"Warum/darum", "Weshalb/deshalb", "weswegen/deswegen", is there a difference in usage or meaning?

  • We may use "warum", "weshalb" or "weswegen" in seemingly the same way in questions as we can use "deshalb" or "deswegen" in answers.

    Warum stellst Du diese Frage?
    Weshalb stellst Du diese Frage?
    Weswegen stellst Du diese Frage?

    Ich frage darum, weil mich eine Antwort interessiert.
    Ich frage deshalb, weil mich die Antwort interessiert.
    Ich frage deswegen, weil mich die Antwort interessiert.

    Is there a different usage or meaning of one or the other? How comes that some of the words associated can also be used without a question, e.g.:

    Mich interessiert die Antwort, weshalb ich diese Frage stelle.

    "Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? Wer nicht fragt bleibt dumm!" is the theme from Sesamstraße, the german version of Sesame Street.

  • splattne

    splattne Correct answer

    10 years ago

    There is no difference in meaning between the three options. Google Ngrams Viewer shows that warum is the most commonly used word in questions:

    ngrams warum weshalb weswegen

    Among the "answer" words, "deshalb" is the most used term. The usage of darum/deshalb/deswegen:

    ngrams darum deshalb deswegen

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM