Difference Between Since and Because

It is so likely that many of us will commit grammatical errors when using the words ‘since’ and ‘because.’ While the two words may seem synonyms, they have significant differences.

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Notably, the use of either of the words in a given statement communicates two different things in most scenarios.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Since” expresses a time-based relationship, while “because” denotes causality or reason.
  2. “Since” can be used for both time and basis, but “because” is reserved solely for basis.
  3. Using “since” for cause might create ambiguity in specific sentences, while “because” offers greater clarity.

Since vs Because

“Since” refers to a specific time or point in the past when an action started and is often used with perfect tenses to indicate the duration of an action from the past until the present. On the other hand, “because” explains the reason for that action and is used to provide a cause-and-effect relationship.

Since vs Because

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Examples:

  1. Since – Dave and Anny have been best friends ‘since’ second grade.
  2. Because – We are late ‘because’ she was not on time.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonSinceBetween
Part of SpeechBoth conjunction and an adverbIt is a conjunction
Position in a SentenceIt can be used at the beginning or the middle of a sentenceUsed in the middle of a sentence
PurposeUsed to bring a logical relationship between events or ideas and describe the sequential relationship between events.It is used to bring out a reason for an idea or event.
Degree of ReasonLess importantVery important
Usability in QuestionsNot used in questionsUsed in question

What is ‘since’?

The name ‘since’ is known to possess two definitions. ‘Since’ describes the time from a specified instance in the past until the present.

Additionally, the word ‘since’ is also used to indicate explanations of why something happened.

Example in Sentence Form of the Word ‘since’ in Describing a Specific Time

• Bill has been in Africa since the summer holiday.

Example in Sentence Form of the Word ‘since’ while expressing circumstance

• My uncle bought me a gift since it was my birthday.

since

What is ‘because’?

On the other hand, the word ‘because’ is used to explain why an incident occurred. Some terms can be used in place of the phrase ‘because of,’ include ‘due to,’ and ‘as a result of.’

The following are two examples in sentence form where the word ‘because’ has been employed.

• Malcom Gladwell states in his book Outliers that violinists are good at their art because of the 10000-hours-of-practice rule.

• The dog barked because it saw a thief in the compound.

because

Main Differences Between Since and Because

Notably, to avoid misappropriating the words ‘since’ and ‘because,’ one must understand how, when, and where to use either.

Notably, differentiating the two words through their meaning might leave you wondering how different the terms are. The following are the main differences between the words ‘since’ and ‘between.’

Part of Speech

The word “since” can be used as an adverb and conjunction. When the word is used as an adverb, it describes time, that is, from a certain period to date.

Additionally, the word ‘since’ is used as a conjunction to express the logical link between two events or ideas.

On the other hand, the word ‘because’ only acts as a conjunction to give a reason for a subordinate clause. Sometimes, the word ‘since’ as an adverb can be used as a synonym for the word ‘because.’

However, one caution should be exercised in such scenarios to avoid ambiguity.

Position in a Sentence

The word ‘since’ can appear at the beginning or middle of the sentence.

The following are examples of the word ‘since’ at the beginning and middle of a sentence.

The word ‘since’ at the Beginning of a Sentence

•  Since the rain came, I have planted plenty of trees.

The word ‘since’ in the Middle of a Sentence

• Tracy has scored at least two goals since the first week of training.

On the other hand, the word ‘because’ appears in the middle of a sentence.

In spoken word, the word might appear at the beginning of a sentence; otherwise, you would be committing a grammatical error by starting your sentence with the word ‘because.’

Purpose

The word ‘since’ can bring a logical relationship between events or ideas.

Additionally, the word is adopted in describing the sequential relationship between events.

Conversely, the word ‘because’ is only used to bring out a reason or explanation for the existence or occurrence of any given scenario.

Degree of Reason

While the two words express the reason behind a stated idea or event, they differ in the degree of reason.

The word ‘since’ is used when the cause or reason for a given scenario is well-known, hence less critical.

Conversely, the word ‘because’ is used in scenarios where the reason is the most crucial part of the sentence.

Therefore, despite the two words acting as causal conjunctions, you should choose the correct conjunction guided by the degree of reason.

Usability in Questions

At times one might require asking questions backed up with some explanation.

For example, ask whether a given scenario occurred due to an idea or event. Notably, ‘because’ is preferred to ‘since’ in such cases for grammatical reasons.

The following is an example of the two conjunctions’ right and wrong used in asking questions.

Wrong Use

Did you wash the car since it was dirty?

Correct Use

• Did you wash the car because it was dirty?

Difference Between Since and Because
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