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Q&A

Should we use "por que" or "porque" in "las autoridades se sentían estafadas *por que* se escaparan"?

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I read this sentence in a book ("La Guerra Civil española", by Paul Preston):

La tortura explicaba el gran número de suicidios que se registraban en las cárceles, y las autoridades, que se sentían estafadas por que estos prisioneros "escaparan" a su justicia reaccionaban con frecuencia ejecutando a algún pariente del prisionero suicida.

To me, a native Spanish speaker, the por que that I highlight sounds equal as porque and I wonder which one should be used: por que or porque.

I am aware about the article Porqué / porque / por qué / por que in the RAE website, but I don't find the good explanation on why it has to use por que here instead of porque.

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1 answer

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I think that you just read the sentence with a subtly different meaning than the one intended by the author. Both spellings are correct.

Syntactically, you expect the subordinate clause to be governed by the entire previous clause (so as to supply a reason why authorities felt swindled), while in the actual text, the subordinate clause qualifies just a single word in the main clause ("estafadas"): swindled by what trick?

Semantically, it is reason versus means.

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The main point here is the usage of "escaparan". If they said "escaparon", then it would be clearly porque because the sentence would be explaining why the authorities felt "estafadas". fedorqui‭ 4 months ago

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