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due to, owing to, because of, on account of

The expression due to has two uses, one formal and one informal.

Formal writing and speaking

In formal writing and speaking, due is used as an adjective. It normally acts as the subject complement after a linking verb. Be due to means result from:

  • Marjorie’s car troubles are due to (result from) a problem with the alternator.
  • Some people say that Vancouver’s growth has been due to (has resulted from) the arrival of wealthy immigrants.

Informal writing and speaking

In informal contexts, due to has become a compound preposition equivalent to owing to; it is used to introduce an adverb phrase. This usage is not yet fully accepted in formal writing and speaking. For that reason, for an adverb phrase in formal writing, you may prefer to use owing to, because of or on account of instead.

  • The founders of Goderich thought their city would flourish, owing to (not due to) its deep, natural harbour.
  • Because of (not due to) the storm, the trip was postponed.