Asking questions about people with preposition + quién

To ask Whose…? To whom…? Who with…? Who for…? in Spanish we use:

Preposition + quién / quiénes

Read and listen to these examples:

¿De quién es esa casa?
Whose is that house?

¿Con quién fuiste al cine ayer?
Who did you go to the cinema with yesterday?

¿A quién le enviaste la carta?
Who did you send the letter to?

¿Para quién has comprado esas flores tan bonitas?
Who have you bought such pretty flowers for?

¿Con quienes vais de vacaciones?
Who are you going on holiday with?

¿De quienes son esos libros?
Whose books are those?

¿Por quién harías una locura?
Who would you do something crazy for?

Note that the position of the preposition is different compared to English questions. In Spanish the preposition always goes in front of quién/quiénes, unlike in English where if you use who the preposition is placed at the end of the sentence.
Remember that unlike in English, in Spanish the word who has a singular and a plural form: quién and quiénes.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¿Para quién has comprado esas flores tan bonitas?
Who have you bought such pretty flowers for?


¿Por quién harías una locura?
Who would you do something crazy for?


¿A quién le enviaste la carta?
Who did you send the letter to?


¿De quién es esa casa?
Whose is that house?


¿Con quién fuiste al cine ayer?
Who did you go to the cinema with yesterday?


¿De quienes son esos libros?
Whose books are those?


¿Con quienes vais de vacaciones?
Who are you going on holiday with?


Q&A

Alan

Kwiziq community member

6 June 2018

1 reply

Escuchar

Escuchar means "to listen to", rather than "to listen" I thought.  That's why I chose "quienes" rather than "a quienes" (plus the accents!).  But you have to include the "a" in this case, do you?  I know the Spanish like to duplicate prepositions!!

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

6 June 2018

6/06/18

Hola Alan,

I imagine you are referring to this question: 

¿___ debemos escuchar? (Whom do we have to listen to?)

A quiénes

When you listen to something, for example, "Escucho la radio todos los días" (I listen to the radio everyday) you don't need "a", but when you listen to someone/people, it is "escuchar a...". In this case we are referring to people, in the form of a question, therefore you need "a", ¿A quiénes debemos escuchar?

I hope this clarified your doubt.

Un saludo

John

Kwiziq community member

2 May 2018

3 replies

Why En and not De

En quien estas pensada (not sure I remembered the last word correctly).  In English this would be "of whom are you thinking?" so why is the Spanish En quien and not De quien.  (Accents do not appear to work)

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

2 May 2018

2/05/18

Hola John

In Spanish the use of prepositions with relative pronouns (que, quién...) is sometimes different to English. As you mentioned before, in English you may say "To think of/about someone" however in Spanish we say "Pensar en  alguien", literally "to think in someone". This is why the right answer to that question is "¿En quién estás pensando?". (A possible answer to this question could be: "Estoy pensando en María").

I hope this clarified it.

Un saludo

Inma

John

Kwiziq community member

2 May 2018

2/05/18

Thank you.  (and people think learning English is confusing!)  I will try to remember.

Brett

Kwiziq community member

15 July 2018

15/07/18

Hi John, To help me remember this detail I like to think about how we sometimes will say "I can think ON that tomorrow". This is more similar to the Spanish "EN".

William

Kwiziq community member

27 December 2017

3 replies

Por or Para with quien?

Slightly confused here. The text suggests "para" but the answer says "por"

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

28 December 2017

28/12/17

Hola William Are you referring to this specific question from the test? ¿___ arriesgarías tu vida? (Who would you risk your life for?) Correct answer: "¿Por quién.....? Inma

William

Kwiziq community member

28 December 2017

28/12/17

Yes, I was referring to this specific question. Can you give advice on when to use "Para" and when to use "por" with "quien"? Thanks in anticipation.

Alan

Kwiziq community member

8 June 2018

8/06/18

Sorry this reply is six months late, but I hope it still helps!

From what I've seen and read, "para quién" seems to be used when some material object is to be given to someone. E.g. ¿Para quién has comprado esas flores?  Or ¿Para quién es el café con leche? 

Whereas if this is not the case, and "for" really means "for the sake of" or "on behalf of", then "por quién" is used. E.g. ¿Por quién harías una locura? Or "¿Por quién arriesgarías tu vida?

Hope this is not misleading.

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