Using cuál followed by a noun in interrogative sentences

When asking questions about preference, i.e when you have to choose from a selection, we can use:

cuál/cuáles + noun

For example, if there is a conversation about two or more different items/people that are physically present or that have been previously mentioned, someone may ask which you prefer:

¿Cuál vestido prefieres? ¿ El vestido rojo o el vestido azul?Which dress do you prefer? The red dress or the blue dress?

¿Cuál escuela es mejor? Es una decisión difícil.Which school is better? It's a difficult decision.

-Allí están mis hermanas - Y ¿cuál hermana es Sara?-There are my sisters. - And which sister is Sara?

Bear in mind that singular cuál remains the same irrespective of gender, it doesn't change for masculine or feminine singular nouns. 

For plural nouns you need the plural cuáles, it too is invariable for both for feminine and masculine nouns in plural:

¿Cuáles flores vamos a poner en este jarrón? Tenemos rosas rojas y claveles blancos.Which flowers are we going to put in this vase? We have red roses and white carnations.

- Queremos ver a las niñas. - Pero ¿cuáles niñas? Aquí hay muchas niñas.- We want to see the girls. - But which girls? There are lots of girls.

Note that cuál and cuáles when used as interrogative pronouns always have a written accent on the -á-.

Bear in mind that when asking a more general question that doesn't refer to a preconceived selection, it is more common to use qué + noun. For example:

¿Qué música te gusta?What [sort of] music do you like?

See also Forming questions with qué = what

 

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Examples and resources

¿Cuáles flores vamos a poner en este jarrón? Tenemos rosas rojas y claveles blancos.Which flowers are we going to put in this vase? We have red roses and white carnations.
-Allí están mis hermanas - Y ¿cuál hermana es Sara?-There are my sisters. - And which sister is Sara?
¿Cuál vestido prefieres? ¿ El vestido rojo o el vestido azul?Which dress do you prefer? The red dress or the blue dress?
¿Cuál escuela es mejor? Es una decisión difícil.Which school is better? It's a difficult decision.
¿Qué música te gusta?What [sort of] music do you like?
- Queremos ver a las niñas. - Pero ¿cuáles niñas? Aquí hay muchas niñas.- We want to see the girls. - But which girls? There are lots of girls.
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