Spanish Grammar

Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish

Adverbial clauses of cause in Spanish are a type of subordinate clauses that expresses the reason why the action of the main verb is done. The information provided by them answers the question ¿por qué? (why?)

Por ejemplo: Estudio español porque quiero aprobar el examen DELE = ¿Por qué estudias español? Porque quiero aprobar el examen DELE.

Let’s see the main causal linking words in Spanish.

Causal Linking Words in Spanish

In order to introduce adverbial clauses of cause in Spanish, we can use some of these linking words:

  • Porque: it’s the most used one. It’s usually placed after the main clause, unless we want to stress a previous information. For example:

—Hoy no vamos a salir porque está lloviendo.

—¡Venga ya! ¡Porque a ti no te guste la lluvia no vamos a quedarnos todos en casa!

  • Puesto que / Ya que / Debido a que: they are more formal than porque and they can be placed before or after the main clause. In this case, the information is already known by the speakers. For example:

Debes dominar el pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo, puesto que es necesario para pasar al nivel C1. / Ya que hablas español, puedes vivir en España sin problemas.

  • Pues: it’s more formal than porque and it’s always used after the main clause. For example:

Los italianos aprenden español rápidamente, pues ambos idiomas son romances.

  • Como: we already saw some usages of this linking word in the clauses of manner. It can also introduce the cause. It’s placed before the main clause. For example:

Como no tenía dinero, no pude ir al cine.

  • Es que: it’s more colloquial than the previous ones. It’s used as an excuse or a justification, usually, as a reply to a question or a reproach. For example:

—¿Todavía no has hecho los deberes?

Es que son muy difíciles.

  • Por: it introduces an infinitive that explains the cause of the main clause. For example:

No has mejorado en conversación por no reservar clases en Spanishviaskype.

Clauses of Cause in Spanish with indicative

Clauses of cause in Spanish are formed in indicative, mainly. When we use this vebal mood, we show the actual reason (a fact) why the action of the main verb is done. In this case, the subordinate clause is expressed in an affirmative way:

No puedo ir a la fiesta porque tengo que trabajar.

The true cause why I can’t go to the party is my job.

Clauses of Cause in Spanish with subjunctive

When the clauses of cause in Spanish show that the reason they express is not the real one, but there’s another, we use the subjunctive. These clauses are formed in a negative way and, they are often go with another causal clause in indicative, which expresses the actual reason:

No puedo ir a la fiesta, pero no porque tenga que trabajar, sino porque necesito dormir.

The real cause is not my job; I don’t actually go because I’m tired.

The linking words that are allowed to be used with subjunctive are  porque, por y es que. We use indicative for the rest.

This free grammar resource is only another tool to learn the clauses of cause in Spanish; we advise you to reserve lessons with us in order to go further and practice them in your conversations. We encourage you to leave a comment below, as well, where you can tell us the real reason why you decided to learn Spanish and the false causes, too.

Infographic about adverbial clauses of cause in Spanish Grammar