Qué or que?

Qué (with an accent) and que (no accent) have the same pronunciation but different meanings.

¿Qué hora es?

What time is it?

Es la amiga de la que te hablé.

She is the friend that I told you about.

We use qué

  • To ask direct and indirect questions

—¿Q día es hoy? —Es viernes.

-What day is it today? -It's Friday.

—¿Qué dices? —Digo que estoy cansado.

-What are you saying? -I'm saying (that) I'm tired.

No sabemos qué hacer.

We don't know what to do.

  • In exclamations, placed directly before a noun or adjective

¡Qué bonito!

How pretty! 

¡Qué casa tan grande!

What a big house!

We use que: 

  • As a relative pronoun, to join ideas and avoid repetition

Estos son los zapatos azules. Quiero comprarme los zapatos azules. 
→ Estos son los zapatos azules que quiero comprarme (que = los zapatos).

These are the blue shoes. I want to buy the blue shoes. → These are the blue shoes that I want to buy (that = the shoes).

—¿Quiénes son tus hijos? —Son los que están persiguiendo al gato.

-Who/Which are your children? -They're the ones that are chasing the cat.

  • In comparisons

Teo es más alto que Ana.

Teo is taller than Ana.

El Dr. Macías es menos amable que Nacho.

Dr. Macias is less friendly than Nacho.

  • At the beginning of a sentence, to emphasize something already said or understood. It's often followed by a verb in the subjunctive.

—¿Qué has dicho? —(He dicho) Que te calles callarse, subj. presente

-What did you say? -(I said) Shut up

¡(Te digo) Que no quiero! No insistas querer, presente.

(I'm telling you that) I don't want to! Don't insist.

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