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Due to VS Because of

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Simply put:

Due to = caused by [whenever you come across in SC, treat with suspicion]

Because of = On account of (replace in the sentence and see if it sounds correct) [mostly preferred in gmat]

the game was postponed due to rain (wrong)

the game was postponed because of rain (Correct)

The game’s postponement was due to rain (Correct)

Detail:

Generally, “due to”(adjectival prepositional phrase) modifies nouns(only) and follows the verb “to be” (is, was, were, am, etc) (check rule 1: to see if “due to” is correctly used )

My job loss was due to an employee conflict.  In this sentence, “due to” modifies the noun, “job loss,” and follows the “to be” verb, “was.” (check rule 2: due to should have to be verb form preceeding it).

“Because of,”(adverbial prepositional phrase) on the other hand, modifies verbs, adverbs, adjectives (even clauses, phrases). I lost my job because of an employee conflict. In this case, “because of” modifies the verb “lost.”

Summary:

I will check 4 things(at most) to find out if due to is correctly used in SC during the test:

1. replace due to with “caused by”, see if it sounds ok.

2. See if “due to” has to be verb form immediately preceeding it.

3. See if  “due to/because of” modifying noun or verb/etc

4. Still not sure, when using because of correctly you will be easily able to ask the “why” question.

from above examples:

  1. why was the game postponed ? (because of rain). What caused the postponement of the game (can you make a why question from this ?)
  2. why did you lose your job ? (because of an employee conflict). {try asking the same question with a due to sentence 🙂 }

(As a non native speaker I will prefer saving 1/10 of a sec by not finding the verbs and nouns in the sentence.)

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Categories: Due to VS Because of