Ya que/ Puesto que/ Porque/No porque followed by indicative/subjunctive (subordinate causal clauses)

We can introduce a subordinate clause that expresses the cause of the main sentence with different connectives. The most common connectives are "porque""ya que" and "puesto que". All these are followed by the indicative.

Have a look at these examples:

Estoy haciendo horas extra porque necesito dinero para pagar mis deudas.I am doing extra hours because I need money to pay my debts.

Elegimos ese hotel ya que nos lo recomendó mi amiga.We chose that hotel because a friend of mine recommended it.

Debes estudiar más puesto que esa asignatura es bastante difícil.You must study more because that subject is quite difficult.

It is incorrect to use the subjunctive:

Debes estudiar más porque/ya que/puesto que esa asignatura es/sea bastante difícil.

No porque

However, with porque, if the causal subordinate clause is negative, it allows both the indicative and the subjunctive (without changing the meaning):

Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me guste, sino porque debo perder peso.I go to the gym, not because I like it, but because I must lose weight.

Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me gusta, sino porque debo perder peso.I go to the gym, not because I like it, but because I must lose weight.

Ella fue a la universidad no porque quisiera sino porque su padre la obligó.She went to university, not because she wanted to, but because her dad forced her.

Ella fue a la universidad, no porque quiso, sino porque su padre la obligó.She went to university, not because she wanted to, but because her dad forced her.

Notice that when we introduce a clause with "no porque" we often see "sino porque..." (but because...) afterwards to introduce the real cause. However this is not always necessary as the whole sentence could be split in two, for example:

Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me gusta, sino porque debo perder peso.

or

Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me gusta. Yo voy porque debo perder peso.

Ya que/Puesto que

This doesn't happen with other causal connectives like "ya que" or "puesto que". These are always followed by the indicative and do not allow a "no" in front either.

This is incorrect:

  • Yo me casé contigo ya que fueras rica sino porque eras adorable.
  • Pospusimos la reunión no puesto que el jefe quiso, sino porque el cliente llegó tarde.

Here are some correct examples with ya que and puesto que, followed by the indicative:

No pudimos ver la película ya que tuvimos una visita inesperada esa tarde.We couldn't watch the film because we had an unexpected visit that evening.

Nos cancelaron el vuelo puesto que esperaban tormentas y mucho viento.They cancelled our flight because they were expecting storms and a lot of wind.

Gabriel decidió comprar el piso puesto que sus padres iban a ayudarle económicamente.Gabriel decided to buy the flat because his parents were going to help him financially.

Ya que insistes tanto te voy a invitar a cenar.As/because you are insisting so much I am inviting you to dinner.

Note that ya que and puesto que are more formal than porque, which is more commonly used in colloquial Spanish.

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Examples and resources

No pudimos ver la película ya que tuvimos una visita inesperada esa tarde.We couldn't watch the film because we had an unexpected visit that evening.
Elegimos ese hotel ya que nos lo recomendó mi amiga.We chose that hotel because a friend of mine recommended it.
Gabriel decidió comprar el piso puesto que sus padres iban a ayudarle económicamente.Gabriel decided to buy the flat because his parents were going to help him financially.
Ella fue a la universidad, no porque quiso, sino porque su padre la obligó.She went to university, not because she wanted to, but because her dad forced her.
Estoy haciendo horas extra porque necesito dinero para pagar mis deudas.I am doing extra hours because I need money to pay my debts.
Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me guste, sino porque debo perder peso.I go to the gym, not because I like it, but because I must lose weight.
Ella fue a la universidad no porque quisiera sino porque su padre la obligó.She went to university, not because she wanted to, but because her dad forced her.
Ya que insistes tanto te voy a invitar a cenar.As/because you are insisting so much I am inviting you to dinner.
Yo voy al gimnasio, no porque me gusta, sino porque debo perder peso.I go to the gym, not because I like it, but because I must lose weight.
Nos cancelaron el vuelo puesto que esperaban tormentas y mucho viento.They cancelled our flight because they were expecting storms and a lot of wind.
Debes estudiar más puesto que esa asignatura es bastante difícil.You must study more because that subject is quite difficult.
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