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what in Spanish

5 Different Ways to Say “What” in Spanish

The word What is one of the most important words people need to learn when they are starting to speak Spanish because it helps them ask different questions during their conversations and find out more information about the things they want to know including work, family, friends, politics, news, events, technology and many other topics.

Use what in Spanish every time you want to ask different questions to the people you meet while you’re out and about and want to hear their opinion about the things that are associated with your personal life, their point of view on any situation, and other topics of interest.

Here are five ways you can say what in Spanish to ask questions about different topics and get positive feedback from the people you are talking to:

¿Qué Pasó? – What Happened?

This phrase is one of the most basic ways to say what in Spanish, and it is great for asking questions about something that has happened before. Whether it is a big event that has occurred just recently or a small thing that has happened at your workplace, you can use this phrase to ask specific questions about any topic and find out what is happening from people who know more about the situation.

You can use this phrase every time you want to know something from your friends or other people that understand what is going on and can give you all of the information that you need in just a few minutes. This works especially well in situations where you want to catch up with someone that you met a few days ago, ask what happened to them during a social event, or check their progress in a specific area of their life.

Here are the different examples you can use to say what in Spanish and ask questions to other people during your conversations.

SpanishEnglish
¿Qué pasó ayer en la fiesta?What happened at the party yesterday?
¿Qué le pasó a John?What happened to John?
¿Qué es lo que está pasando en la oficina?What’s going on in the office?
¿Qué pasó durante el fin de semana?What happened over the weekend?
¿Qué pasó con la comida?What happened to the food?

¿Cuál es el Problema? – What is the Problem?

This expression is used when you want to say what in Spanish every time there is a particular problem with something and people are actively discussing how to solve this issue and get better results. This expression applies to any situation that you encounter where people are struggling with their job, their family, their relationships, or any other problem that affects them on a personal level.

With the help of this expression, you will be able to start a conversation with anyone that you meet on the street or use it to ask a follow-up question during a conversation to know more details about the topic that is being discussed.

This expression is also very effective when you use it with people whom you meet every day and when you see them in a bad mood and want to make them feel a bit better.

Try to use these expressions when you want to say what in Spanish to other people with the intention of finding out about a particular problem that they are talking about at that moment.

SpanishEnglish
¿Cuál es el problema?What’s the problem?
¿Cuál es el problema con el cliente?What’s the problem with the customer?
¿(Ustedes) me podrían decir cuál es el problema?Can you tell me what the problem is?
¿Cuál es el problema más urgente?What’s the most pressing issue?
¿Cuál es el problema que tiene el negocio?What’s the matter with the business?

¿Qué te Gustaría? – What Would You Like?

This phrase is used to say what in Spanish every time you want to find out what the other person you are talking to wants to do in regards to a specific topic that is being talked about during a conversation. This is especially useful during situations where you want to understand what the interests are of the people you are talking to and discover new things that you have in common with them.

You can use this phrase every time people are discussing something about their personal life and are sharing their opinions about things that they enjoy doing every single day. Thanks to this phrase, you will be able to ask questions that are targeted at the things that they like and build more rapport with these people in a short amount of time.

Start using these phrases to say what in Spanish when you want to know what people like to do and see if they have the same interests as you do.

SpanishEnglish
¿Qué te gustaría hacer el día de hoy?What do you fancy doing today?
¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de tu trabajo?What do you like most about your job?
¿Qué es lo que te gusta comer todos los días?What do you like to eat every day?
¿Qué es lo que te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?What do you like doing in your free time?

¿Qué Necesitas? – What Do You Need?

This is an expression that you can use when you want to say what in Spanish to someone looking for support from other people when they want to benefit from them in some way, shape or form. This is perfect for people who like to cooperate with others in different situations and get better results by collaborating with the people they know, like and trust.

You can use this expression if you spend a lot of time at your job working with other people every single day or you hang around with different groups of people that tend to do many activities together. With the help of this expression, you will be able to identify different problems that people have and provide your assistance to them when they are doing something that can be useful to you or someone you care about, including friends and family members.

Here are the most common ways you can use this expression to say what in Spanish and ask people what they need when they’re doing something important and need your assistance.

SpanishEnglish
¿En qué necesitas ayuda?What do you need help with?
¿Qué necesitas para preparar la comida?What do you need to prepare the food?
¿Qué necesitas antes de comenzar a trabajar?What do you need before starting work?
¿Qué necesitas para tener todo listo?What do you need to get everything ready?

¿Qué Quieres Decir? – What Do You Mean?

This is a phrase that can help you say what in Spanish every time you want to get more information about the other person you are talking to during a conversation and want to understand what is their point of view in regards to different topics like politics, work, business, relationships amongst other things.

You can also use this phrase when you don’t quite comprehend what people are talking about and you want to make sure that you know exactly what their opinion is about the topic and why they see the situation from that perspective.

Try to use these examples to say what in Spanish during your conversations to find out what people really think about something they said before and get to know them better over time.

SpanishEnglish
¿Qué es lo que quieres decir?What do you mean by that?
¿Qué quieres decir con eso?What are you getting at?
¿Qué es lo que quieres decir cuando hablas de emprendimiento?What do you mean by taking the initiative?
¿Qué quieres decir que si podemos hacer eso?What will it mean if we can do it?
¿Qué es lo que querías decir en la reunión de ayer?What were you trying to say at the meeting yesterday?

Wrapping-Up

With the help of these expressions, you will be able to ask questions in Spanish every time you are talking to other people you meet and keep any of your conversations going for long periods of time. You just need to speak with people that are somewhat familiar with the language, use these expressions after they finish talking about a specific topic and listen carefully to what they have to say.

Ali Sotillo

My name is Ali Sotillo, and I am a writer and linguist from Venezuela. I teach Spanish to lots of people on the internet and help them speak the language more fluently.

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