What is the difference between because and because of?
To answer the question, we must talk a little about conjunctions and prepositions first.
A conjunction /kənˈdʒʌŋkʃn/ is a word like ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’, ‘while’, ‘although’ that joins words, phrases, or sentences. It is used at the beginning of a clause, before a subject and a verb.
- I’ll have fish and chips.
- Marry came to the party, but Jane didn’t.
- Although it was cold, he wasn’t wearing warm clothes.
A preposition is a word like ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘from’, ‘to’, ‘out of’, ‘on behalf of’ that is used before a noun or a pronoun and shows place, position, time…
- We went out and had a walk in the garden.
- The wind was blowing from the south.
Because /bɪˈkʌz/ means ‘for the reason that’. It is a conjunction and it is used before a noun or pronoun.
- “Why are you late?” “Because I overslept.”
- She did it because her mother told her to.
- We won’t be able to go because my mother is coming over at the weekend.
Because of /bɪˈkʌz əv/ is used to say that somebody/something is the reason for something. It is a two-word preposition and it is used before a noun, pronoun, or a noun phrase.
- She walks with a limp because of her leg injury.
- He came to the party only because of me!
- The flight was cancelled because of heavy snow.
Compare these sentences:
We were late because it rained.
We were late because of the rain.
I couldn’t say anything because my father was there.
I couldn’t say anything because of my father(‘s) being there.
This structure is common too:
Just because … (it) doesn’t mean …
- Just because you are older than me doesn’t mean you can boss me around.
- Just because something is bigger it doesn’t mean it is heavier too.
Can you make real sentences with ‘because’, ‘because of’, and ‘Just because…’?