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English:

Since months attending a course in spanish, I still don't understand the difference between the two constructs "ya que" and "porque" when used to describe a reason for something (justify something).

Examples:

"En este caso, se te considera peatón, ya que llevas a pie una bicicleta."

"Conducía con cuidado, ya que llovía".

At cambrige.dictionary, the first hit for "ya que" offers "because" and thus it should be able to be used as substitution for "porque".

I found this article too which says:

"The expression “ya que” it is formed by the adverb of time “ya” and the conjuction “que”.

The Spanish used the same way that pues” “porque”, “puesto que”

With “ya que” we introduce the cause, explanation, and also the condition of something"

...

Como ves, el sentido de esas frases no cambia si en lugar de “ya que” usamos “pues” o “puesto que” o “porque”"

So both sources say "ya que" can be used/is a substitution.

But then again, I found this article in SpanishDict, which says they are not a substitution for each other:

"The Spanish words you asked about are not the same and are not substitutes for each other. Here are the meanings: Porque = because, Ya que = either 'since', or 'as'

Sometimes it may seem possible to use either one of them interchangeably but most of the time this will not work."

Why it won't work? And where is actual the difference here exactly in using "since" or "as" in the case of "because"?

Is it that the objection of the reason actually has to be persistent in the present?


Español:

Desde hace meses que asisto a un curso en español, todavía no entiendo la diferencia entre los dos constructos "ya que" y "porque" cuando se usan para describir la razón de algo (justificar algo).

Ejemplos:

"En este caso, se te considera peatón, ya que llevas a pie una bicicleta".

"Conducía con cuidado, ya que llovía".

En cambrige.dictionary, el primer resultado para "ya que" ofrece "porque" y por lo tanto debería poder ser utilizado como sustitución de "porque".

También encontré este artículo que dice:

"La expresión“ ya que ”está formada por el adverbio de tiempo“ ya ”y la conjunción “que”.

El español usaba de la misma manera que pues ”porque”,“puesto que”

Con “ya que” introducimos la causa, explicación y también la condición de algo"

...

Como ves, el sentido de esas frases no cambia si en el lugar de “ya que” usamos “pues” o “puesto que” o “porque”"

Entonces, ambas fuentes dicen que "ya que" se puede usar/es una sustitución.

Pero, de nuevo, encontré este artículo en SpanishDict, que dice que no son una sustitución entre sí:

"Las palabras en español que preguntaste no son iguales y no se sustituyen entre sí. Aquí están los significados: Porque = porque, Ya que = ya sea 'desde' o 'como'

A veces puede parecer posible usar cualquiera de ellos indistintamente, pero la mayoría de las veces esto no funcionará. "

¿Por qué no funcionará? ¿Y dónde está la diferencia real aquí exactamente en el uso de "desde" o "como" en el caso de "porque"?

¿Es que la objeción de la razón tiene que ser persistente en el presente?

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  • ya que is since and porque is because. Desde hace que? What is your mother tongue, please? – Lambie Feb 23 at 18:42
1

They are almost the same. This is supported by the DLE:

ya que
[...]
2. loc. conjunt. Porque, puesto que. Ya que lo sabes, dímelo.

and by Fundéu:

Porque, ya que o debido a que son algunas de las alternativas que se recomiendan en lugar de la expresión y es que con valor causal.

The very slight difference is that ya que gives the hint that the cause is a given, unchangeable situation, and requires a comma before it. Therefore, ya que does not work for some expressions, such as "only because". The following sentence is valid:

  • Habla conmigo solamente porque quiere algo de mí (He talks with me only because he wants something from me)

but cannot be written using ya que:

  • Habla conmigo solamente, ya que quiere algo de mí

The rule of thumb that "if you can write since in English, you can write ya que in Spanish" works very well.

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  • 1
    ‘Ya que’ conveys that the reason is to be taken as a given, not to be questioned because it should be automatically convincing either because it is assumed to be obvious to the interlocutor, or because one has a very strong case for it (e.g., a logical argument): “no me moví, ya que de lo contrario, me hubieran visto” or “podemos dividir entre x, ya que hemos demostrado que no puede ser cero” or “ya que estáis aquí, tomemos una copa”. It invites the user to take the reason for granted, while the discussion goes on. – Guillermo BCN Feb 17 at 11:31
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The uses of ‘ya que’ very closely translate to those of ‘since’ (meaning ‘because’) in english. It can also be translated as ‘given that’ in more formal contexts. See my comments to wimi’s answer for some examples in spanish.

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After thinking more intensively about the use of "ya que", and beside the helpful responses I got already which express that the explanation introduced by "ya que" is solid and unchangeable, I want to share my own perception of when and how to use "ya que" instead of "porque", which also closely relates to the things Guillermo said below the answer of wimi.

Furthermore, the second article I quoted in my question is correct when saying "ya que" couldn't be substituted by "porque" and translates more to since or as.


"ya que" is in its meaning and use not a direct equivalent to "because".

The use of "ya que" is mainly based on the premise of your understanding, that the person you talk to, is already in advantage of knowing the causal explanation which follows (it is either obvious or known by general conception), whereas you use "porque" if you moreover trying to introduce an explanation to the interlocutor.

For example:

  • "No tengo frío, ya que tengo una chaqueta."

    ["I'm not feeling cold, since I got a jacket."]

    or

  • "Ya que el coche no está parado, no puedo bajarme."

    ["Since the car hasn't stopped, I can't go out of it."]

Whereas you use "porque" in the direct meaning of "because" to explain something new, the other one didn't know:

  • "Yo elijo los zapatos blancos, porque me gustan más."

    ["I choose the white shoes, because I like them more."]

    or

  • "No pude venir antes, porque el tren se retrasó."

    ["I couldn't come earlier, because the train came later."]

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