Por qué, porque, por que and porqué

These words usually cause confusion not only between Spanish learners but even between native Spanish speakers. Today we will be learning the meaning and correct way for using each of them. The four terms are pronounced more or less the same but the main difference is the emphasis when pronouncing them, but this should be easy to remember if you learn the rules for Spanish accents.

1. ¿Por qué?
It means “why”. this is used mostly to ask questions, always with questions marks.

Take a look at the following examples:

• ¿Por qué has venido? (Why have you come?)
• ¿Por qué estabas haciendo eso sin mi permiso? (Why were you doing that without my permission?)
• ¿Por qué no comes pan? (Why don’t you eat bread?)

2. Porque
This means “because”. In English when you ask a question using “why,” you’ll probably get an answer beginning with “because.”, the same happens in Spanish with por qué and porque.

• ¿Por qué te vas? Porque ya es muy tarde. (Why are you leaving? Because it is too late already.)
• ¿Por qué lo hiciste? Porque fue gracioso (Why did you do it? Because it was funny.)

3. Por que
This means “for which”, is definitely the most difficult and the less commonly used. It can be translated as “for which,” but sometimes it can also be translated as “why” or even “(so) that.”

• Esa es la razón por que vine. (That is the reason for which I came
• Este es el motivo por que no llamé. (This is the reason for which I didn’t call.)
• Lucho por que haya paz en el mundo. (I fight so that there is peace in the world.)

4. Porqué
It means “the reason” or cause of something, it usually goes accompanied by articles.

• Dime el porqué no quieres ir. (Tell me the reason you don’t want to go.)
• Me preguntó los porqués de mi decisión. (He asked about the reason for my decision.)


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Lisa Ramirez Written by:

Graphic Designer, Blog editor, Spanish Teacher.

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