100 Grammar Points


22. Why/Because なぜ、どうして、なぜなら

Here are two ways to say “why” in Japanese:

  1. なぜ naze
  2. どうして doushite

For the most part, they are interchangeable and start at the beginning of the question:

なぜどうして) 私 の ケーキ を たべました か?
naze (doushite) watashi no
ke-ki o tabemashita ka?
Why did you eat my cake?
[There isn’t a “you” but obviously you wouldn’t be asking yourself this question.]

なぜなら + reason or excuse + kara

なぜなら はら が へった から。

nazenara hara ga hetta kara.
Because, (I’m) starving!
[lit. because stomach is diminished]

  • Use at the beginning of the question
  • To answer (give a reason), use nazenara (not doushite nara)

100 Grammar Points


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