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Due to or Because of

By Judy Vorfeld

It’s easy to mix up usage of “due to” and “because of.” Here are some tips to help you remem­ber which is which.

DUE TO” mod­i­fies nouns, but intro­duces adjec­tive phrases: “Her fail­ure was due to poor study habits.”

Explanation: “due to poor study habits” mod­i­fies the noun “fail­ure.” “Due to” is almost always used with a form of the verb, “be,” (is, am, was, are, and were).

BECAUSE OF” mod­i­fies verbs, but intro­duces adver­bial phrases. “She failed because of poor study habits.”

Explanation: “because of poor study habits” mod­i­fies the verb “failed.”

These days, peo­ple some­times use “due to” after a verb, but when pos­si­ble, keep “due to” with nouns and “because of” with verbs. Memorize DTN (due to noun) and BOV (because of verb).

If you can’t remem­ber, most experts say to use “because of” rather than “due to.”

Here are a cou­ple of sites that explain these issues:

William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications

English Plus


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