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I read these two paragraphs:

I am writing to you about the talk I agreed to give at the local library in two weeks' time.

I regret I have to cancel this talk. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am being sent abroad by my firm and will be away for three weeks.

I am curious that why not use because instead of but in the sentence above?

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Using "but" makes it clear that what follows is additional information.

Using "because" here would suggest the trip abroad is the reason for the apology, not the reason for the inconvenience. You could also use

I apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately I am being sent abroad by my firm and will be away for three weeks.

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  • If but makes it clear that what follows is additional information, why not use and instead of but? – Y. zeng Jul 29 at 6:08
  • We usually use "and" for something that reinforces and "but" for something that restricts or opposes, even when it is logically "and". For example "You can go but you can't borrow the car", or "you can go, and you can borrow the car", "I have homework, but it won't take long" or "I have homework and it will take all night". – Peter Jul 29 at 9:28
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I think the reason we use the word "but" is that there is a contrast between the speaker's feelings and the thing which is apologized for. In the example in your question, the writer is saying:

  • On the one hand, I would like to give the talk and I do not want to inconvenience you in any way,
  • but on the other hand, I am unable to give the talk because I am being sent abroad.

It is very common to use the word "but" in apologies like this. (Another example would be "I'm sorry, but you can't sit there.")

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