Because of / By

Indicating cause versus method or means

Demonstrations in Egypt
 

 

Cause vs. Method

BECAUSE / BECAUSE OF

Because of and because introduce a cause or reason for a particular situation. Because of is followed by a noun phrase and because is followed by a clause. 

SITUATION CAUSE

Demonstrators  protested

because of their dissatisfaction.

Demonstrations  arose/ occurred/ happened

because of  dissatisfaction. 

The government responded

because of the work stoppage in the city.

Protestors created banners in English

because of the international news cameras.

World leaders are speaking out

because  they see potential problems.

Students coordinated plans quickly

because of text messaging.

Change resulted²

because of the "grass roots" movement.

BY / WITH

By and with introduce a means or method for a particular action that someone takes or something does. With → noun phrase (means) By → gerund clause (method)

TAKE ACTION MEANS & METHOD

Demonstrators protested

 

with a march in Tahrir Square.
by marching in Tahrir Square. 

Demonstrations arose¹ / occurred¹ / happened¹.


Never Passive (no by-clause  possible)

The government responded

 

with an announcement of elections
by announcing new elections.

Protestors created banners signs

with large sheets.
by painting large sheets.

World leaders are speaking out

with appearances on television.
by appearing in news conferences.

Students coordinated plans quickly

with text messaging.
by using  text messaging.

Change resulted

with the formation of a council.
by forming a temporary council.   

 

"grass roots" movement – action taken from the bottom up rather than from the top (leadership) down
¹These verbs are intransitive and are not used with objects (receivers) , cannot form passive, do not take a by-clause (agent) . See Transitive / Intransitive  Never Passive  
²See result in / result from
Related pages  By + Gerund (means)   Because / of 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of / By

Cause vs. Agent

 

 

Cause vs. Agent

BECAUSE / BECAUSE OF

After a passive verb, because or because of introduces a cause of an action or a reason for the action. Because of → noun phrase ; Because → clause.

SITUATION CAUSE

People were hurt because of

the violence.

Protestors were stopped because of

the tanks.

The protestors were stopped because

the tanks blocked them.

Some protestors were injured because of

conflicts on the street.
protestor clashes.
 

Neighboring countries were worried because of

the unrest.  

BY + AGENT

After a passive verb, by introduces the agent of the action.  The agent is often a person or persons, but the agent may also be inanimate.

SITUATION AGENT

People were hurt
 
 

by violent protestors.  

Protestors were stopped                 

by military tanks.

The protestors were stopped                 

by the military.

Some protestors were injured

by other protestors.  
by opposing demonstrators.

Neighboring countries were worried

 

by rumors about the unrest.
by news reports about the unrest.

 

clash – fights, conflicts, disagreements
unrest – restless, troubled; disturbance
Also see By Phrases.
Because / Because of Grammar Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*The floods resulted by the rising sea water.

*The president resigned from office by the citizens' protest.

 

 

SOLUTION

The floods resulted from the rising sea water. phrasal verb
The floods were caused by the rising sea water. passive
The floods resulted because of the rising…

The president resigned from office by announcing… means & method
The President was removed from office by popular vote.  passive
The president resigned from office because of the citizens' protest.

 

Solution - lightbulb  Pop-q – "by-because"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Cause vs. Means and Method

protest

 

 

 

Complete the logic of 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

Cause vs. Agent of the Action

Yasi stom     flood
Cyclone Yasi, about the size of Italy and carrying winds of up to around 300 km
per hour, threatened Australia with its second major natural disaster in two months.
 

 

Complete the sentence with a logical expression.

  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 11-17" button.

 

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.


facilitate (v.) – make easy or easier

17.