Spanish words: “Quien…”, “quienes…”, “los que…”

spanish words quien quienes los que

In Spanish, “quien”, “quienes”, and “los que” are all relative pronouns. Even though they are the same type of pronouns, they do not have the same meaning. We can confirm the complete relationship between “quien” and “quienes”, but we cannot do the same with “los que”.

This is because “quien” and “quienes” have the same concept. Nonetheless, the only difference between them is that one is in the singular form, and the other is in the plural form. Nowadays, we use quien and quienes when we refer to persons or nouns. On the side, you can use los que as a connector of two sentences.

Learning how to use these Spanish words is important not only because they can help you find out who did something or who’s the owner of any object. Also, they can help you speak in a general way so you can give speeches to large groups without being too specific.

In this article, we will explain to you how to use “quien”, “quienes”, and “los que”, and, as a result, you’ll improve your Spanish and become a well-spoken individual.

How to use ‘quien’

In Spanish, there are three ways we can use “quien”. The first form is “quién”, with an accent mark or “tilde” as we call it in Spanish. We also write this when it fulfills an interrogative or exclamatory function. “Quién” is an accented word that can be the same as “cada quien”.

The second form is “quien”, without the “tilde”. We write or say this when we talk about a relative pronoun. This is an expression in which, even though we write it without an accent mark, we pronounce it as if it had. When we talk about “quien”, we refer to a pronoun that indicates the identity or characteristic of a person.

Finally, we have “cada quien”, which is similar to “cada cual” = (“each one”). This is a phrase that we write without an accent mark since it is an unstressed pronoun. We use “cada quien” to refer to each person concerning the others in a group. This phrase does not have a plural.

To explain it better, if the subordinate clause depends on the verbs “haber” or “tener” = (to have), we use “quien” without an accent mark. But otherwise, if the subordinate clause has the verb in the infinitive, we use the interrogative “quién”.

Now, let’s see some examples of “quien”, “quién”, and “cada quien”.

La señora Trina no tiene quien se encargue de ella.

Mrs. Trina has no one to take care of her.

Cada quien le llevó un regalo el día de su cumpleaños.

Each one brought him a present on his birthday.

Ella fue a quien ayudé aquella vez.

She was the one I helped that time.

¿Quién te dijo esa maravillosa noticia?

Who told you that wonderful news?

Using the preposition /a/ before “quien” or “quienes” is very common because it helps us refer to someone or a group of people. So, if you’re planning to go to a Spanish-speaking country or you have friends that speak Spanish too, you’ll hear it pretty often.

How to use ‘quienes’

We use “quienes” when we refer to the plural of “quien”. We also use “quiénes” with an accent mark when we refer to the plural of “quién”. Remember that we use it when we refer to persons or personified entities, never to things. Therefore, we use “quiénes” with an accent mark when it comes to asking questions.

If you want to make questions using “quiénes”, you can do it by following the formula below.

Interrogative pronoun/adverb + verb + subject + complement

Here are a few examples.

Pero entonces, ¿quiénes eran los que estaban en la fiesta de Camila?

But then, who were the ones at Camila’s party?

¿Quiénes fueron los que te dijeron eso?

Who were the ones who told you that?

As you may realize, in the examples above we learned how to use “quienes” with an accent mark. Now, let’s see how to use “quienes” without an accent mark.

Let’s see a few more examples.

No sabemos quienes son, pero creo que no son de aquí.

We do not know who they are, but I think they are not from here.

Tenemos que ver quienes van a ir a la playa con nosotros al final.

We have to see who will go to the beach with us at the end.

In this case, we use “quienes” between two verbs. But, depending on what you want to say, you can use “quienes” to start the sentences and use only one verb.

Let’s look at the example below.

Quienes vengan a mi casa les daré un premio.

Those who come to my house I will give them a prize.

How to use ‘los que’

In Spanish, “los que” is a relative pronoun. The main purpose of “los que” is to connect a subordinate clause with the main clause. “Los que” helps us to ease the transition of ideas between them. There are many ways to place “los que” in a sentence. Still, the most common way to do it is using the formula below.

The main sentence + los que (relative pronoun) + subordinate clause

Take into account that a relative pronoun like “los que” can rarely be omitted in Spanish. So it is very important to know how to use it. We use “los que” according to the element in the main clause so that it provides more information.

Here are some examples.

Ellos eran los amigos en los que más confiaba y me traicionaron.

They were my most trusted friends and they betrayed me.

No lo sé, ya que ellos eran los que tenían la información.

I don’t know, since they were the ones with the information.

Additionally, we also have las que, which is the feminine form of “los que”. It has the same purpose as “los que” but it only changes gender according to the sentence.

For example,

Esas chicas fueron las que me dijeron que el cine no abría este fin de semana.

Those girls were the ones who told me that there would be no cinema this weekend.

Sofia y Maria eran las que iban en ese carro!

Sophie and Mary were the ones in that car!

In summary, “quien”, “quienes”, and “los que” are relative pronouns that help us connect two sentences. Although, you can use “quien” and “quienes” to refer to a person or nouns depending on what you want to say. You must be careful when using them, especially when writing.

Don’t forget to add the “tilde” or you probably will end up misusing these tools. Take your time to practice and avoid confusion. You just have to be aware of its singular and plural forms, and feminine and masculine as in the case of “los que”.

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