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I can't seem to figure out the grammar for this sentence. I've tried looking online at learning resources but still can't figure it out.

Here is the rest of the verse, it's from a song.

Es que yo sin ti Y tú sin mi

Dime quién puede ser feliz

Esto no me gusta

Esto no me gusta

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    "Es que yo sin ti" isn't a sentence, it's a sentence fragment and missing the rest of the secondary clause. Aug 2, 2015 at 21:07
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    Please add the full context so we can help you better, without full context is hard to tell why the sentence has that "es que". It seems poetic though.
    – Dzyann
    Aug 3, 2015 at 1:27
  • OT; I can't help but commenting that the "mi" in the first verse needs a "tilde", "mí", since it's a pronoun (as a rule of thumb, "mi" = "my", "mí" = "me"). Aug 6, 2015 at 20:18

3 Answers 3

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Oh I know this song haha. 'que' simply means 'that' or 'because'.

In English it would be translated: It's that me without you... or It's because me without you...and you without me...

The 'that' or 'because' in both English and Spanish implies that he is explaining/rationalizing his thoughts. It makes it more conversational. He asks the person he is singing to "tell me who can be happy......because of the aforementioned"

without the 'que' it translates as such: It's me without you...you without me... but this is simply stating a fact, there is no argument about whether they are together or not. You can even say that the use of 'que' can begin the sentence with "It's just that...me without you, you without me." (of course without the 'just')

I hope this helps. I used to live in latin America, and I'll go against most people by voicing that I believe Reggaeton is a great way to learn conversational, young Spanish...so keep it up. :)

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    ps: I don't have enough reputation to comment, but Saul is mistaken. 'que' is used in normal conversational language haha. It is not slang or a crutch word.
    – xkurohatox
    Aug 3, 2015 at 6:27
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    As long as the reggaeton song is not degrading to women I'm ok with it. Good answer though it can improve with some formatting. Welcome to the site and keep it up!
    – Jose Luis
    Aug 3, 2015 at 8:23
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    I agree with Joze in regards to the degrading part. Yea listening to the music is a fun way to learn new words and phrases, it is much easier to memorize a song you like than to memorize lists of words. Thank you xkurohatox for you answer it did help.
    – Kyle
    Aug 4, 2015 at 0:49
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You have to think of "es que" as a unit that you can put in front of any sentence. It's used to emphasise that the sentence is a reason or explanation for whatever was asked or said first. You can translate it as "because", although it feels more like a filler word than "porque". Compare the following sentences:

Te quiero.
Es que te quiero.

Soy de Madrid.
Es que soy de Madrid.

The second versions imply that an explanation is being given, for example after a lover is surprised at an unexpected gift or after somebody expresses surprise at your familiarity with Madrid street names.

In the quoted song, we could simply say "Tú sin mí y yo sin ti, dime quién puede ser feliz". Putting "es que" in front is just an example of this common pattern in action.

As mentioned in one of the answers, this use is often frowned upon, at least here in Spain. While not grammatically wrong, it is true that it has always been a pet peeve of teachers because children tend to overuse it and start virtually every sentence with "es que". For example, a child raising his hand at a primary school could say "Es que necesito hacer pis". The "es que" indicates that what follows is the justification of why they were raising their hand, but it's often used even when stating facts, as in "Es que los romanos conquistaron Hispania" or "Es que el agua se congela a 0 grados". Hence the common feeling that it is a useless, bad-style filler phrase.

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  • An alternative translation might be Actually or In fact which fit some of the examples.
    – mdewey
    Nov 24, 2022 at 12:13
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You don't have to use 'es que'. That's just slang or crutch words, typically spelled as 'esque' and not supported by the RAE, Royal Academy of Spanish Language.

'Es que' usually means 'because', or more appropriately 'it's because'.

I don't have enough context, but I believe that phrase has more of a poetic or lyrical meaning. Something like 'because I ...can't live/die... without you', or 'because I, without you, ...can't live/die." Etc.

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    "Es que..." is perfectly grammatical (copula verb, with a noun clause predicate nominative). It may be superfluous in most causes, but I'd like to see a reference for the RAE rejecting its use. Aug 2, 2015 at 21:10
  • Here is the rest of the verse, it's from a song. Es que yo sin ti Y tú sin mi Dime quién puede ser feliz Esto no me gusta Esto no me gusta
    – Kyle
    Aug 2, 2015 at 22:32
  • My friend who's first language is Spanish said that it wouldn't make sense without the "que".
    – Kyle
    Aug 2, 2015 at 22:36
  • I think I may have figured it out. I have to use the relative pronoun que to link the two clauses "es" and "yo sin ti y tu sin mi" together.
    – Kyle
    Aug 2, 2015 at 23:06
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    -1 Do you have references for your claims that Es que is incorrect? Es que can mean many things, among those because and it is gramatically correct and accepted as far as I know. If you have a source I'll change my vote.
    – Jose Luis
    Aug 3, 2015 at 8:19

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