"Because Of" vs. "Due To" vs. "Since" — Phew!

Published on 07 Dec, 2016

Generic Grammar


They look the same, feel the same, but do they mean the same?

English is a very funny language. There are multiple opinions available for a single grammar topic or usage, confusing even the most skilled English speaker. One such topic is the misuse of because of and due to.


“Because Of” vs. “Due To”

Let us first look at the classification of these words to get a clear picture about their usage.

  • Due to is an adjective, which indicates it can only modify pronouns and nouns.
  • Because of is an adverb, which implies it can modify verbs, adjectives and clauses, but not nouns and pronouns.

Once this has been clarified, we can proceed ahead with their usage.

For instance:

  • Her anger was due to the broken window.
  • She was angry due to the broken window.

Both sentences may sound and read right, but they are not.

In the first sentence, due to modifies anger; thus, the usage of due to is correct.

In the second sentence, due to is not modifying any noun or pronoun (her).

Therefore, the usage of due to is inappropriate in this case.

The correct sentence will be:

  • She was angry because of the broken window.

In this sentence, because of modifies the verb was angry.

 

Make it Easy

There is a simple trick to find the correct usage of due to and because of.

Replace due to with caused by and see if the substitution works. If it works, Voila! You’re right.

  • Low revenue was due to lack of sales.
  • Low revenue was caused by lack of sales.

In this case, the substitution works, indicating correct usage.

  • I missed the train due to traffic.
  • I missed the train caused by traffic.

The substitution doesn’t sound right, so the correct usage will be:

  • I missed the train because of traffic.

 

“Because” vs. “Since”

We all know that since and because can be synonyms.

  • Since you don’t like milk, don’t drink it.
  • Because you don’t like milk, don’t drink it.

These two sentences essentially mean the same.

  • Since also refers to how much time has passed.
  • Since 2014, he has been away from home.

 

However, a sentence with since can be interpreted in two ways.

  • Since he won the award, he is working really hard.

Here since could mean from the time that or because.

To avoid this, it is better to use because to show a cause and effect relationship.

Since should be used to refer to passage of time.




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