This sentence came up in one of the videos of a popular English teacher on youtube.

Just because you don't have a degree shouldn't make a difference.

My question is, is this correct? Can the phrase 'Just because you don't have a degree' be a subject in a sentence? I would have no problems with 'You not having a degree shouldn't make a difference.', or 'Whether you have a degree or not should not make a difference.', but I have doubts about the original sentence.

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    You are right - it isn't correct, though it's the sort of thing many native speakers say in an informal context. Jun 5 at 9:18
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    A more careful speaker would have said something like 'Just not having a degree shouldn't make a difference.' Jun 5 at 9:32
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    I'd say it's common enough. Though not exactly correct it's the kind of structure everybody will generate at some time in their in speech, because without a script, no-one actually constructs a full sentence before they start, so this crops up frequently. If you weren't concentrating, you'd probably not notice. Jun 5 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


As was stated in the comments, this sentence is formally incorrect, but is an 'incorrect' form that is present in native speech (as you saw).

Your proposed sentences are both correct ways to express the idea. In context, it might also be corrected to something like "(Your view shouldn't be disregarded) just because you don't have a degree" or "(You shouldn't keep your ideas to yourself) just because you don't have a degree," depending on what the 'difference' in the original sentence is referring to.

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