We have all heard stories about how confusing the English language can get, even for people with experience. There are scores of synonyms, homonyms, homophones, etc. that are bound to confuse us endlessly. However, there is a silver lining to every cloud. There are a few tricks, some even as simple as they can get, that can help discern between being as accurate as possible.
Because v/s Due To
The main difference between the terms ‘because’ and ‘due to’ is the context in which the terms are used and the rules of grammar apply. While ‘Because’ is used as an adverb or conjunction, the term ‘due to’ is used as an adjective or conjunction. While ‘because’ is primarily utilized with verbs and adjectives, ‘due to’ is used with nouns and pronouns.
Difference Between Because and Due To in Tabular Form
|Parameters of Comparison||Because||Due To|
|Parts of Speech||It is utilized as an adverb or conjunction.||It is utilized as an adjective or conjunction.|
|Form||This term typically follows a clause.||This term usually follows any form of the verb ‘be’|
|Purpose||The term is used to modify other parts of speech i.e., verbs, clauses, and adjectives.||The term is used to modify other parts of speech i.e., nouns and pronouns.|
|Scope||This term can be interchanged with the term ‘owing to’.||This term can be interchanged with the term ‘utilized by’.|
|Usage||‘Because’ can be utilized before a subject or a verb.||‘Due to’ can be used before a noun or a phrase.|
|Limitations||This term cannot be applied in a sentence to express the time of occurrence of an event.||This term can be utilized infinitive i.e. when the time of occurrence of an event is known.|
|Examples||The fest has been postponed because of an unprecedented delay in equipment setup.||The accident occurred due to worn-down machinery.|
What is Because?
‘Because’ is a term that is used to represent the connection in a cause and effect sentence. They can be used in the place of ‘since’, ‘for the reason that, ‘the fact that, ‘as’, etc. depending on the context, along with a few alterations in the structure of the sentence.
- I am tired since I have been driving for 6 hours. vs I am tired because I have been driving for 6 hours.
- The reason they haven’t reviewed my paper is the fact that my guide is sick. vs The reason they haven’t reviewed my paper is because my guide fell sick for a while.
- I will mentor as it is my responsibility. vs I will mentor you because it is my responsibility.
However, as previously mentioned, it is not only utilized as an adverb but also as a conjunction or a preposition.
So let us look at how ‘because’ can be utilized as an adverb.
‘Because’ as an Adverb:-
An adverb is a part of a speech that describes or modifies a verb, similar to the purpose of an adjective. Adverb helps add extra details to a sentence, making it more effective. Most adverbs end with the additional ‘ly’ to an adjective, that typically follows the verb in a sentence. A few examples of adverbs when utilized in a sentence are:-
- The road was terribly damaged - Here, the term ‘terribly’ describes the verb and is the adverb.
- I had to abruptly reschedule my meeting - Here, the term ‘abruptly’ describes the verb and is the adverb.
- The children quarreled incessantly - Here, the term ‘incessantly’ describes the verb and is the adverb.
Thus, if these words are used along with an additional term ‘of’, the complete term becomes a preposition. To be very specific, it functions as an adverbial prepositional phrase i.e., it still works as an adverb by modifying the verb without any words that are proper adverbs i.e., ‘ly’ words. A few examples to demonstrate how it works are listed below:
- The road was damaged because of the heavy rains.
- I had to reschedule my meeting because of the kitchen mishap.
- The children quarreled because of the wrecked toys.
- The field trip was delayed because of the bus breakdown.
- They left the country because of the incessant riots.
- The road to Ameerpet is congested because of the heavy downpour.
When the word ‘because’ is used individually i.e., without the combination of any other preposition, it is considered conjunction. Several examples are usually simple and employ the term ‘because’ as a preposition.
- The road was damaged because it was raining heavily.
- I had to reschedule my meeting because I was ingesting.
- The children quarreled because their toys broke.
- The field trip was delayed because the bus had broken down.
- They left the country because the riots never ended.
- The road to Ameerpet is congested because it has been raining heavily.
It usually means that whatever phrases precede or follow the term ‘because’ are complete clauses on their own since there is no need for an extra preposition. Thus, ‘because’ will act like a purely conjunctional term that joins two sentences that will typically make sense when stated individually i.e., complete clauses.
What is Due To?
The term ‘due to’ is an adjective when speaking in grammatically accurate terms. The adjective is the part of a speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun. A few of the terms that use an adjective in their sentences are:-
- There was a damaged tank on the terrace. (here, the adjective is damaged because it modifies the noun ‘tank’)
- The garden we visited last weekend was fantastic. (Here, the adjective is garden because it modifies the noun ‘garden’)
- The company saw huge sales because of the recent advertisements. (Here, the adjective is huge and recent since it modifies the nouns ‘sales’ and ‘advertisements’ respectively)
‘Due to’ is another term utilized similar to ‘because’ to explain a cause-and-effect relationship in sentences. However, we cannot use them both in the same situation/context i.e., use them interchangeably since one is used to modify clauses and the other for nouns or noun phrases. But what exactly are clauses and noun phrases?
