Because vs. Since

'Because' and 'since' express causes and effect but there is a distinction between them. In this lesson, we will learn their differences and similarities.

"Because" vs. "Since" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'because' and 'since' is that 'because' only expresses reason while 'since' expresses reason and time.

Because

'Because' is a word that functions as a conjunction or adverb. In both parts of speech, it expresses cause and effect. It is also categorized as a subordinating conjunctions. For example:

We were delighted because my sister graduated med school.

She was never interested in studying because she wanted to become a Basketball player.

Since

'Since' is another cause and effect conjunction. Just like 'because,' it is categorized as a subordinating conjunction. 'Since' is also used to express the passage of time. For instance:

I don't think he would attend the party since he is an introvert.

Everything has changed since then.

Similarities and Differences

Uses

Cause and Effect

We use 'because' and 'since' interchangeably to express the cause of an action or event:

I called him out because he is always rude.

I called him out since he is always rude.

Tip!

'Since' (used to express reason) is advised by grammarian to be avoided in casual conversations as it may confuse the audience.

Passage of Time

We use 'since' to express an action or event from a time in the past until the present:

He hasn't been the same since he has returned from his trip.

I haven't seen Lisa since last Christmas.

Position in a Sentence

We can place 'because' and 'since' at the beginning or at the middle of the sentence. Watch:

Because of the storm, the power went off.

The power went off because of the storm.

Since she hasn't called yet, she is probably sleeping.

She is probably sleeping since she hasn't called yet.

Take another look at the examples above and pay attention to the punctuation difference. When we use 'because' and 'since' at the beginning of the sentence we must use a comma after the first clause.

Frequency

'Because' is much more common than 'since' when talking about reason.

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