¡Porque sí!

Here’s a simple but somewhat confounding expression- “Because yes!” This is, of course, the literal translation you’ll get if you type it into any online translator. It actually means “just because” or “because I said so”. It’s very common for mothers to say this to their children when they don’t want to explain why they should be obeyed. “¡No quiero comer verduras! ¿Por qué me las haces comer?” pouts the child. “¡Porque sí!” retorts the mom. “¿Por qué tengo que ir a la escuela?” – “¡Porque sí!” It’s a curt, concise response which conveys annoyance with the question and the questioner.

One can also use this expression in other contexts. “¿Por qué son corruptos los políticos?” – “¡Porque sí!” When the answer isn’t clear or doesn’t exist, this response essentially states “it’s just that way…”

The inverse of “¡Porque sí!” is “¡Porque no!” “Por qué no me compras un helado?” – “¡Porque no!”

Listen for these expressions next time you’re at the cash register and the kids in front of you are whining to their parents in Spanish. It’s very common in real life but strangely absent from dictionaries and textbooks…

 

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