poiché vs perché

drewster

Ciao,

What's the difference between these two words? When would I use one rather than the other?

Cheers,
Drew

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Drew,

Perché is translated as either why or because:
Perché non mangi? - Why aren't you eating?
Perché non ho fame - Because I'm not hungry
More rarely, it translates in order to. There's a famous quote that goes:
Non sono d'accordo con quello che dici, ma darei la vita perché tu possa dirlo - I don't agree with what you're saying, but I'd give my life in order for you to say it (That possa belongs to the subjunctive tense of potere; if you haven't already, you will study it later in the course!)

Poiché can be used as a formal synonym for because:
Non ho mangiato nulla, poiché non avevo fame - I didn't eat anything because I wasn't hungry
You can't use it in questions to translate why:
Poiché Perché non mangi?
You can't use it to translate in order to:
[...] poiché perché tu possa dirlo
Unlike perché, it can be used to translate since in sentences like:
Poiché non avevo fame, non ho mangiato nulla - Since I wasn't hungry, I didn't eat anything
You can begin this sentence with poiché, but not with perché. A synonym for poiché is siccomeSiccome is used in subordinate clauses that precede the main sentence.

In the end, you'll have these alternatives:
Poiché/siccome non avevo fame (sub), non ho mangiato (main)
Non ho mangiato (main), poiché/perché non avevo fame (sub)

Hope this helps!

Lucia
 

drewster

It does, thanks. I haven't come across it much and I gathered there was a slight difference to perché but I couldn't quite get it.

I find there are a lot of compound words formed with ché (benché, sicché, poiché, affinché, giacché, etc) and a number of others like siccome that I've just not internalised. At the moment they still all sound the same to me!

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Maybe you could try associating each word to another word or synonym, like this:

Benché - nonostante
Sicché - tanto che, quindi
Poiché- perché, siccome
Affinché fine, end > al fine di, in order to
Giacché - dato che, given that...

I hope I'm not making this even more confusing! You could create sentences with rhymes or wordplays, as my high school chemistry teacher used to do to help us remember the endings of chemical compounds... Enrico è diventato un mafioso incallito. I still remember that now haha!

Lucia

drewster

Sì, non sicuro se questo funziona per me ma, allora, ne devo praticare. :)

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