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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.

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"Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? Wer nicht fragt bleibt dumm!" is the theme from Sesamstraße, the german version of Sesame Street. – starblue Aug 8 '11 at 18:22
up vote 9 down vote accepted

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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I hope you get my point, because i think my english is not the best (but I'm trying)
In my opinion the words "warum, weshalb, weswegen" have slightly different meanings.


Q: Warum stellst du diese Frage? (Why do you ask this question?)
R: Weil mich die Antwort interessiert. (Because I'm interested in your answer.)

Q: Warum weint das Baby? (Why does the baby cry?)
R: Weil es Hunger hat. (Because it is hungry)

In both cases you ask for "Grund (reason) oder Motiv (motif)" for a fact.


Q: Weswegen stellt du diese Frage? (What's the reason for your question?)
R: Weil ich mich mit dir unterhalten möchte. (Because I want to talk to you)

Q: Weswegen weint das Baby? (What's the reason for the baby crying?)
R: Weil es die Mutter aufmerksam machen will. (Because his mother should pay attention)

Here you are asking for a "Zweck (purpose)".

Darum/Deshalb/Deswegen are synonyms, they developed in different ages and different places, you can use them how you like it.

Your example "Mich interessiert die Antwort, weshalb ich diese Frage stelle." is not a direct question (always with a question mark), it's an indirect question including the answer. So I would say, it's no question, it's an statement.

I hope this helps.

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Aren't "What's the reason" and "why" just the same? – splattne Aug 8 '11 at 9:50
I thought "What's the reason" underlines the purpose-character. In general you can use both, and as I said, there are slightly* differences, but you can use the words to distinguish the intention of the inquirer. – Daniel Aug 8 '11 at 9:55
I think "why" is just shorter. :) See definition of "why": : for what cause, reason, or purpose – splattne Aug 8 '11 at 9:57
Ah ok, thanks for helping me out :D – Daniel Aug 8 '11 at 9:59
"daher" würde hier auch passen, oder? – Deni Aug 7 '15 at 9:18

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