'cause, 'cos, because

la italianilla

Senior Member
Italian
Hi everyone!
I've just used the search function but still got some doubts though.
I understand because is sometimes spelled 'cause or 'cos in direct speech.
1. Is it correct to use the apostrophe for both of the abbreviations or not? Sometime I've noticed some English natives don't use it (in the case of "cause", could be mistaken for "cause" as "reason"?).
2. And then, when can I be sure I can use them? Just in informal/colloquial speech (or one's everyday speech)?
3. Talking about "'cos" and "'cause", are there any "criteria" to choose one of them?
Thanks for your answers.

No pity with my mistakes, I'm here to improve my English too :)
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hi LaIt!
    As you suggest, if I was writing 'cause, I'd spell it with an apostrophe to avoid confusion with cause. With cos or coz (also a popular spelling) I wouldn't bother. You'd be unlikely to confuse cos with cos (lettuce)! [pronounced 'koss']
    I'd recommend you definitely stick to writing them only in very informal stuff. In speech, I can't imagine anyone actually dying if you shortened because to coz ~ after all, we do it all the time.
     

    lil_old_me12

    New Member
    English
    'cause is the informal way of saying because...when you're speaking you might say 'cause instead of "because" because it's easier...however when you are writing you have to use "because"
     
    I understand because is sometimes spelled 'cause or 'cos in direct speech.
    1. Is it correct to use the apostrophe for both of the abbreviations or not?
    When one is reporting speech this way, what one is attempting is more like a phonetic transcription than actual literary writing. The rules of spelling therefore do not apply: you write what you want the reader to hear, rather than just read.

    2. And then, when can I be sure I can use them? Just in informal/colloquial speech (or one's everyday speech)?
    Only write it if you are writing dialogue. For ordinary informal writing, spell the word out completely, regardless of what the reader might actually say in speech.

    3. Talking about "'cos" and "'cause", are there any "criteria" to choose one of them?
    Yes - the accent of the speaker. For example, native New Yorkers do not pronounce 'cause as anything that could reasonably be transcribed as "cos", and so this would not make any sense if you were transcribing a New York accent. On the other hand, 'cos is a fair approximation of the way the abbreviated word would be said by speakers with other accents. If you are not transcribing spoken dialogue, though, you should avoid the abbreviation altogether.
     

    renee_ooo

    New Member
    Chinese
    [Please note that this post and the following ones have been added to a previous thread in which the same question was asked. DonnyB - moderator]

    Cause we are young. The sentence is right?What is the difference between “cause”and”because”? Please give a example.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ’Cause (or ’cos) is a slang contraction of because. You should avoid using it except in casual conversation.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "cause" is an ungrammatical way of saying "because."

    "Cause we are young" is ungrammatical. Don't write it.

    Sometimes, however, "'cause" is written to represent common speech.

    [cross-posted]
     
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