You already know that Que or Qu'est-ce que at the start of a question is used to ask what something is (See Qu'est-ce que c'est... and Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça/cela ? = What is... / What's that? in French, C'est quoi, Qu'est-ce que c'est ? = What's that? (French Questions)).
Learn how to ask questions with which/what in French
Look at these questions:
So when to use quel instead of que/quoi/qui ?
Whereas que/quoi/qui will be used to define something, to ask what they are, quel is used in the context of a choice, an alternative: what is that, relative to other elements?
quel goes with acteur (Which actor?)
quel goes with parfum (Which flavour?)
quelle goes with personne (Which person?)
Quel is an adjective, so it agrees in number and gender with the thing/person it is used with ("quel", "quels", "quelle", or "quelles").
Case of lequel, laquelle, lesquels, lesquelles
These are pronouns, which means they're replacing pre-mentioned nouns (i.e. "Which one(s) ...?).
Therefore, they'll be used when the thing they refer to has already been mentioned, to emphasise the question:
Note that the noun is not mentioned in the question, as lequel, laquelle... already expresses it: it would be redundant!
See also Quel/quelle/quels/quelles + [nom] = What a [noun] (French Exclamative Adjectives)
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Examples and resources
- Oui, mais lesquels sont tes préférés ?I love sweets!
- Yes, but which ones are your favourite?