Colloquial because in Italian
Learning colloquial language is important because it’s the most practical and functional style of speech, other than being very widely used, especially among young people.
Having said that, in this post, we’re going to focus on when che means perché.
So, the question is: when does che mean perché?
Che means perché in colloquial language. This means in theory it’s not grammatically correct to say che instead of perché but in practice, it is very common.
Just think of the word “cause” replacing the word “because”.
It’s the same thing: saying “cause” instead of “because” is not grammatically correct but it is ok in colloquial English.
Here are some examples:
Vieni che ci siamo tutti.
Come (because) we’re all here.
Andiamo che è tardi.
Let’s go cause it’s late.
As you can see, we could even omit the word “because” in English. Saying it might make the sentence a bit odd. Otherwise, we could just translate che as “cause”.
When does che mean perché?
We mainly say perché instead of che after a verb in the imperative.
We use the imperative to give an instruction or an order, as in “Come here!” and “Clean up!”.
We probably shorten perché and say just che because the emphasis goes on the instruction or order.
In fact, the word perché might be considered too long and not necessarily very useful.
Just compare the two sentences below:
Compralo perché lo so che ti piace.
Buy it because I know you like it.
Compralo che lo so che ti piace.
Buy it cause I know you like it.
Colloquial because in Italian: examples
Let’s have a look at some more examples:
Mangia tutto che poi hai fame.
Eat everything cause later you’ll be hungry.
Andate dalla nonna che vi ha portato un regalo.
Go to your grandmother’s (because) she brought you a present.
Pulisci che tra poco arrivano gli ospiti.
Clean (because) our hosts are coming soon.
Portami il telefono che devo chiamare papà.
Bring me the phone cause I need to call dad.
Chiamami dopo che ora devo andare via.
Call me later cause now I have to go.
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