Due To

Riders of the subway in Toronto will be familiar with announcements along these lines: Due to signal problems at Eglinton station, you can expect longer than normal travel times.

You know all too well what this means, but it isn’t quite grammatical.

Due to, usually but not always following some form of the verb to be, properly means attributable to. It needs to be attached to a noun, rather than the vaguer concept of expecting (in the subway example). Due to is frequently misused as a substitute for because of or as a result of.

So, your longer-than-expected subway experience is due to signal problems; but because of signal problems, you are spending more time on the subway than you were expecting.

Admittedly, the shade in meaning between attributable to and because of may be slight, and no real confusion will result from a misuse that most people won’t even notice.

As noted previously, expunge due to the fact that and replace it with because.

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)


  1. Thank you!

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