Main Difference – Due to vs Because of
Although many people use the two expressions due to and because of interchangeably, this is deemed incorrect according to traditional grammar rules. They cannot be used interchangeably since they belong to two different grammatical categories. Due to is an adjective and because of is an adverb. This is the main difference between due to and because of. This difference also affects the functions and usage of these two phrases.
Due to – Meaning and Usage
Due to is considered as an adjective. Therefore, it can only be used to modify nouns and pronouns. Let’s look at some examples to understand this concept better.
“He retired due to an injury.”
In the above sentence, due to describes why he retired. So, it modifies the verb retire. But since retire is a verb, and due to is an adjective, this usage is incorrect. This sentence can be rewritten as below.
“His retirement was due to an injury.”
Here, due to acts as an adjective since it modifies the noun retirement.
The match was postponed due to unavoidable circumstances. → The postponement of the match is due to unavoidable circumstances.
The picnic was canceled due to weather.→ The picnic’s cancellation was due to weather.
It is cold due to winds coming from the south.→ The cold is due to the winds coming from the south.
Although the above-explained rule is accepted by many grammarians, the usage of this phrase indicates that many people use it as a preposition. However, both American Heritage dictionary and Oxford Dictionary claim that the prepositional usage of due to is common in English language and regarded as a part of the standard language.
Because of – Meaning and Usage
Because of is an adverb; it can modify verbs, adjectives, and clauses. Because of cannot be used to modify nouns. Let’s look at some examples to understand the usage of this adverb.
The picnic was cancelled because of the weather.
The crash occurred because of his reckless behavior.
The match was postponed because of the weather.
They went abroad because of the ethnic riots.
The road is blocked because of the heavy snowfall.
In the above sentences, because of modifies the verb. Because of can be replaced by synonyms such as owing to and as a result of.
Difference Between Due to and Because of
Due to is an adjective.
Because of is an adverb.
Due to modifies nouns and pronouns.
Because of modifies verbs, adjective, and clauses.
Due to follows some form of the be verb.
Because of usually follows a clause.
Due to can be replaced by caused by.
Because of can be replaced by owing to.