Quick answer
"Why" is an adverb which is often translated as "por qué", and "in which" is a pronoun which is often translated as "en el cual". Learn more about the difference between "why" and "in which" below.
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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in which(
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
1. (relative)
a. en el cual (masculine)
We need to create a school environment in which all children can thrive.Necesitamos crear un ambiente escolar en el cual todos los niños puedan desarrollarse bien.
b. en la cual (feminine)
They just published a new guide in which they explain how to apply to the university.Publicaron una nueva guía en la cual explican cómo solicitar plaza en la universidad.
c. en el que (masculine)
This is the chapter in which all the questions raised in the book will be answered.Este es el capítulo en el que serán respondidos todos los interrogantes surgidos en el libro.
d. en la que (feminine)
That is the house in which we used to live when I was little.Esa es la casa en la que vivíamos cuando yo era pequeña.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
2. (in questions)
a. en cuál
In which of the dresser drawers did you put the money?¿En cuál de los cajones del tocador pusiste el dinero?
b. en qué
In which year where you born?¿En qué año naciste?
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