https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bersalon

Is there a difference between "Warum" and "Wieso"?

In German, there are two different words for "why": "warum" and "wieso". Are these interchangeable, or is there a difference between them? Thank you for your time!

May 1, 2015

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landsend

They are synonyms. In phrases you only use certain words. Some people think there are subtle differences (e.g. one asking for the cause, one for the reaction) but those are more personal than empirical.

See a related discussion here.

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bersalon

Okay, thanks!

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogePamyuPamyu

Wieso is more like how come and warum is why... So they're slightly different in tone but they mean the same thing.

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobTitan

They are synonyms I think.

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bvogel1

The way I understand it, "warum" is used when you expect a "because xyz" answer, while "wieso" is inviting some additional detail but not necessarily able to be answered by "because".

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schyrsivochter

I am native German, and I would consider them to be synonyms … although upon seeing the discussion, I’m not so sure anymore.

May 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nadya222

I am not very advanced, in German, but it seems ""intuitive". WIE is German for HOW. And, "Wieso", to me, seems to be saying, "How so?" In English, we sometimes say, "How is that [so]?" (as well as "Why is that...?")

May 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anjelus_

You're right, "wieso" is a literal translation of "how so." It's interchangeable with "warum" in a similar sense as "why" is interchangeable with "how so." Same concept, different nuance.

May 2, 2015
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