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When to use what phrase for "because" in French

I'm confused, I don't know whether I should use "car" or "parce que" when saying "because" in French. Which should I use and when?

July 15, 2017



'parce que' is more common and less formal. however, both can be used :)

there is only one instance where you can't say 'car': at the start of a sentence. if you want to say 'Because it's raining, I'm not going' you can only use parce que, i.e. 'Parce qu'il pleut, je n'y vais pas'.

(but for the regular 'because' which connects two sentences, 'parce que' and 'car' are pretty much interchangeable.)


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they are very interchangeable and can be used in exactly the same place whenever. Just like in English, we have 'as' and 'because', and they can be used in exactly the same place without changing the meaning. So, I guess you could say 'car' = 'as' (when 'as' is being used in the place of 'because') and you could say 'parce que' = because. Just be aware that when translating 'as' into French, there are a number of possible translations such as 'comme', car',etc.. depending on how it's being used


But as can also mean while, so if you use as, the sentence might be ambiguous. Same with the word since which means from a certain time, as well as because.


I am sure I remember reading that ''car'' cannot be used at the start of a sentence... and it's also a bit more formal. It may not be right, so if anyone would like to confirm? But yes I think you are right that they are very interchangeable... parce que seems to be more flexible, so I just stick to that one always. Easy ways.

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