Giving Reasons in English
What are the words and phrases we use for giving reasons in English? They are: because, because of, the reason (for this) is, in order to, why, as a result of, for, through, due to, owing to.
Both ‘because’ and ‘because of’ are used to tell a reason. ‘Because’ is a conjunction and we normally use it in a subject + verb construction; ‘because of’ is a preposition and it goes with a gerund or a noun.
- I got up early because I couldn’t sleep.
- I got up early because of my inability to sleep.
- I got up early because of not being able to sleep.
You shouldn’t use ‘because’ or ‘because of’ at the beginning of the sentence. Instead, use the phrase ‘the reason (for this) is’.
The reason (for this) is
- The police arrested two men last night. The reason for this is a bank robbery.
- The reason I’m writing is to apply for a position in your company.
In order to
‘In order to’ is a conjunction used to introduce a purpose.
- John works two jobs in order to support his numerous family.
- He caught an early train in order not to be late for the meeting.
‘Why’ is a conjunction used to introduce the reason that causes something to happen.
- Michael never found out why his wife left him.
- Scientists have finally found the reason why chocolate is addictive.
As a result of
‘As a result of’ explains the reason something happens.
- We couldn’t get a bank loan to buy a house as a result of inflation.
- As a result of hard police work, the crime rate is lower than last year.
‘For’ is a preposition that explains a particular reason.
- He was sentenced to death for his crime.
- Many people today decide not to eat meat for health reasons.
‘Through’ is a preposition used to explain why someone or something succeeded or failed.
- She became successful through her hard work.
- The company lost a lot of customers through poor maintenance of the products.
Due to/Owing to
Due to/owing to are prepositions that introduce the reason why something has happened. ‘Due to’ and ‘owing to’ are formal expressions, and they are used more in writing than in spoken English.
- The plane was delayed due to the bad weather.
- The nomination was cancelled owing to a lack of interest.
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