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Can anybody explain to me when each of this variations of "porque" should be used?

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I would like to point out that these words are pronounced differently. The stress falls on the second syllable in "por qué" and "porqué," while it falls on the first syllable in "porque." –  Alan C Nov 15 '11 at 21:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Por qué asks the question why.

¿Por qué hiciste eso?

Porque means because.

Porque puedo.

Porqué translates roughly to reason.

Quiero saber el porqué de esta decisión.

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I should add that there's a fourth alternative: "por que", which means "por el/la cual" or "por los/las cuales" (Esa fue la razón por que lo echaron a la calle). It can also be por + que as "conjunción subordinante" (El éxito en una carrera pasa por que estudies cada día = [...] pasa por estudiar [...]). In this link you can find an explanation of the four cases, with all the proper gramatical names, which I have long forgotten. –  MikMik Dec 30 '11 at 10:23
  • ¿Por qué? is used in questions, and it means literally why?
  • Porque is the answer to a question asked with ¿Por qué? and it means because
  • Porqué is a sustantive, it'd mean the reason for
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