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Difference between How Come and Why

Difference between How Come and Why

There is a big difference between how come and why. How come is used to ask for a reason, while why is used to state or ask a question. For example, if you wanted to know the reason someone was late, you would say “How come?” However, if you wanted to ask what happened, you would say “Why did that happen?” Learning the difference between these two can help improve your communication skills by making sure you are using the right word depending on the context.

What is How Come?

How come is an abbreviation of the question how does this happen, how did this happen, or why did this happen. It is most commonly seen in written dialogue, particularly in works of fiction. In some cases, how come can be used as a standalone interjection to express surprise or disbelief. It can also be used as a synonym for why in questions that seek an explanation for something. Like other contractions, how come should not be used in formal writing. How come is considered part of casual or everyday speech.

What is Why?

Why is a word that is used to ask for the reason or explanation of something. It can also be used as an interjection to express surprise, disbelief, or frustration. Why is derived from the Old English word hwy, which ultimately has Germanic roots. In addition to being used as a standalone word, why is also often found in idiomatic expressions such as “I don’t know why” and “the reason why.” Why can be used both as a noun and as an adjective, and it is one of the most commonly-used words in the English language.

Difference between How Come and Why

How come and why are two words that are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a subtle difference in meaning. How come is used when asking for an explanation of something that has already happened. For example, you might say, “How come you didn’t call me yesterday?” This question is asking for a specific reason or justification.

Why is used when asking for the purpose of something. For example, you might say, “Why did you buy that car?” This question is asking what the motivation or goal was. In some cases, either word can be used without changing the meaning of the sentence. However, if you want to be precise, it’s important to use the correct word.


In order to use the right word in the right situation, it’s important to understand the difference between “how come” and “why.” Although they may sound similar, these words have different functions in a sentence. “How come” is used to ask for an explanation of something that has already been mentioned, while “why” is used to ask for a reason or motivation behind a statement or action. When you know how to use these words correctly, your writing will be more accurate and clear.

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