Perché, poiché or purché?

  • Perché means both “why” and “because”, so you can use it (generally with a verb in the indicative, not the subjunctive) both to ask and to answer a question.

Perché mi chiami? – Perché ho bisogno di aiuto.

-Why are you calling me? -Because I need help.

Perché non rimani qui? – Perché devo andare a casa.

-Why don't you stay here? -Because I have to go home.

  • Perché is followed by the subjunctive after expressions such as non so (I don't know), non capisco (I don't understand), etc.

Non so perché lui continui a insistere.

I don't know why he keeps insisting.

Non capisco perché non sia ancora arrivato.

I don't understand why he hasn't arrived yet.

  • Poiché means “since” or “seeing as” and it can be used with a verb in the indicative to explain the reason for another action. It always comes at the beginning of the sentence and can be replaced by visto che (seeing that, given that).

Poiché sono in ritardo, prendo un taxi.

Since I'm running late, I'm taking a taxi.

Poiché non parlo inglese, non posso viaggiare all’estero.

Since I don't speak English, I can't travel abroad.

  • Purché means “as long as” or “provided that” and it is used with a verb in the subjunctive to indicate a condition that is necessary for something else to happen.

Puoi rimanere fuori, purché tu faccia attenzione.

You can stay outside, as long as you pay attention.

Vuole cambiare città, purché abbia il mare.

He wants to move to another city, provided that it is near the sea.

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