Porque, por qué, por que, porqué / Spanish grammar tips

mayo 20, 2011

Una de las preguntas más frecuentes durante las clases es “¿Cuál es la direrencia entre por qué y porque ? Encontramos este post en un sitio de internet y queremis compartirlo con ustedes. ¡Échenle un vistazo! 

One of the most frequent questions during our lessons is: “What ‘s the difference between por qué and porque? We found this post online and we wanted to share it with you. Check it out!

web site -> http://www.about.com

http://spanish.about.com/od/writtenspanish/a/porque.htm

Although porquepor quépor que, and porqué have related meanings, they are not interchangeable. If you find them confusing as a Spanish student, you’re in good company: Native speakers often write them incorrectly as well.

Por qué typically is used in questions, meaning “why”:

  • ¿Por qué celebramos el 16 de septiembre? (Why do we celebrate September 16?)
  • ¿Por qué estamos aquí? (Why are we here?)
  • ¿Por qué no citas tus fuentes? (Why don’t you cite your sources?)

Por qué is also sometimes used in statements that form an indirect question. In such cases, it usually is still translated as “why.”

  • Dime por qué las noches son tan largas. (Tell me why the nights are so long.)
  • Quiero saber por qué se usa el prefijo “www” en las páginas Web. (I want to know why the prefix “www” is used for Web pages.)

Porque typically means “because”:

  • Es simple porque se basa en el concepto de igualdad.(It is simple because it is based on the concept of equality.)
  • Perdónalos, porque no saben lo que hacen. (Forgive them, because they don’t know what they’re doing.)
  • Voy al restaurante porque tengo hambre. (I’m going to the restaurant because I’m hungry.)
  • —¿Por qué sales? —Porque estoy aburrida. (Why are you leaving? Because I’m bored.)
Por qué and porque are far more common than the following two usages. If you’re a beginner at Spanish you can probably safely stop here.

Por que occurs when que as a relative pronoun follows the preposition por. If that sounds confusing, think of por que as meaning “for which,” although it is often translated as “that” or “why.”

  • Esa es la razón por que he querido salir. (That is the reason for which I wanted to leave.)
  • El motivo por que llegué tarde fue el paro de buses. (The reason for which he arrived late was the bus stoppage.)

Por que also occurs when que follows a verb phrase using por. For example, the phrase for “to worry about” is preocuparse por. Here is an example where the phrase is followed by queSe preocupa por que las soluciones sean incompatibles. (She is worried that the solutions will be incompatible.)

Finally, porqué is a masculine noun, meaning “reason”:

  • No comprendo el porqué de la violencia doméstica. (I don’t understand the reason for domestic violence.)
  • Están acostumbrados a tomar decisiones, no a explicar los porqués. (They are used to making decisions, not at explaining the reasons.)

Esta canción de Paloma San Basilio, llamada “¿Por qué me abandonaste?, quizá hiera sus oidos pero el coro va a ayudarte a practcar … Después de escucharla ustedes van a tener bastante claro Porqué fue abandonada

This song by Paloma San Basilio, called “¿Por qué me abandonaste?” (Why did you leave me?), might hurt your ears but the chorus will help you practice… and after you listen it you will know why she was dumped!!

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¿Cuál es tu alfajor favorito? / Spanish grammar tips: qué vs. cuál

mayo 6, 2011

– ¿Qué es un alfajor?

– Un alfajor son dos galletitas redondas y dulces con dulce de leche en el medio (como un sandwich), cubiertas con chocolate.

– ¿Y cuál es tu alfajor favorito?

– No sé… hay muchos y todos me gustan.

– Ah, bueno, entonces ¿cuáles son tus marcas (brands) de alfajor favoritas?

– El capitán del espacio, Terrabusi de chocolate y Jorgelín Triple son los que más me gustan.

We use qué when we ask for a definition= ¿Qué es un alfajor?

We use cuál (singular) or cuáles (plural) to select an item from a group= ¿Cuál es tu alfajor favorito?

An alfajor is a sweet snack: two cookies with “dulce de leche” inside (like a sandwich) covered with chocolate. Usually, they are not homemade. You can buy them in a “kiosco” but not in a bakery.

Here, you can take a look at some of the best and worst alfajores you can find in Buenos Aires, according the web site Planeta Joy.  These are our personal favourites:

* Jorgito- It is a classic: simple but very good. It brings us memories from primary school: a cheap and tasty snack to eat on the breaks.

* Terrabusi- Another classic  with a more “mature” touch. The chocolate is bitter and the taste is more intense. You will notice the difference when you see the elegant packaging.

* Cachafaz- It’s the most “gourmet” option and the most expensive one too.

* Águila minitorta- It’s sweet  bomb: bigger than others and filled with dulce de leche and meringue. It’s The option for those moments when you NEED a carbohydrats extra-dose.

* Capitán del espacio-  Unexpectedly delicious (don’t prejudge it for its old fashioned  and cheap packaging!).  It’s more a myth than an actual alfajor.  Since it’s made by a small family factory in Quilmes (to the south of Buenos Aires), it’s difficult to get it. Everybody has its own favorite alfajor, but “Capitán del espacio” goes beyond: it has fans.

Ñ de Español – Spanish tutoring in Buenos Aires

Learning Spanish doesn`t have to be boring