why
Listen to an audio pronunciation
Listen to an audio pronunciation
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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why
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 didn't you say so?¿por qué no lo dijiste?
why not?¿por qué no?
why get angry?¿para qué enfadarse, enojarse?
2. (in suggestions)
a. por qué
why don't you phone him?¿por qué no lo llamas?
why don't I come with you?¿y si voy contigo?
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
3. (relative)
a. por qué
I'll tell you why I don't like herte diré por qué no me gusta
that is why I didn't say anything(es) por eso (por lo que) no dije nada
the reason why…la razón por la que…
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
4. (general)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
the whys and wherefores (of something)el cómo y por qué (de algo)
An interjection is a short utterance that expresses emotion, hesitation, or protest (e.g. Wow!).
5. (general)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
why, it's David!¡vaya, si es David!
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
why [waɪ]
adverb
por qué
why not? ¿por qué no?; why on earth didn't you tell me? ¿por qué demonios no me lo dijiste?; I know why you did it sé por qué lo hiciste; why he did it we shall never know no sabremos nunca por qué razón lo hizo; that's why I couldn't come por eso no pude venir; which is why I am here que es por lo que estoy aquí
why complain if you don't have to?
interjection
¡toma!; ¡anda!
why, it's you! ¡toma, eres tú!; ¡anda, eres tú!; why, what's the matter? bueno, ¿qué pasa?; why, there are 8 of us! ¡si somos 8!; why, it's easy! ¡vamos, es muy fácil!
noun
the whys and (the) wherefores el porqué
Why can usually be translated by por qué:
Why didn't you come? ¿Por qué no viniste?
They asked her why she hadn't finished her report Le preguntaron por qué no había terminado el informe
Remember the difference in spelling between por qué (why) and porque (because).
To ask specifically about the purpose of something, you can translate why using para qué:
Why go if we are not needed? ¿Para qué vamos a ir si no nos necesitan?
In statements, you can translate (the reason) why using por qué, la razón (por la que) or el motivo (por el que):
Tell me (the reason) why you don't want to accept the proposal Dime por qué or la razón por la que or el motivo por el que no quieres aceptar la propuesta
Translate that's why using por eso:
That's why they wouldn't pay Por eso no querían pagar
Like all question words in Spanish, porqué can function as a masculine noun. Note that in el porqué, porqué is written as one word:
I'd like to know why he's absent or the reason for his absence Me gustaría saber el porqué de su ausencia
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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