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Due to vs because of

 

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  #1  
Old November 20, 2017, 05:41 PM
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Due to vs because of

I´m confused about these to words, because I found different theories on the internet and grammar books. Some grammarians say they are interchangeable. However on the internet, I ve found they are not. Due to modifies nouns and because of modifies whole sentences or verbs. Others say use due to after the verb be etc... etc...
Any clear rules about it?
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  #2  
Old November 20, 2017, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBINDESBOIS View Post
I´m confused about these to words, because I found different theories on the internet and grammar books. Some grammarians say they are interchangeable. However on the internet, I ve found they are not. Due to modifies nouns and because of modifies whole sentences or verbs. Others say use due to after the verb be etc... etc...
Any clear rules about it?
Because of is much more used, and with good reason: it's is more flexible. For instance, you can say, because of you, I am no longer alone. Rarely would you hear due to you, I am no longer alone. Strangely enough you can say I'm no longer alone due to you That's why your theory about due to modifying only nouns is a bit faulty. Because of can always replace due to, but due to cannot always replace because of in normal English speech patterns even though the meaning of the two phrases are the same.

This is a good observation. I never thought about this before.
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Old December 11, 2017, 11:29 AM
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This is actually a really interesting question. The two terms are very similar in meaning but are not very interchangeable in usage. There are cases where you can use "due to" but cannot use "because of" and vice-versa.

due to seems to have two meanings: caused by or ascribable to and because of or owing to
because of seems to mean: on account of or by reason of

Looking at examples is one of the best ways to learn. So I did some searching and here are examples of real usage. I just did a Google search and choose the snippets or titles in the results that included a complete sentence containing the term.

because of:
A Santa's Grotto in the midlands has had to close for the day because of too much snow.
Because of Jane, and her close observations, our knowledge about their behavior greatly increased—and sparked further study, research, and conservation efforts.
People Are Dying Because of Ignorance, not Because of Opioids.
Packers' offense stuck in first gear, but not because of blocking.
Because of nursing research, there is a program to help the parents of a premature infant learn about prematurity.
Here's How A Corvette Was Totaled Because Of One Inch Of Damage.

due to:
Will schools close tomorrow due to snow?
Sri Lanka cricket team stuck in Dharamsala due to inclement weather.
Ellen DeGeneres, wife Portia de Rossi and their pets were evacuated their California home on Sunday, December 10, due to the wildfire threat.
New Forest homes are without water due to burst mains
Lindsey Vonn withdraws from World Cup race due to injury


I also found an interesting comparison of the two terms here, which basically says that due to wants to be an adjective, and because of wants to be an adverb. The examples it gives are:

His defeat was due to the lottery issue.
He was defeated because of the lottery issue.

I found another page that tries to establish a rule for when to use each of these two expressions. The rule is:

Quote:
Due to is a predicate adjective + preposition that means "the result of" or "resulting from." It is always used after a form of the verb to be.

Because of
is a preposition used to introduce an adverbial phrase and means "as a result of." It is not used after a form of the verb to be.
The examples given are:

Her headache was due to the enormous elephant peculiarly perched on her head.
She had a headache because of the enormous elephant peculiarly perched on her head.
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Old December 11, 2017, 02:37 PM
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I still think they are interchangeable. Due to is used more in official announcements. Example: Due to impending storm conditions all eastbound trains will suspend operations at 6PM. In response to the message Joe called Rose to let her know that he would be leaving work at 5PM because of the storm forecast.

You don't hear due to much in everyday conversations.
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Old December 22, 2017, 11:09 AM
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Agreed. I'd say they are mostly interchangeable in casual, spoken English, depending on the speaker's habits, and not necessarily interchangeable in formal, written English.

So the answer really depends on register and context.
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