El/la/los/las + noun + que + verbo to indicate quantity/intensity (exclamations)

Often, in exclamatory sentences, indicating quantity or intensity, we use the construction:

¡El/la/los/las + noun + que + verb!

For example:

¡El frío que hace hoy!It is so cold today!

¡La empresa que ha montado Miguel!What a company Miguel has set up!

¡Los discursos que da siempre el rey!What speeches the king always makes!

¡Las penurias que pasamos tu abuelo y yo en la guerra!The suffering your grandfather and I experienced during the war!

Sometimes what is intensified is clear with the exclamation; for example in the first sentence it is clear that "it is very cold", or in the last sentence it is expressing "how difficult it was during the war".

In the second and third examples what is intensified is not clear unless you have some context. For instance, the second sentence about the "company" could be talking about a "bad company" or the opposite, a "great company". And the sentence about the king speeches does not clarify what sort of speeches they are, they could be very long and boring or very interesting! In those two cases we would need to extend the conversation to know exactly what is being intensified:

¡Los discursos que da siempre el rey! No puedo creer lo aburridos que son...
The king speeches! I cannot believe how boring they are...

¡La empresa que ha montado Miguel! Ha empleado a 10 personas y les ha hecho contratos permanentes.
Miguel's new company! He has employed 10 people and given them permanent contracts.

With the context we can see what the speaker means in the exclamatory sentence: the first intensifies something negative and the second something positive - implying that it is a good company.

 

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Examples and resources

¡Las penurias que pasamos tu abuelo y yo en la guerra!The suffering your grandfather and I experienced during the war!
¡Los discursos que da siempre el rey!What speeches the king always makes!
¡La empresa que ha montado Miguel!What a company Miguel has set up!
¡El frío que hace hoy!It is so cold today!
How has your day been?