Quick answer
"When" is an adverb which is often translated as "cuándo", and "why" is an adverb which is often translated as "por qué". Learn more about the difference between "when" and "why" below.
when(
wehn
)
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. cuándo
When was the last time you cried?¿Cuándo fue la última vez que lloraste?
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
2. (relative)
a. cuando
I was sleeping when he got home.Estaba durmiendo cuando llegó a casa.
b. en que
That was the year when we bought our first apartment.Ese fue el año en que compramos nuestro primer apartamento.
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why(
way
)
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. por qué
Why are you crying?¿Por qué lloras?
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
2. (in relative clauses)
a. por qué
I don't know why she left me.No sé por qué me dejó.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
3. (explanation)
a. el porqué
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Do you really want to know why?¿De verdad quieres saber el porqué?
An interjection is a short utterance that expresses emotion, hesitation, or protest (e.g. Wow!).
4. (well)
a. vaya
Why! Look who just arrived!¡Vaya! ¡Mira quién acaba de llegar!
b. anda
Why, surely you don't think Anna stole your ring!Anda, ¡no pensarás que Anna te robó el anillo!
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