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Can you tell me the difference between que and como?

For example, the following sentence is right: Que dia é hoje?

But I would have used como instead of que.

I've figured out the following website, which lists some rules related to que and como. It's Spanish, yes, but I guess the rules related to that interrogative pronouns are the same in that case.

Is that website right? https://www.spanishdict.com/compare/qué/cómo

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    Why would you have thought to use Como? What is it that you're trying to say? Are you asking "Which day is it today?" or "What's today's date?", or are you instead asking something more like "How is the day going for you?"
    – tchrist
    Jul 5, 2023 at 21:16
  • Maybe your question stems from misunderstanding the difference between "ser" and "estar"?
    – bfavaretto
    Jul 18, 2023 at 0:12
  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Portuguese Language Meta, or in Portuguese Language Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – stafusa
    Jul 19, 2023 at 19:53

1 Answer 1

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To start, I'd like to welcome you to the website. Yes, the website you provided is correct (after all there are many similarities between the Spanish and Portuguese languages, as this is, in fact, one of them).

When using these two words to introduce a question, they can be more simply translated to how/what:

  • Que vou comer? = What will I eat?
  • Como vou comer? = How will I eat?

However, do not be led into thinking these are direct translations; both of these words can be used in many other contexts. To give you an example, the word Como as a conjugation has the following uses (from Priberam):

  1. Introduces a comparison, indicating that something is done or happens in the same way as something else (eg: I do this as my mother taught me/Eu faço isto como a minha mãe me ensinou) = AS, LIKE
  2. Used to introduce the second term in an equality comparison, usually preceded by so (eg: she's as tall as her father = ela é tão alta como o pai).
  3. Used in a comparison, preceded by so, to indicate equality or equivalence (eg: I think it was as fast as it was effective in the solution = acho que foi tão rápido como eficaz na solução). = HOW MUCH
  4. Indicates someone's perspective or status in relation to something (eg: as a citizen = como um cidadão). = AS, IN THE QUALITY OF
  5. Introduce an expression of cause (eg as the store is already closed, we'll be back tomorrow = como a loja vai fechar
  6. ...

The list goes on, but my point is simply this: do not assume how/what are the only two translations of those two words.

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