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  • Subject

    'due to' vs 'owing to'

    Sources
    The collision was due to the icy conditions.
    Owing to the icy conditions, the two cars collided.
    Comment
    Hi! Do you have any idea what the difference between these expressions is? I don't get it...
    Thanks for every answer!
    Have a nice evening!
    AuthorMax98 (899616) 11 Feb 13, 17:37
    Comment
    Strictly speaking, 'due' is an adjective, and so A must be due to B. This is fine in your first sentence.

    The subject of the second sentence is 'the two cars'. They were not 'due' to anything. Hence 'owing to' is considered more correct.

    This 'rule' is frequently disregarded, but I am in favour of observing it, as loose thinking -- or at least less than precise expression -- may result from its neglect.
    #1Author escoville (237761) 11 Feb 13, 17:49
    SuggestionYeah, me too, escoville!
    Sources
    And how about the expression "because of"? That should always be treated as adverbial.

    Comment
    !
    #2AuthorCJMoss (392648) 12 Feb 13, 04:22
    Sources
    The Guardian stylesheet supports you, escoville:

    due to or owing to?
    Traditionalists argue that just as rent is due to the landlord, "due to" should only be used when it is the complement of the verb "to be"; otherwise, use "owing to" or "because of":

    The train's late arrival was due to [caused by] leaves on the line; the train was late owing to [because of] leaves on the line.

    The distinction, once routinely taught in primary schools but now assailed on all sides, especially by train and tube announcers, is being lost
    Comment
    check at http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/d, very helpful in many ways
    #3Author WernR (237214) 12 Feb 13, 14:00
    Comment
    I would regard the matter as somewhat pedantic, were it not that I read (as editor) so much stuff where people say 'due to' apparently without thinking, and you really begin to wonder what precisely they mean (and come to the conclusion that they don't mean anything precise). A similar (though usually worse) problem arises with 'based on'.
    #4Author escoville (237761) 12 Feb 13, 14:19
     
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