Friday, February 9, 2007

Por lo que

I noticed this sentence from a friend the other day and was wondering about his choice of POR LO QUE..

«Una de los tres muñecos se llamaba "Tilly" y solo hablaba francés por lo que los otros dos tenían que traducir por ella.»
As I infer the context in English -- I'm assuming he's using it there for BECAUSE.. Why the LO? Or is it FOR THE PURPOSE THAT.. I would have used PARA QUE LO OTROS DOS TUVIERAN QUE....

What am I missing?

Un saludo,
- Grant


"Por lo que" is not the same as just "because".
It's more like "and because of that" or "due to that".

In some ocassions, "Y por eso..." = "Por lo que..."
But there's a slight difference -- check this:

We can say "This is the reason -- and that's why (y por eso) -- the consequences". You probably already knew the consequences, and you're explaining the reason. (You can also use it if you don't know the consequences, but it's mostly used if you do). For example,
"Quiero ser capaz de traducir simultáneamente algún día, y por eso es que estoy en este foro."
(You knew that I'm active in this forum, but maybe you didn't know why)

Now, "por lo que" is mostly used if you don't know the consequences (and it's a bit more formal than "y por eso"). For example,
"Quiero ser capaz de traducir simultáneamente algún día, por lo que me estoy esforzando mucho en aprender expresiones y modismos ingleses."
(You might know the reason or not, but you don't know I'm working hard on learning English idioms)

There's also "de ahí que" which is followed by a clause that must be written using subjunctive. It's a bit formal, and it's usually used to explain the reason that led to the consequences you probably already know.


- Karin

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