There are words in Spanish which change their meaning simply when you use a written accent. Let's look at que vs qué.
Que without an accent
Que is a conjunction or a relative pronoun, it is usually translated by that... or which/who.
Marta dice que su hermana tiene problemas.Marta is saying that her sister is having some problems.
Mis vecinos, que tienen tres hijos, son muy antipáticos.My neighbours, who have three children, are very rude.
Qué with an accent
Qué is used in both direct and indirect exclamatory and interrogative sentences, it is generally translated as what or how.
Mamá ¿qué cenamos hoy?Mum ¿What are we having for dinner today?
El niño pregunta a su madre qué van a cenar hoy.The boy is asking his mum what they are having for dinner today.
¡Qué frío hace hoy!How cold it is today!
- Que = that..., which/who
- Qué = What/How
Exception: There is a higher-level lesson on a more advanced use of "que" without a written accent, used as an interrogative sentence, here: Using que at the beginning of a question to express disbelief (without a written accent)
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