How to write porque in Spanish? A single word? In separate words? Should I put a tilde? These questions are very common among students of Spanish on Spanishviaskype.com.
Learning Spanish can be difficult for many people. However, the differences between porque, por que, porqué and por qué are not that complicated. Today we are going to answer those questions.
1. How to write porque in Spanish?
The first option is the most common in Spanish. We write porque in a single word and without accent when it is a causal conjunction. If you want to know more about causal clauses in Spanish, you can read this article.
Thus, with this word we can express the cause of the main sentence. It is also the most common answer to a question about the reasons or motives of an action. Let’s see some examples:
No he aprobado el examen DELE porque no lo he preparado con un profesor.
―¿Por qué no buscaste un profesor?
―Porque pensaba que no era necesario.
By the way, the Instituto Cervantes has already published its DELE exam calendar for 2024. Here you can see all the registration and exam dates. If you don’t want to be like the candidate in the example above, you can book classes to prepare for the DELE exams with our teachers. They are all accredited examiners by the Instituto Cervantes.
2. Por qué: two words and tilde
This is the second most used option. We have already seen it in the previous examples. In this case we have the preposition por followed by the interrogative qué. The function of this sequence is to ask for the cause of an action. But don’t be confident! The question marks are not enough to identify it. There are direct and indirect questions. Here are some examples:
¿Por qué has llegado tarde?
No entiendo por qué has llegado tarde.
As we can see, both sentences have the same meaning. We ask the other person why he or she is late.
3. A word and a tilde: porqué
When a student asks us how to write porque in Spanish, the third option is one of the least known. When we use porqué, in a single word and with a tilde, we are dealing with a noun, synonymous with cause, reason or motive. Like any noun, porqué can take articles, adjectives…, and can even be plural.
Nadie sabe el porqué de su decisión, pero sus porqués son cosa suya.
We would like to remind you that the tilde is not really an ornament. In spoken language the stressed syllable can change the meaning and make the difference between porque and porqué.
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4. How to write porque in Spanish: por que
Finally, the fourth variant is the use in two words and without tilde. On this occasion we have two possible combinations:
a) The preposition por and the relative pronoun que
This combination is possible when we use an adjective or relative clause describing a preceding noun that normally expresses cause. In these cases, it is always possible to introduce the definite article (el, la, los, las). Here is an example:
No sé la razón por (la) que estás aquí.
Another option is that the relative clause requires the preposition por:
El libro por (el) que se decidió el profesor es una obra maestra = decidirse por algo
b) The preposition por and the conjunction que
In the latter combination, the word que is a conjunction, a nexus to introduce a noun clause:
Estoy encantado por que vengas a mi fiesta = Estoy encantado por tu asistencia
Los electores votaron por que el presidente fuera reelegido. = Votaron por la reelección.
In conclusion, the next time you wonder how to write porque in Spanish, remember these four combinations. And if you want to practice with a native teacher, you can book lessons here.
Finally, to make it easier to remember these differences, we attach an infographic with some examples: