Car vs. Parce que
I know that these words both mean because. Is there any difference in when to use them, or are they interchangeable?
About.com has a good page on this here:- http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conclusions.htm
The synopsis is:- + Parce que is a subordinating conjunction and can begin a sentence. Parce que introduces a cause, explanation, or motive - it explains why something is done. + Car is a coordinating conjunction, should not begin a sentence, and is mainly found in formal and written French. Car supports a judgment or indicates a reason.
What I got from that, including reading the examples they give, is that you can probably use "parce que" most of the time but it implies a direct cause and effect, "car" is also used for situations where the two clauses are related but one is not a direct result of the other necessarily.
They are interchangeable, but, car is a bit more formal. (i.e. using parce que in formal situations might be a little inappropriate)
As a native, I wouldn't say parce que might be inappropriate, you can use it in formal contexts without any hesitation! Car, however, sounds fancier, almost posh, so it's mostly used in writing rather than orally :)
No, they're not exactly the same, you were perfectly right on that point! It was more a precision than a correction :)
And just to stir the pot a bit - how does puisque fit into all this? I think it is rather like 'as' or 'since' but can also be translated as 'because'.
The Francis Cabrel song "L'encre de tes yeux" opens with the line "Puisqu'on ne vivra jamais tous les deux"
'As we will never live together'
Oh Gavier, I knew you were really " Le Chef" ... ;) . Thank for stirring the pot ;)
Bien sûr! Il y a toujours quelque chose de delicieux dans la marmite. Mais fais attention de ne pas tomber dedans (comme Obélix)
LOL ... Où est le Vegimite? ... En Australie, nous mangeons le vegimite. ;) Nos cousins à l'est - La Nouvelle-Zélande. - ils ont la marmite. Je suis triste pour Obélix ...
You know that marmite means "cauldron"? I only know because I've read a lot of Astérix books and the word always amuses me because well - English Marmite...Tomber dans La Marmite - ça ne serait pas très agréable! ;-)
Vegemite - J'en ai essayé - Ce n'est pas trop mal mais ce n'est pas la meme chose! Un peu caramélisé?
Oh you are an AMAZING gem again - I do remember reading that somewhere - now hopefully I will now actually remember it ! So in England - you have Marmite ?
Yep, Marmite - Famous for strongly polarising opinion. Me - I'll eat it out of the jar! ;-)
I heard somewhere that 'car' is not used at the beginning of a sentence, is it true?
It confuses me as well, but from what I understand, it is mostly the same, with some nuances. It seems that most French speakers can't tell the difference either. 'Car' is formal and used in written French, but rarely in spoken French. '
You can start a sentence with 'parce que' but not 'car'. 'Parce que' can introduce a statement. 'Car' supports the reasoning behind a previous statement, connecting two parts of the sentence by developing upon the first. It can be used as a justification, rather than a direct cause. They say that you can also think of 'car' as "for' - in English.
"I didn't come to your party, for I was sleepy." (My sleepiness is a justification for not having been present.) versus "I was not at your party because I was tired." (The cause of my absence was my sleepiness.)
Thank you! :)
By the way, I really like using 'for' instead of 'because'...
I don't know, it sounds cool lol.
I was taught "parce que" in school years ago. My penpal always used "car" in her letters.