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I’m doing my french homework and I’m curious if the french/francophone people say ‘why not’ as ‘pourquoi non’. If not, what’s the equivalent of it?

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    Greg's answered it. I just wanted to add that pourquoi non would be (somewhat unsurprisingly) the translation to "Why 'no'?". – Circeus Apr 27 '18 at 5:18
  • Also, in the special case: "Do you want to come? -No. -Why not?", in French we'll just use "Pourquoi ?", not "Pourquoi pas ?". – Teleporting Goat Aug 1 at 12:32
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There is a very common equivalent: pourquoi pas ?

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For queries like this one may consult the webpage linguee.fr. In your case

https://www.linguee.fr/anglais-francais/traduction/why+not.html

shows how to interpret why not depending on the context. As the others have already pointed out it would mostly be pourquoi (ne) pas.

As a further example consider the case one wishes to find the interpretation of tag questions in French (..., isn't it?), that is the kind of question which seeks confirmation of a statement just made.

Le voilà (typing isn't it? in the search area):

https://www.linguee.fr/francais-anglais/search?source=auto&query=isn%27+t+it%3F

EDIT

One sees the common (mostly formal nonetheless; see the comments accompanied my response and the reference therein and the links below) n'est-ce pas ?

https://www.quora.com/What-does-Nest-ce-pas-mean-in-French-and-is-it-commonly-used-If-so-how

https://www.thoughtco.com/nest-ce-pas-1371313

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    Beware of n'est-ce pas. It is almost never used in day to day French and I mostly read/hear it from non native people assuming it matches the usage of isn't it and similar question tags. See french.stackexchange.com/questions/9155/… – jlliagre Apr 27 '18 at 11:31
  • @jlliagre Thanks a lot!!! I guess my french grammar books (for Greek or Anglophones) need an update:-)! – Dimitris Apr 27 '18 at 11:37
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    I concur with Jiliagre: a more common equivalent in every day conversations would be the shorter "non?" (only with a positive form), or "hein ?": C'est chouette, non ?/C'est chouette, hein ? – Greg Apr 27 '18 at 11:42
  • Upvoted just because the approach to answering is good. SE isn't a phrase lookup site but a place for holistic answers like "Here's how to solve this on your own / some relevant context." – Luke Sawczak Apr 27 '18 at 11:47
  • @Greg : D'accord:-)! I modified slightly my answer to take into account the feedback. – Dimitris Apr 27 '18 at 11:54
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"Pourquoi pas ?" is indeed very common as a question for "why not?" If you want to build a sentence out of it, you can say Pourquoi ne pas ____ ?, which stands for why not ____?

Why not going to Paris instead?

Pourquoi ne pas aller à Paris à la place ?

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TL;DR as Greg wrote, say pourquoi pas.

In general, it's hard to predict whether non or pas will appear in a given expression. A good tool to resolve these cases is Google Ngrams.

For example, here's a comparison of pourquoi non and pourquoi pas showing that pas wins:

pourquoi pas vs. pourquoi non

But here's a comparison of non seulement and pas seulement showing that non wins:

pas seulement vs. non seulement

So it depends on the phrase.

To do a deeper check if you're still not sure which one to say after that, I suggest linguee.fr as dimitris mentioned. There you can find translated chunks in English and French and make sure that it's used the way you think it is. Here's an example from a search for pourquoi pas :

Et pourquoi pas un vélo ou des chaussures de marche ? →
Why not a bike or walking shoes?

As Arkeen wrote, when asking why not do a specific thing, you should use the regular negation ne ... pas followed by the infinitive :

Pourquoi ne pas poser ta question en ligne ?

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Note that while, as already answered, pourquoi pas ? is the natural translation of "why not?", pourquoi non ? used to be valid and was still be used in the XXth century literary French.

Moreover pourquoi non ? can still be used in modern French but only in reply of a non and would match "why no?" instead of "why not?".

– Tu viens ?
– Non !
– Pourquoi non ?

Here, non is just repeated like any other word would be, e.g.:

– Tu choisis quelle couleur ?
– Rouge.
– Pourquoi rouge ?
(Why red ?)

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