Is there any difference in meaning between these two conjunctions? And can someone come up with a sentence where only one of the two can be used?

So far, I think that потому как is a more colloquial alternative for потому что, but I cannot find their explanations in any dictionary on Грамота.ру.

I've been thinking that потому как may be a recent development, but their distributions over years in ruscorpora.ru have the same shape, with the only exception of quantity: потому что is far more often than потому как.

The question popped into my mind because of the example in brilliant's question:

... потому как они мясо птиц вообще никогда не едят – нe то чтобы по каким-то дням.

2 Answers 2


Потому как and потому что are quite interchangable indeed, yet потому как is much rarer, not to say slightly more high-flown.

Out of my head I can think of following situation when usage of these word combinations makes difference - if next word after потому что is что (что-то, что-нибудь an so on) it sounds not that pleasant. Though it worth to mention that this is still acceptable ("потому что что бы ты ни делал, ты мой сын, и я люблю тебя")

For example:

Потому как что-то вдруг подхватило меня, как невидимой рукой, да спиной об стропилу и приложило


Потому как, что находится у них перед глазами, что как будто открыто им - не замечается ими.

Though this is not the only sublety.

In modern russian is valid to use "потому что" as an independent logical unit. It translated something like "I know why, but won't tell you, because this is none of our business - or, may be, it is simply so obvious, that no further explanation needed".

For example:

— Слушай, ну почему вот ты так взъелась? — Да потому что!

Using потому как instead of потому что is inappropriate here.

On the other hand, "потому как" is more appropriate in following kind of sentences:

Потому как норвежцы и шведы — родственные народы, они часто могут понять друг друга без переводчика.

See, потому как fits better if explanation preceded the subject which is explained.

  • 1
    Indeed, "потому как" works best when the phrase begins with it. "Потому как" answers questions not asked explicitly.
    – alamar
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 10:55
  • Thanks, I think that your answer helped me to understand something. It seems to me now that "потому как" can d
    – Olga
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:30
  • @Olga, I'm really glad you've find it useful.
    – shabunc
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:56
  • The beginning of the sentence is actually a very good feature.
    – Olga
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 20:44

The second one is not in active use, but sometimes occurs as part of (possibly incorrect) archaic stylization or text beautifier.

  • Could you please elaborate your answer? Examples and arguments would help.
    – Olga
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 13:29
  • Ergh. потому как gives you 24 000 000 results in google, потому что gives 236 000 000. The second is definitely more used. Their meaning in modern everyday speech is the same, as I can say as native speaker. Now, look at this text: odnako.org/blogs/show_19654 . It contains some over-sophisticated sentences, because author wanted make it sophisticated. The first expression fits naturally. And, as it is not in active use (but was somewhere in 19 century) it looks cool for him. BTW, Потому, как я заметил выше... is not the same expression. It only looks similar.
    – permeakra
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:02
  • 1
    Now, as I said in my question, I've looked at the distribution of conjunctions, and they remain the same during last three centuries. So the explanation that it is a form of 19th century can hardly be correct.
    – Olga
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:25
  • I was actually hoping that you can explain why do you think that it is not in active use.
    – Olga
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:27
  • In modern speech around me потому как is usually used, when one wish either to mess up with opponent, or to emphasize some point or to make text special in some sense. If this is not the case потому что is usually used, and even if it is there are usually other ways. I do not know why, I simply state the fact of my life.
    – permeakra
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 15:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.