In this lesson we are going to cover the topic of el mismo vs. lo mismo and qué vs. cuál in Spanish since this is one of the most common questions students of Spanish have. Then we will discuss how to use “tan” in the Spanish language.

1) We use “El mismo” or “La misma”, when we are specifically talking about what are we are talking about. For example: “Ese auto, es el mismo que tengo yo” (That car is the same that I have), “Vivo en la misma casa que hace 20 años” (I have been living in the same house for 20 years).

But “Lo mismo” means “the same thing”. For example: “es lo mismo” (is the same thing). “Es lo mismo tomar el subte o autobús por la mañana porque ambos están muy llenos. “(It’s the same to take the subway or bus in the morning because they are both full.) “No es lo mismo té que café” (Its not the same thing, tea and coffee).

2) It is a common error among Spanish students to confuse “Qué” and “Cuál “, because sometimes “What” in English is “Cuál” in Spanish and vice versa.

We use “Qué” to ask about a definition: “¿Qué es un pingüino?: es un ave que vive en el hemisferio sur…..”(What is a penguin?: it is a bird that lives in the southern hemisphere )

We use “Cuál” when we want ask about a selection, an option. For example: “¿Cuál es tu color favorito?” (Which is your favorite color?), “¿Cuáles son tus películas favoritas?” (What are your favorite movies?), “¿Cuál es tu nombre?” (What is your name?), “¿Cuál es tu casa?” (Which is your home?), ¿Cuál es el pingüino? (Which is the penguin?) (In this last question, you have to imagine that I have a group of different animals and I am showing them to you.)

We can use “Qué” for a selection next to a noun, but never can we use “Cuál” next to a noun.

“¿Qué color te gusta más?” (What color do you like more?), “¿Qué vino prefieres?” (What wine do you prefer?)

3) “Tan” is an adverb, which we can use before an adjective, to make comparisons. For example: “Raúl es tan alto como Luis” (Raúl is as tall as Luis), “Esa casa no es tan cara como la casa de la esquina” (That house is not as expensive as the house on the corner). If we are comparing nouns, we should to use Tanto/a/s depending on if the noun is feminine or masculine: “Hay tantos hombres como mujeres aquí” (There are as many men here as women). And if we are comparing verbs, we have to use “Tanto”: “Ernesto no toma tanto como Oscar”. (Ernest does not drink as much as Oscar).

But we can also use “Tan” with an adverb, adjective or adverbial phrase to put emphasis or reduce its meaning: “El curso es tan interesante que no quiero que termine” (The course is so interesting that I do not want it to end), “No puedo caminar tan rápido”. (I can not walk so fast).

In same occasions it is used to justify something done. “La clase era tan aburrida que nos fuimos” (The class was so boring that we left), “Llovía tanto que tuvimos que quedarnos” (It was raining so much we had to stay). Note: pay attention that we also use “tanto” with verbs.

If you are still struggling with Spanish grammar after reading this article, I recommend that you read any one of the several books in the Practice Makes Perfect series, including Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions. You may also find the interactive Verbarrator software useful in the area of conjugating Spanish verbs.

via Learning Spanish Reviews Blog » El Mismo Vs Lo Mismo and Que Vs Cual In Spanish.

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