“Por qué” Vs. “Porque” in Spanish – Learn the Difference

Wellcome to our grammar lesson about “Por qué” Vs. “Porque” in Spanish.

“Por qué” and “Porque” are two Spanish terms that look very similar, so it is natural for the Spanish beginner to wonder about their difference.

In Spanish, there are actually 4 terms which look very similar, yet they have different meanings:

  • Por qué = why
  • Porque = because
  • Porqué = reason, cause
  • Por que (several meanings)

In this lesson, we will learn the difference between “Por qué” Vs. “Porque”, as well as the other two terms on the list, providing example sentences for each.

1. Por qué = why

“Por qué” is a question word that means “why”. Most of the times it is included in a question with question marks, though not always.

¿Por qué?
Why?

¿Por qué aprendes español?
Why are you learning Spanish?

¿Sabes por qué te quiero tanto?
Do you know why I love you so much?

No me dijo por qué.
He didn’t tell me why.

2. Porque = because

“Porque” is a conjunction that means “because”. So most times, when we ask with “Por qué”, we answer with “Porque”.

María aprende español porque tiene un novio mexicano.
María learns Spanish because she has a Mexican boyfriend.

Lo hago porque quiero.
I do it because I want to.

3. Porqué = reason, cause

“Porqué” means “the cause, the reason”. It is a masculine noun, usually preceded by the articles “el” or “un”.

No sé el porqué de esa actitud.
I don’t know the reason for that attitude.

Se fue y no me dio un porqué.
He went away, but he didn’t give me a reason.

4. Por que (several meanings)

“Por que” is a combination of the preposition “por” followed by the relative pronoun “que”. This case doesn’t happen often. It is also more vague and it can have different meanings.

One possible meaning is “for which…”:

Estas son las acciones por que fue criticado.
These are the actions for which he was criticized.

It also can follow some verbs or expressions that use the preposition “por”, when introducing a subordinate clause:

Mis padres optaron por que estudiara Derecho.
My parents opted for me to study Law. (“optar por” = to opt for)

5. Practice: A Quiz on “Por qué” Vs. “Porque”

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about this topic: