Qué is the forty-fifth most common word in the Spanish Language.
Qué with an accent is a Spanish word which gets British listeners, especially of a certain age, in a bit of a twist. If you are familiar with Monty Python, one of the stars of Monty Python, John Cleese had a hit comedy series called Fawlty Towers. Fawlty Towers was a disaster of a hotel and one of the hotel’s employees was a hapless Spanish waiter called Manuel who repeatedly said in most episodes “¿qué?“. The word for a while became a catch phrase.
Qué is a one syllable word which simply means “what?”.
Qué is an interrogative pronoun, which is an academic way of saying that it helps you to ask questions. And, of course, it is not a coincidence that the English word questions begins with the same three letters as qué It is also recorded as being an adjective and an adverb.
Notice that there is an accent on the e – é. The purpose of the accent is to differentiate qué (what) from que (that). My trusty Spanish dictionary, the Collins one, which also has an iPad app,gives a number of different meanings of the word qué, but the simplest and easiest translation is “what”.
Here are a couple of examples of the use of qué
¿Qué dices? – What are you saying?
¿Qué día del mes es hoy? What day in the month is it?
Qué comes in at number 46 in the top 100 Spanish words. I have a funny feeling that this particular word is committed easily to memory, especially for those people who are familiar with John Cleese and his immense and amazing comedic masterpiece Fawlty Towers. And, as they say in Spanish “¡qué va!”