Grammar-QuizzesConnectorsAdjunct Prepositions › Because / Despite

Because of / Despite

Indicate a causal or non-causal relationship

fire
 

 

Because of v. Despite

PREPOSITION + CLAUSE

Because (since, as, though) is a connective preposition that relates additional, nonessential information to the main clause.  Because is complemented by a clause that states a reason (cause) for the effect stated in the main clause. This structure, an adjunct prepositional phrase, may be placed before the main clause without affecting the meaning. If so, a comma separates the it from the main clause. ¹ Grammar Notes.    

CAUSE / REASON EFFECT

Because a gas pipeline exploded, 

several homes burned down.

 

 

Since / As gas flowed freely from the pipe,

water could not put out the fire.

 

 

 

 

   

Because they delayed replacing the pipe, 

the accident was likely to occur.

CONTRARY  REASON EFFECT

Though the firemen arrived quickly,

they could do nothing to stop the inferno.

 

 

Even though residents smelled gas,

the pipeline was not replaced.

PREPOSITION + NOUN PHRASE

Because of (due to, on account of, owing to) are connective double-prepositions that relate additional, nonessential, information to the main clause.  Because of is complemented by a noun phrase (NP) that expresses reason (cause) for the effect stated in the main clause. The adjunct prepositional phrase may be placed before the main clause without changing the meaning. If so, a comma separates the it.                 

CAUSE / REASON EFFECT

Because of the gas explosion,  

several homes burned down.

Because of an  exploding gas line, 

several homes burned down  

Due to the free flow of gas,

water could not put out the fire.

Due to free-flowing gas,

water could not put out the fire.

On account of the age of the pipeline,

it broke.

On account of being so old,

the pipeline broke.

Owing to the delay in replacing the pipeline,

the accident was likely to occur.

CONTRARY REASON EFFECT

Despite a quick arrival,

the firemen could do nothing.

Despite arriving quickly,

the firemen could do nothing to stop the inferno.

In spite of the resident's smelling gas,

the gas company did not replace the gas line.

 

NP –noun phrase; N – noun; GER – gerund clause / nonfinite clause

Nonessential — not required (in this case, the structure is not required for the main clause to make sense, to stand alone as a sentence)

Double prepositions — prepositions that include another prepositional phrase: Because of the fact, by virtue of the fact, in light of the fact, in view of the fact, on account of, owing to the fact, due to the fact

Also see Because/ Though Grammar Notes.

Related page:   Pop-Q "Though

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cause Expressions

Because of vs. Due to

pipeline
 

 

Because of vs. Due to

BECAUSE OF

The two-word preposition because of is followed by a noun or noun phrase (noun + determiners and modifiers)

AFTER MOST VERBS

The explosion occurred because of the aging pipes. (N)

He survived the event because of luck. (N)

She loves her children because of her motherly instincts.

DUE TO

In some usage, due to differs from because of in that it follows a be-verb and is more similar to an adjective complement.  (but not – owing to)  In other usage, due to does not differ from because of

AFTER "BE" VERB

The explosion was due to the aging pipes.  

His survival was due to luck.  

Her motherly love is due to her instincts. 
 

 

aging (modifier) – becoming old or falling into poor condition as a result of use and wear
instinct (N) – a natural tendency to behave in a particular way or a natural ability to know something, which is not learned 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noun Phrases

Reducing Clauses

clause shortening
 

 

Shortening a clause to a phrase

CLAUSE

Because is connective preposition that is complemented by a clause with a subject and predicate.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

CONNECTOR CLAUSE

because 

they are coming at five

because

he was driving without his ID card.

because

she spent all her money

because

he reached his goal

because

the bank closed   

NOUN PHRASE

Because of is connective preposition that is complemented by a noun phrase: 1) change the pronoun to a possessive pronoun; 2) change the clause to a noun phrase (NP) or a gerund clause (nonfinite clause).

