras. Confío en ti. Sé que eres muy buen cocinero.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
6. (way)
a. el cómo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
If you don't know why, the how doesn't matter.Si no sabes por qué, el cómo no importa.
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