How do you use the word perché in Italian? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?
In this lesson, we will look at how to use this word with the help of many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn everything you need to know!
Perché in Italian
What is perché?
Perché is both an adverb and a conjunction. It has several meanings.
The most common meaning is why and because, so you use it to ask or explain why something is happening. Unlike English, Italian makes no distinction between questions and statements. It can also mean “so that”.
Why, because; since; so that
Its pronunciation is close to pehr-keh, with the accent on the final é. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, especially the rolled R, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.
Now, let’s see some example sentences with perché in Italian, before we take a look at how to use this word.
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Perché hai chiuso la finestra?
Why did you close the window?
Ho aperto la porta perché c’era troppo caldo nella stanza.
I opened the door because it was too hot in the room.
Marta lasciò la finestra aperta perché il gatto entrasse.
Marta left the window open so that the cat could come in.
Ti conviene sbrigarti perché la banca chiuderà fra poco.
You better hurry because the bank will be closing soon.
Now let’s see how to use perché in Italian.
Use of perché in Italian
We’ve said that perché in Italian has more than one meaning. First, it can be translated as both “why” and “because”.
Perché quel bambino sta piangendo?
Why is that little boy crying?
Perché è caduto dalla bici.
Because he fell off his bicycle.
Perché is not used to translate “because of”. That’s what the prepositions per and a causa di are for.
Stefano prende sempre in giro Marco per il suo dialetto.
Stefano always makes fun of Marco because of his dialect.
Mio papà non è a Berlino in vacanza, ma per lavoro.
My dad is not in Berlin on vacation, but on business.
La gita è stata annullata a causa di una terribile tempesta.
The trip was canceled because of a terrible storm.
If you need an explanation for something but don’t want to use perché in Italian, you can use one of these synonyms (in questions only):
- come mai? (how come?)
- per quale motivo/ragione? (for what reason?
Come mai non sei venuto alla festa ieri sera?
How come you didn’t come to the party last night?
Per quale ragione non sei venuto alla partita?
Why did you not come to the game?
If you want to explain why something happened with a statement, you can also use the synonyms poiché, dato che and siccome. Siccome and dato che are pretty common synonyms for perché in Italian, but you’ll find poiché mostly in books. They can also start a sentence by translating “since”, but cannot be used in questions.
Non andai a scuola poiché avevo l’influenza.
I did not go to school as I had the flu.
Dato che il museo era chiuso, siamo andati all’ipermercato
Since the museum was closed, we went to the hypermarket.
Non ho mangiato nulla poiché non avevo fame.
I did not eat anything since I was not hungry.
Siccome sono tornato a casa a mezzanotte, ho fatto tardi a scuola.
Because I came home at midnight, I was late for school.
When it translates “so that”, perché is interchangeable with affinché and is followed by a subjunctive tense. Here are some examples.
Ho sgridato mio figlio perché capisse che non deve fare capricci al supermercato.
I scolded my son so that he would understand that he should not throw tantrums in the supermarket.
(Capisse is a past subjunctive conjugation of capire, to understand)
Paolo va dal dottore perché gli dica cosa prendere per il mal di schiena.
Paul goes to the doctor so that he tells him what to take for backache.
(Dica is a present subjunctive conjugation of dire, to say)
And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use perché in Italian!
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