2-WORD PREP NOUN PHRASE / GERUND

because of  

their five o’clock arrival   (NP)

their arriving at five (GER CLS)

because of

his driving without his ID card (GER CLS)

because of

*[her] spending all her money (GER CLS)

having pent all her money (perfect)

because of

*[his]  reaching his goal (GER CLS) 

having reached his goal (perfect)

because of

the bank's closure(NP)

the bank closing (GER CLS)

the bank having closed (nonfinite perfect "earlier")

 

* If the possessive pronoun is redundant, it can be omitted.

connector – See Grammar Notes for term description.

gerund clause (perfect) – having + gerund expresses an earlier time than the time in the other clause: Because of our having arrived early at the train station, we had to wait for them to pick us up.

terms:  gerund phrase (used by Azar) / nonfinite clause (used in linguistic description)

 

 

 

Be Verbs

CLAUSE

Because can also be complemented by a clause with a be verb. The clause with "be" can be changed to a noun phrase (NP) by using being or the noun form of the adjective.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

CONNECTOR SUBJ NOUN + CLAUSE

because 

the wine was very dark red

because

she was very tired

because

Alfred is very old

because

the cat had been frightened

NOUN PHRASE

A similar meaning may be expressed with because of complemented by a noun phrase or being + an adjective. 1) the subject is expressed as a genitive (a possessive noun or pronoun); 2) the "be" verb takes form as being + adjective, or the verb+ adjective can be changed to just the noun form (NP) omitting the verb.

2-WORD PREP POSS NOUN + NOUN PHRASE

because of  

the wine's dark, red color (NP)
its being dark red (gerund)

because of

her tiredness (NP) 
her  being tired (gerund)

because of

his advanced age (NP)

because of

his fright (NP)
his having been frightened

 

Related pages After / Before –ing  (before, after, while, when, since)  | Because + Clause (because – same time & earlier)
SUBJ NOUN – subject noun or pronoun
POSS NOUN – possessive noun or pronoun

because — heads an adjunct prepositional phrase that takes a clause as its complement.

because of — because heads of the adjunct prepositional phrase which takes a prepositional phrase as its complement. (PP [PP])

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

"Because of it is coming soon  news coverage of the election is increasing."

 

*Due to it's raining here, we can't go.
*Due to it being rain here, we can't go.
 Use a noun.

SOLUTION

Because of the upcoming election, news coverage of it is increasing.

1) Use a noun phrase after because of:  the upcoming election (See Noun Phrases above.)

2) Use the noun election in the first clause and the referring pronoun in the second clause. Always mention the noun first before using a referring pronoun such as it.   

Due to the rain here, we can't go.

There is no noun phrase that can replace it, so rephrase the sentence.     

 

*Yellow highlighting indicates example of incorrect usage.
pop-question    Pop-Q – "because of"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grammar Notes(Advanced)

Traditional and Linguistic Description

 

 

Traditional / ESL and Linguistic Descriptions

TRADITIONAL / ESL GRAMMAR LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

In traditional grammar — because, since, as— are connectors that introduce adverb clauses. They relate why something occurred. 

In current linguistic description —because as since, as, etc.— are included in the preposition category.  (In this description, prepositions can be complemented by a wide variety of sentence structures and are not  limited to object complements.)

BECAUSE BECAUSE

because
— adverb clause   (Azar 19.3)

— conjunction (Swan 510)

 

because, as, since, inasmuch as

  • conjunctive preposition.reason (Aarts155)
  • adverb.adverbial clause (Azar 17.3-11)
  • cause-effect adjunct.preposition (Huddleston et al. 8 12.3)
  • conjunction (Swan 94, 72) "subordinating conjunction" (Biber 2.4.8)
  • subordinating conjunction.reason adverbial clause (Payne 76, 345)
  • adverbial clause.reason (Quirk 15.45)
     
BECAUSE OF BECAUSE OF

because of, due to
— phrasal prepositions (Azar 19-1)

— two-word preposition (Swan 94.1)

Sometimes, usually in formal writing, due to is followed by a noun clause introduced by the fact that… Like adverb clauses, these phrases can also follow main clauses.

because of, due to, owing to, on account of

  • complex preposition.reason (Aarts 78, 155)
  • complex preposition (Biber 2.4.5.2)
  • cause-effect adjunct.preposition + PP or NP (Huddleston et al. 8 12.3; 731)
  • two-word and three-word preposition (Swan 94)
  • cause adjunct.prepositional phrase "adjuncts of contingency" (Quirk 8.86)

 

Functions: Subject – the causer or doer of the action ; Predicate – the action; COMPcomplement:  elements required by an expression to complete its meaning ;  ADJUNCT: — adjunct: elements not required by an expression to complete its meaning.

