We can combine these two clauses in two different ways. (using Because and so)

can we change because with so in the following sentence? and Is this applicable on all sentences that have because in the middle (between two clauses)?

Is there any difference in meaning?

We can't go to Julia's party because we're going away that weekend.

We're going away that weekend so we can't go to Julia's party.

Also I noticed that so used more in news website. Is it more formal?

  • The sentences you're trying to connect are not the same, so it doesn't make much sense to compare them. They only happen to mean almost the same thing. – It's Over Feb 27 '17 at 16:20
  • No no, they're not wrong. Both are grammatically correct. I'm just saying the latter clause in each case is different, so comparing them isn't going to teach you anything you don't already know. – It's Over Feb 27 '17 at 16:22
  • @M.A.R. I don't got it. aren't that have the same meaning? – Shannak Feb 27 '17 at 16:29
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    They have the same meaning, but that doesn't mean they use the same grammar. I can say "I tried to make omelette for breakfast" in a lot of different ways and they still would mean the same thing and be grammatical. You've grasped the use of ''so'' and ''because'' and that's all that matters. – It's Over Feb 27 '17 at 16:32
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    @M.A.R. - I think the OP is asking for confirmation that the two sentences mean roughly the same thing. We seem to think they do. But I think it's a fair question for a learner to ask. – J.R. Feb 27 '17 at 17:09

You seem to have grasped the basic concept. "Because" is used mark the cause in a "cause and effect" sentence:

I didn't ride my bike to work (effect) because it is raining (cause)

In the same way, "so" is used to mark the effect in a "cause and effect" sentence:

It's raining (cause) so I didn't ride my bike to work. (effect)

Same action, different direction. Regardless of where it appears in the sentence, "because" precedes the cause. In the same way "so" precedes the effect (and usually comes immediately after the cause).

Other examples:

Because chicken is on sale at the market, let's buy a lot and freeze it for later

Chicken is on sale at the market, so let's buy a lot and freeze it for later.

I can't play for you at your party, because I left my guitar at home.

I left my guitar at home so I can't play for you at your party.

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