Question words

The main question words in Italian are:

Chi è Beatrice? Beatrice è mia nonna.

Who is Beatrice? –Beatrice is my grandma.

Che/Cosa/Che cosa studi? Studio italiano.

What are you studying? –I'm studying Italian.

Dove vivi? Vivo a Bologna.

Where do you live? –I live in Bologna.

Quale vuoi? Questo.  

Which one do you want? –This one.  

Quando torni? Torno sabato.

When do you get back? –I get back on Saturday.

Quanto costa questa camicia? Costa 50 euro.

How much does this shirt cost? It costs 50 euros.

Come stai? Molto bene, grazie.

How are you? I'm very well, thank you.

Perché stai studiando italiano? Perché mi piace questa lingua.

Why are you studying Italian? Because I like this language.

Note:

  • Che, cosa and che cosa (all meaning “what”) are all correct and are all widely used.

Che fai? Cosa fai? Che cosa fai?

What are you doing?

  • Quanto (how much) has to agree in gender and number with the noun it corresponds to:

Quanto zucchero metti nel caffè?

How much sugar do you take in your coffee?

Quanti anni hai?

How old are you? (literally “How many years do you have?”)

  • Quale (which) has to agree in number (quali for both masculine and feminine plurals) and it becomes qual if it comes before a word that begins with e:

Quali sono i tuoi amici? 

Which (ones) are your friends?

Quali case preferisci?

Which houses do you prefer?

Qual è il tuo colore preferito?

What is your favourite color? (literally “Which one is your favourite color?”)


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