Clauses: A clause is defined as a noun phrase or a simple noun, followed by a verb or a verb phrase. To understand the difference between a noun and a noun phrase, ‘drink’ is a noun while ‘very chilled drink’ is a noun phrase. Similarly, ‘has’ is a verb while ‘has been drinking’ is a verb phrase. Thus a few examples of such clauses are:-
- A few wrecked tanks have been leaking since noon.
- I read the old book.
- Whenever they take a nap, they do not wake up fast.
However, we must take note that the clause might be complete clauses or incomplete clauses. Thes complete clauses are also referred to as individual clauses because they will still make absolute sense if quoted individually. Incomplete clauses are those that must be paired with another complete/ incomplete clause to form a complete sentence that is sensible and clear.
Noun phrase: As explained in the above paragraph, a noun phrase is a combination of a noun with an article or a determiner that can have an adjective in front of it or not. It might even have a relative clause following it. A relative clause relates action to the noun or another clause. Let us consider an example to understand the difference clearly.
For example:- Paper (it is a noun)
A few papers (it is a noun and a determiner)
A few semester-end papers (It is a noun, adjective, and a determiner)
A few semester-end papers that I will be correcting (it is a noun, adjectives, determiner, and a relative clause)
As mentioned previously, ‘Due to’ is an adjective that modifies a noun, and slightly unlike from ‘because’, it acts as an adjectival prepositional phrase. Let us look at a few examples that employ the term ‘due to’ in different sentences.
- The leak was due to a few wrecked tanks at noon.
- The huge sales of the company were due to the recent advertisements.
- The mishap was due to the ignorance of the cook in the kitchen.
As you can see here, we are describing the cause or effect in the relationship when the term is preceded by the noun or in simple terms, describing the noun. Now let us replace the term with ‘because’
- The leak was because of a few wrecked tanks at noon.
- The enormous sales of the company were because of the recent advertisements.
- The mishap was because of the ignorance of the cook in the kitchen.
We can notice that while the sentence still makes sense and does not sound completely wrong, it is not technically accurate. The term ‘due to’ is used only after a noun. The term ‘because’ will only be accurate if it is employed in the following way:-
- The leak happened because of a few wrecked tanks at noon.
- The sales of the company grew because of the recent advertisements.
- The mishap occurred because of the cook's ignorance in the kitchen.
This is the origin of the difference and also the explanation for why ‘due to’ and ‘because’ cannot be utilized interchangeably. There is one simple trick to distinguish the proper utilization of both the terms ‘Due to’ is utilized after a noun while ‘because’ is utilized after a verb. We can also say that if a sentence uses any version of the verb ‘be’ or ‘to be’, then one must always use the term ‘due to’. Parallelly, if a sentence does not include any form of the ‘be’ or ‘to be’ verb, we must resort to using the term ‘because’.
While beginning a sentence, the utilization of the term ‘due to’ is more popular than the term ‘because’. Using the latter might result in a sort of sentence fragment that will confuse the readers and sometimes even the writers since it can appear inaccurate. However, it is the complete opposite that bears accuracy. While starting a sentence with ‘due to’, it appears as if two different words are being modified in a sentence by the adjectival preposition. Thus, using because at the beginning of a sentence will make more sense.
However, there is another enormous, although a bit contrastive, still carrying the same gist, that one can include the term ‘due to’ in a sentence. Let us look at a few examples:-
- The leak happened due to the fact that those tanks were wrecked.
- The sales of the company grew due to the fact that they released a new advertisement.
- The mishap occurred due to the fact that the cook was ignorant.
Main Differences Between Because and Due To In Points
- 'Because' is used as an adverbial preposition while 'Due to' is used as an adjectival preposition. However, both of them can be used as conjunctions.
- The term 'because' would typically follow a clause. On the other hand, the term 'due to' follows any form of the verb 'be' or 'to be'.
- The term 'because' is usually utilized to modify parts of speech such as clauses, verbs, adjectives, etc. while the term 'due to' is utilized to modify parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, etc.
- Other terminologies that we can use to provide the same effect or meaning or gist is by using 'owing to' instead of 'because' while 'due to' can be replaced by 'utilized by'.
- The term 'because' can be used before a verb or a subject while 'due to' must be used before a noun or a phrase.
- When the term 'because' is applied in a sentence, it cannot be utilized to express the time of an event. On the other hand, the term 'due to' is applied when the time of the event is known i.e., utilized as an infinitive.
Upon summarizing the above discussion, we can conclude that ‘because’ is used with adverbs, clauses, etc. while ‘due to’ is used with nouns, phrases, pronouns, etc. Both of the terms modify and describe distinct parts of the speech but still provide the same gist in the sentence.