Exprimer la cause

French Grammar (see all French Grammar tips)

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Exprimer la cause

Terms such as parce que, car, puisque express ‘cause’, or the reason behind a fact or action. These terms answer the question Pourquoi? (Why?), and Pour quelle raison ? (For what reason?).

•  Parce que and car are the most common ways of expressing a cause or explanation. Parce que means ‘because’, and ‘car’ is equivalent to ‘because’ or ‘for’. The difference between the two terms is very subtle.
Je sors tous les soirs parce que j’aime faire la fête. I go out every evening because I love to party.
Je mets un pull parce que j’ai froid. = Je mets un pull car j’ai froid. I put on a jumper because I’m cold.

•  Puisque (since, because) and étant donné que (given that) are used mainly in written French. Both insist on an obvious explanation or justification, rather than a cause.
Je n’ai pas pu prendre l’ascenseur puisqu’il était en panne. I couldn’t take the lift because it was broken.
Il ne peut pas venir chez toi étant donné qu’il ne sait pas où tu habites. He can’t come to your place given that he doesn’t know where you live.

•  Vu que (seeing as/that), and comme (as, since) are usually placed at the start of the phrase.
Vu qu’il fait beau, nous allons à la plage. Seeing as it’s a nice day, we’re going to the beach.
Comme Muriel n’arrête pas de faire des bêtises, Victor doit la punir. Since Muriel won’t stop mucking around, Victor will have to punish her.

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