Quick answer
"Dónde" is an adverb which is often translated as "where", and "por qué" is a phrase which is often translated as "why". Learn more about the difference between "dónde" and "por qué" below.
dónde(
dohn
-
deh
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (in questions)
a. where
¿Dónde quieren construir el edificio los arquitectos?Where do the architects want to build the building?
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(in questions)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. how
¿Dónde iba a saber que cambiaste de opinión si no me lo dijiste?How was I to know that you'd changed your mind if you didn't tell me?
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por qué(
pohr
 
keh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (in direct interrogative clauses)
a. why (adverb)
¿Por qué no te gustan las guayabas?Why don't you like guavas?
2. (in indirect interrogative clauses)
a. why (adverb)
Me gustaría saber por qué los gatos ronronean.I would like to know why cats purr.
3. (in exclamations)
a. what (pronoun)
¡Por qué cascadas más hermosas pasó la lancha!What beautiful waterfalls the skiff passed through!
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