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Grammar Repair Shop: Ways to say ‘because’

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“Because,” “due to,” “since”—which one is the right one to use?

Because: Use it instead of wordier options, such as “owing to the fact that” or “on the grounds that.” You could also use it instead of the persnickety “due to.” Example: “It was canceled because of illness.”

Due to: If you want to be formal about it, use “due to” only as an adjective, usually after the verb “to be.” Example: “The cancellation was due to illness.” You wouldn’t say, “It was canceled due to illness,” because “due to” isn’t modifying anything. One grammarian suggests using “due to” when you can substitute the phrase “caused by” or “resulting from.”

Since: It often means the same thing as “because.” Example: “Since we agree, let’s make it official with a contract.” The word can also refer to how much time has passed, so make sure you don’t create confusion with readers.

Example of an unclear “since”:
“Since we signed the contract, our partnership has suffered.” (“Since” could mean “from the time that” or “because.”)

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