Learn how to use Spanish "lo que"
In Spanish lo que is used to express what, which, that which, or the thing that, in reference to some idea expressed in the same sentence.
See and hear how it is used in these examples. The idea lo que refers to is underlined:
Sometimes, lo que forms part of the expression of the idea:
"Lo que" vs "la cosa que"
- In sentences that start with lo que we can usually (not always) use the expression la cosa que as well.
- When lo que is in the middle of the sentence, this normally isn't possible.
Lo que admiro de ellos es su tenacidad.
What I admire about them is their tenacity.
The thing that I admire about them is their tenacity.
Here, La cosa que can't replace lo que:
Han recaudado mucho dinero, lo que me pone muy contenta.
They have collected a lot of money, which makes me very happy.
They have collected a lot of money, the thing that makes me very happy.
"Lo que" vs "que"
Whilst they are similar, don't confuse que and lo que. In this example, lo que refers to the whole sentence/idea that the school is closed:
Whereas in this example with que, it refers to the noun, the school.
Note on "all that.../everything that..."
When we want to say all/everything that... we say: todo lo que
Be careful not to say "todo que..."
See Que/ el cual/ la cual/ los cuales/ quien/ quienes = who, that, which (Spanish relative pronouns) to learn more.
Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »