Warum and wieso


I almost get the same translation for both words “why”.

Is there a specific situation for when the words should be used or are the words full interchangeable?


Hallo RexV,

If you pull wieso apart, you get wie "how" and so "so." So you can think of wieso as being more literally like "how so?" If we get down to the nitty gritty of it, wieso is asking more after the cause of something - "How come? How is that so?" You will often hear it as a full question by itself - Wieso?

Warum, on the other hand, is just "why," plain and simple, and is asking after the reason behind something. It is used more often in questions that are complete sentences - Warum benutzt man „warum“ und nicht „wieso“? "Why does one use 'warum' and not 'wieso'?"

It's always a frustrating thing to hear for learners, but this is the sort of thing that you'll get a better feel for over time with more exposure to the language.

Viel Erfolg!


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