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"Because," "Due To," "Since," and "As"

English offers many ways to express “because.” Some are wordy and should be avoided due to the fact that they are wordy. (Did you get that? We just made a joke!) Others, like “since” and “as,” need to be used carefully, since you could confuse your readers.

By
Bonnie Mills, read by Mignon Fogarty,
September 7, 2017
Episode #585

Page 3 of 3

Summary

To sum up, English offers many ways to express “because.” Some are wordy and should be avoided due to the fact that they are wordy. (Did you get that? We just made a joke!) Others, like “since” and “as,” need to be used carefully, since you could confuse your readers.

The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier & The Grammar Devotional

This podcast was written by Bonnie Trenga, author of The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier, who blogs at sentencesleuth.blogspot.com.

References

1. Garner, B. Garner's Modern English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 309.
2. The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2017, p. 327.
3. O’Conner, P. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996, p. 110.
4. Burchfield, R. W, ed. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Third edition. New York: Oxford, 1996, p. 232.
5. American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, pp. 151-2.
6. Burchfield, R. W, ed. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Third edition. New York: Oxford, 1996, p. 233.
7. O’Conner, P. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. New York: Riverhead Books, 1996, p. 190.
8. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, p.1624.
 
A version of this article was originally published November 27, 2009.

Web Bonus for Teachers

Extra example sentences

Bad Sentence: The reason Squiggly ate chocolate was because he was nervous. ["The reason...was because" is redundant.]

Better Sentence: Squiggly ate chocolate because he was nervous.

Bad Sentence: The reason Aardvark likes to fish is because it's peaceful at the lake. ["The reason...is because" is redundant.]

Better Sentence: Aardvark likes to fish because it's peaceful at the lake.

Bad Sentence: Squiggly objected to fish for dinner on the grounds that it would make the campsite smelly. ["On the grounds that" is wordy.]

Better Sentence: Squiggly objected to fish for dinner because it would make the campsite smelly.

Bad Sentence: Aardvark was late for work due to his broken alarm clock. [The sentence breaks the traditionalist rule that "due to" is only used as an adjective.]

Better Sentence: Aardvark was late for work because his alarm clock is broken.

Bad Sentence: Since the peeves attacked Squiggly, people have been thinking that the town needs a sheriff. ["Since" is ambiguous; it could mean "since the time that" or "because."]

Better Sentence 1: Because the peeves attacked Squiggly, people have been thinking that the town needs a sheriff.

Better Sentence 2: Ever since the peeves attacked Squiggly, people have been thinking that the town needs a sheriff.

 

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