Grammar-QuizzesConnectorsAdjunct Prepositions › Because / By

Because of / By

Indicating cause versus method or means

Demonstrations in Egypt
 

 

Cause vs. Method

BECAUSE / BECAUSE OF

Because (since, as, though) and  because of (due to, on account of) are connective double-prepositions that relate additional, nonessential information to the main clause.  Because is complemented by a clause (Cls) and because of is complemented by a noun phrase (NP) that states a reason (cause) for the effect stated in the main clause.

EFFECT CAUSE
MAIN CLAUSE CONNECTOR + NOUN PHRASE

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 are prepositions that can express a means or method for a particular action that someone or something does. With is followed by a noun phrase (NP) that denotes an instrument or tool. By is followed by a gerund clause that expresses a method for doing something.                                                                     

ACTION MEANS OR METHOD
MAIN CLAUSE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

Demonstrators protested

 

with a march in Tahrir Square.

by marching in Tahrir Square. 

Demonstrations arose¹.

(occurred, happened, took place)

Intransitive Verbs: are never passive (no by-clause is 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 ("recipients" or "beneficiaries") , cannot form passive, do not take a by-clause (agent) . See Intransitive Verb – 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

Because (since, as, though) and  because of (due to, on account of) are connective prepositions that relate additional, nonessential information to the main clause.  Because is complemented by a clause (Cls) and because of is complemented by a noun phrase (NP) that states a reason (cause) for the effect stated in the main clause.

EFFECT CAUSE
MAIN CLAUSE (PASSIVE) CONNECTOR + NOUN PHRASE or CLS

People were hurt

because of the violence. (NP)

Protestors were stopped

because of the tanks. (NP)

The protestors were stopped

because the tanks blocked them. (Cls)

Some protestors were injured

because of conflicts on the street. (NP)

because of protestor clashes.  (NP)

Neighboring countries were worried

because there were rumors of unrest. (Cls)

BY + AGENT

A by phrase may be added in a passive clause to include the agent (doer/source) of the action.  The agent is often a person or persons, but the agent may also be inanimate.  Also see By-Phrases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

SITUATION AGENT
MAIN CLAUSE (PASSIVE) PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

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.

 

adjunct prepositional phrase — People were hurt    adjunct prep phrase [prep because  content clause[ they could not get away.]]

adjunct — elements not required by an expression to complete its meaning

clash – fights, conflicts, disagreements

unrest – restlessness, political trouble, disturbance (riots, demonstrations)

Also see Because/Though (Grammar Notes) and By Phrases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.