Due to or because of by Angela Caldin

Does anyone else remember being told at school to be very careful when using due to, because in some situations it could be grammatically wrong? I avoid using due to for that very reason, but today I decided to find out what the distinction is between due to and because of.

It turns out that due to acts as an adjective, which describes or modifies a noun. It can be replaced by caused by. It follows some form of the verb to be.

For example:

  • The car accident was due to poor visibility. Due to modifies car accident
  • Mary’s success is due to her hard work and dedication. Due to modifies success
  • The café’s failure was due to lack of customers. Due to modifies failure

It also turns out that because of acts as an adverb which modifies a verb, so if you want to use because of in the above sentences, you need to add or change verbs that it could modify. It can be replaced by owing to.

For example:

  • The car accident happened because of poor visibility. Because of modifies happened
  • Mary succeeded because of her hard work and dedication. Because of modifies succeeded
  • The café failed because of lack of customers. Because of modifies failed

More examples:

  • We argued because of our political differences. Because of modifies the verb argued
  • Our argument was due to our political differences. Due to modifies the noun argument
  • The financial crisis occurred because of risky mortgage practices. Because of modifies the verb occurred
  • The financial crisis was due to risky mortgage practices.  Due to modifies the noun crisis
  • The horse escaped because of the broken gate. Because of modifies the verb escaped
  • The horse’s escape was due to the broken gate.  Due to modifies the noun escape

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