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I am aware that this is an old question, been discussed

Having "due to" is more adjectival, although I am not that particular, but what if the word in front is adjective?

e.g.

  • Climbing that mountain is difficult due to its height, or
  • Climbing that mountain is difficult because of its height.
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    They are different. The reason they are not interchangeable is that they “grew up” differently in the language. – Lucian Sava Feb 10 '14 at 10:52
  • So which one of the two sentences I provide is correct? – drhanlau Feb 10 '14 at 10:58
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    You may use the second variant: 'Climbing that mountain is difficult because of its height'. – Lucian Sava Feb 10 '14 at 11:22
  • Any particular reason the first one is invalid? – drhanlau Feb 10 '14 at 11:29
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    The verb 'is difficult' is explained by the adverbial prepositional phrase: 'because of' – Lucian Sava Feb 10 '14 at 11:49
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Most of grammar books describe that due to acts more adjectival. We all know but this question (+1, of course) forces me to dig in deeper. And, I found something useful...

In the book Woe Is I The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, the author proposes to substitute "due to" for “caused by” or “resulting from.” She explains that if a sentence begins with “due to,” as in “Due to inclement weather, school was canceled,” the sentence is “probably wrong.” - Grammar Girl

While keeping general rules aside for a special case like this (adjective ahead), I think following this rule does not harm the structure.

Having said that,

Climbing that mountain is difficult because of its height -sounds preferable to me.

Note - COCAE shows results of both the usages (...difficult because of... and ...difficult due to ...) but then the former returns with over hundred results, the latter sticks around a couple of dozens.

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both usage is right in your sentences.

to elaborate the difference, the usage of "due to" is found in more formal / legal situations.

e.g. 1) I got delayed because of traffic (not due to) 2) The cash payable due to him broke me. 3) I like ice cream because of its chillness. 4) His emotions were twisted due to Shakespearean plays.

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The phrase "Due to" can, in a very specific context, refer to the holder of a debt. Consider the following example:

"The money due to the bank had not been paid."

It is not at all uncommon, however, to see the phrase "Due to" used in a "because" context, such as the following:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, today's meeting has been cancelled."

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