Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

5 Ways to Say "Why" in Natural, Everyday English

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Sep 05, 2013 @ 08:59 AM

5 different ways to say why in natural, everyday EnglishAre you a curious person who is often asking "why?"

Do you want to move your English to a higher level?

If so, then you can't just repeat the same words over and over again. You need to stretch your limits and expand your vocabulary!

Today I am going to teach you 5 new ways to say that common question "why?"  Read this article to start using new ways to ask that important question.



1) How come?


kids talkingThis is a casual way to ask "why?"

You might hear kids ask "how come?" or it might be used between adults who are good friends.

You would definitely NOT use this in a professional situation when you are speaking with your boss or in a meeting.

Save "how come?" for the casual conversations between friends.

Sample conversation (two kids are talking at the park):

A: Hey today was fun but I gotta go home now

B: How come?

A: Because my mom said that I have to be home for dinner at 6pm


2) Why would that be?

two menHere is a sample conversation (two friends are taking a walk in the neighborhood):

A: Did you remember to turn the lights off at your house before you left?

B: Oh thanks for the reminder. I forgot. I will go back inside and turn them off. The electricity bill was really high last month.

A: My electricity bill was higher than usual also.

B: Maybe the electrical company changed their policies.

A: Hmm...why would that be?



3) What's the reason for that?

 man and dogSample conversation (A man walks into a department store with his dog):


A: Good morning, can you tell me where Macy's is?

B: It's on the first floor, to your right, but wait a minute sir, I'm sorry but we don't allow dogs in this mall.

A: Oh yeah? What's the reason for that? He's very well trained.









4) Why is that?


Sample conversation (Two friends are eating at a restaurant):


A: What are you going to order for dinner?

B: I am thinking about getting the scallops. How about you?

A: Well, I'll probably just have the eggplant. I eat mostly vegetarian dishes now.

B: Oh really? Why is that?



5) And that's because.....?


teacher in classroomThis is usually said with a proper intonation so that it sounds like the speaker is waiting for the person to finish his sentence by answering the question.

Sample conversation (A teacher and a student are speaking in a classroom)


A: Sir, I am sorry but I don't have my homework today.

B: Why don't you have your homework?

A: I didn't schedule enough time in my evening to sit down and get it done.

B: And that's because........?



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Photo credit: Ksayer1, Lara604, John Seb, Italy Chronicles Photos,

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