"Due to" and "Because of" - a common error in English


 

One of the most common English errors that I come across over and over again, whether in academic texts, such as essays or dissertations, or books, reports, or press articles written in English is “due to”.

“Due to”, which is a compound preposition, is widely used as being synonymous with “because of”, as shown in the following examples.


Example One:

Mental health problems were on the rise due to the ongoing violence and decades of dictatorship and instability.


Example Two:

Due to all such consequent changes, Indonesia has to keep enhancing its good interaction with other democratic nations internationally.


Example Three:

But due to the lack of historical statistical data, this temporal approach is often dismissed.


Example Four:

The problem is indeed quite complex due to its dimension and the many constraints (see e.g. Tillander, 2004).


Example Five:

With respect to the first crime, it was committed between the two sons of Adam and Eve, when Abel was attacked and murdered by his brother Cain due to jealousy.


The above examples show the wrong use of "due to".


The correct meaning of “due to” is “caused by”, not “because of”. Let me give you a few examples to explain the correct usage of the compound preposition “due to”.


Example One:

The rise in mental health problems was due to (caused by) the ongoing violence and decades of dictatorship and instability.


Example Two:

The consequent changes, due to (caused by) the different weather, have led to negative consequences.


Example Three:

The complexity of the problem is due to its dimension and the many constraints (see e.g. Tillander, 2004).


Advice: If you wish to use different synonyms for “because of”, you can use “owing to” which means “because of”, but certainly refrain from using “due to”.


The examples cited in this entry are true examples taken from assignments of clients who turned to us for our English proofreading services UK.