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In this sentence, due to or because of:

The energy difference between them is small because of the low electrical field in A compared to B

The energy difference between them is small due to the low electrical field in A compared to B

Thanks

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  • I gave this question an upvote, because I think that research will reveal different views. I shall make an answer about this. Mar 9, 2023 at 14:33

1 Answer 1

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There are at least two main schools of thought about whether 'due to' and 'because of' are interchangeable:

  1. Yes, they are.

Due to and because of are direct synonyms. Both terms function as prepositions and mean that something was caused by something else.

Other synonyms that serve the same function and meaning are owing to, caused by, as a result of, by reason of, and on account of.

Due to or because of? (Grammarist)

  1. No, they are not.

“Due to” is an adjective, which means it can only modify pronouns and nouns according to the purest English grammar rules.

“Because of” is an adverb, which means it can only modify verbs, adjectives and clauses, but not nouns and pronouns.

Because of and due to (Daily Writing Tips)

  1. Maybe!

Because due is an adjective, many grammar purists argue that the phrase due to ought to be used as an adjectival phrase (that is, serving the same function within a sentence)

Nevertheless, despite the reservations of conservative grammarians, due to is widely used as a synonym for because [of], regardless of whether the construction is prepositional, adjectival, or adverbial. In fact, it has been used this way since the 14th century, according to the Random House Dictionary.

Editing Tip: “Due To” and “Because Of” (AJE.com)

My opinion-based advice is to follow opinion (2) above for formal writing and if your work is to be published or submitted as school or college work, because you can, if challenged, point to 'traditional' grammar rules. If you are feeling brave, you can choose (1) or (3).

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  • Many thanks! In this case, following opinion (2), the correct sentence is: "The energy difference between them is small due to the low electrical field in A compared to B"
    – Alexandra
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:53
  • ""Because of” is an adverb, which means it can only modify verbs, adjectives and clauses, but not nouns and pronouns.": This Ngram graphs shows that, for the noun "the rain", ""because of the rain" is, and always has been, more widely used than "due to the rain". books.google.com/ngrams/… . The same is true for "the weather" and "the war", however for scientific nouns like "the voltage", "the current", and related noun phrases, the reverse is generally true.
    – JavaLatte
    Apr 13, 2023 at 2:49

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