CATEGORIES:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Detdeterminer; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective

 

Resources

  • Aarts, Bas. Oxford Modern English Grammar. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
  • Azar, Betty Schrampfer, and Stacy A. Hagen. Understanding and Using English Grammar. White Plains, New York: Pearson Longman, 2009. Print.
  • Biber, Douglas, and Stig Johansson, et al. Longman Grammar Of Spoken And Written English. Harlow: Pearson Education, 1999. Print.
  • Huddleston, Rodney D., and Geoffrey K. Pullum. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2002. Print.
  • Payne, Thomas Edward. Understanding English Grammar: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print.
  • Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
  • Quirk, Randolph and Sidney Greenbaum. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. 7th ed. New York: Longman Group, 1989. Print.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Chaos During the Fire

An impossible job
 

 

Decide whether to use a clause or a noun phrase in the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-10" button.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Reasons for Responses

Neighbors helping
 

 

Use an adverb or a phrasal preposition.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 11-15" button.

 

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Four Years After the Explosion

Replanting treesRebuilding the neighborhood
 

 

Read for Errors

In the last four years, the city of San Bruno has been working to rebuild the infrastructure of the neighborhood that was destroyed by fire.

The city had to spend to spend over $15 million in repairs because the complete destruction of the area. It has completed the underground work and will soon finish the above-ground work to roads, sidewalks and street lights. In addition, the city will need to replace the trees and the play structures in the neighborhood park as because they burned up too.

Despite the neighbors' desire to rebuild quickly, reconstruction has been slow owing to there were numerous investigations and legal decisions.

A National Transportation Safety (NTS) board investigation found that the explosion was cause a defective seam weld in the pipeline.

Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fined Pacific Gas & Electric (PG & E) $1.4 billion for the San Bruno explosion. The money will go to the state's general fund.  However, some people object to the decision because they want the money to go toward improving gas pipeline safety.

Twenty-four neighbors have rebuilt their homes and soon another ten will begin rebuilding their homes. The other seventeen neighbors are already back in their homes due to that their homes were damaged (not destroyed) and repaired.

The city planners have taken their time on account of they want to do it right this time.

The state and city governments have enacted several new regulations to improve gas pipeline safety due to this terrible accident that could have been prevented.

defective (Adj) — faulty, not made correctly

enact (V) — make law

fine (V) — penalize; force someone to pay money for wrong-doing.

fund (N) — savings intended for a specific purpose

infrastructure (N) — the basic, supporting services underground and above ground (sewers, gas and electrical lines, roads, sidewalks, lighting)

numerous (quantifier) — several

pipeline (N) — the system of  metal tubes through which natural gas flows

prevent (V) — avoid or keep from happening

regulations (N) — rules, laws

seam (N) — the line where two pieces of material (metal) come together.

weld (N) — join metal by melting the edges with high heat and pressing them together while they are hot

wrongdoing (N) — illegal or immoral behavior

"4 Years After Pipeline Blast, San Bruno Looks to Finish Rebuilding Soon." 8 Sep 2014. CBS SF Bay Area. Web. 9 Sep 2014 <sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

 

 

 

 

Edit for Errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 21-30" button.

 

16.
The city had to spend to spend over $15 million in repairs because the complete destruction of the area.


17.
In addition, the city will need to replace the trees and the play structures in the neighborhood park as because they burned up too.


18.
Despite neighbors' desire to rebuild quickly, reconstruction has been slow owing to there were numerous investigations and legal decisions.


19.
A National Transportation Safety (NTS) board investigation found that the explosion was cause a defective seam weld in the pipeline.


20.
However, some people object to the decision because of they want the money to go toward improving gas pipeline safety.


21.
The other seventeen neighbors are already back in their homes due to that their homes were damaged (not destroyed)  and repaired.


22.
The city planners have taken their time on account of they  want to do it right this time.


23.
The state and city governments have enacted several new regulations to improve gas pipeline safety due to this terrible accident that could have been prevented.