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due to/owing to/thanks to

Discussion in 'English Only' started by quietdandelion, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    I came back not due to/owing to/thanks to the rain, but because I was tired.


    Do all the three phrases fit in the above context and mean the same? Thanks.
     
  2. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    I wouldn't use "thanks to" if I were you.

    http://www.bartleby.com/68/75/2075.html
     
  3. Lauragrh Junior Member

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Peru presently in Ohio, Spanish
    If I had to choose I would choose "due to", but I would rather say "not because of the rain, but because I was tired"
     
  4. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, nichec, for your reply and the link.

    But why not thanks to, could you explain it in a few words?
     
  5. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    I think I would tend to use "thanks to" in a positive way, like this example in dictionary.com:

    6.thanks to, because of; owing to: Thanks to good organization and hard work, the benefit concert was a great success.
     
  6. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
  7. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, nichec, for your explanation and another link.
    Thanks to this link of your, I know the following also makes sense:

    The baby is awake thanks to your shouting.

    And I don't think the above sample is very positive, does it?
     
  8. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Yeap, it's used in an ironic way, just like this one (my own sentence :p)

    --Thanks to you, I have the worst day of my life.
     
  9. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks to you and your links, I know better about native speakers and English.
     
  10. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    QD, as regards "due to" and "owing to", you might want to look at this thread.

    I'm one of the pedantic ones who wouldn't use "due to" in your example;)

    Loob
     
  11. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    QD, I would not use "due to" here, but would instead say "because of".

    Since "due" is an adjective, you should look at a sentence carefully if some form of "to be" does not appear immediaely before the word "due", because it is likely that "due to" does not properly fit there. Another easy test is to replace the "due to" phrase with a one word adjective, such as "appropriate" or "unfortunate", and see if that works grammatically -- if another adjective does not work, the "due to" might not belong:

    Our early return was due to the weather. :confused:
    Our early return was appropriate. :tick:

    I came back not due to the rain, but because I was tired. :confused:
    I came back not appropriate, but.. :cross:
     
  12. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Loob and GWB.
    What if I reword the base sentence a bit?

    The reason that I came back was not due to the rain, but my being tired.

    Does the above sound better?
     
  13. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi again QD

    It helps if you think of "due to" as meaning "caused by":

    So:
    You can't say "the reason was caused by..."

    These would be fine, however:

    My early return was not due to the rain, but due to my being tired.
    My early return was due not to the rain, but to my being tired.

    The second is better because it avoids the repetition of "due".

    Loob
     
  14. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Loob, for the better versions.

    But I still can't figure why the following doesn't sound right:
    The reason of my early return was due to my being tired, but not the rain.
     
  15. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    QD, as Loob noted the thing that can be described as "due to the rain" or "due to your being tired" is NOT "The reason". What is "due to the rain" is your return. In your sentence, you have made "reason" the subject, and your adjectives therefore describe "reason" and not "return".
     
  16. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    GreenWhiteBlue's explanation is admirably clear and correct, and I endorse the advice about using because of or owing to when you want an adverbial phrase to explain why something has happened.

    Thanks to suggests a positive outcome - I came home thanks to the rain suggests it's a good thing you came home - while the other two (because of and owing to) are neutral.
     
  17. popcat New Member

    Chinese
    QD, Try to understand that The reason ... was because ... is not a proper expression as your last sentence.
     
  18. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I don't like any of the choices in the sample sentence because, to my ear, none is parallel enough to "because". I would say "not because of ... but because ...".
     

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