I'd like to know what the expression due to means. For example:

This proof is due to X and Y

Can we say

This proof is attributed to X and Y?

  • 1
    In effect, that is what it means, but "attributed to"in some cases implies that the causality is open to question, and in other cases names the person or people who developed the proof. Note that ordinarily we do not use either due to or attributed to in speaking of the premises or logical form of a proof; for that we say the proof is "based on" or "derived from" X and Y. Mar 13, 2016 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


I'd say the simplest translation might be

because of

but, in case that is still too ambiguous, it means:

due to

  1. caused by or ascribable to.
    "his death was not due to any lack of care"
  2. because of; owing to.
    "he had to withdraw due to a knee injury"

this proof is attributed to X and Y

Means that X and Y are the ones credited with being the original creators of the proof.

Additionally, "attributed to" often implies that there may be some uncertainty/controversy, and that this attribution is the best-guess-yet resolution of that uncertainty.

this proof is due to X and Y

Is unusual, but it means that X and Y somehow contributed to the chain of events that caused the proof to come into existence.

Although in this case, "the proof is due to..." probably intends to indicates authorship and is thus synonymous with "attributed to", "attributed to" and "due to" don't have the same meaning.

  • 1
    If we say "this proof is due to Jones", we mean that Jones was the originator (author) of the proof.
    – The Photon
    Mar 14, 2016 at 1:16

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