What IS the Difference Between “Since” and “Because”?

This request recently came my way: Barbara, I’d love to see you do an article on the difference between “as” and “since” and “because.” Here’s a summary of what my research told me.

Both “because” and “since” imply cause, and they can be interchangeable when “since” means “for the reason that.” e.g., “Since my dog needs exercise, I take him for a walk.” e.g., “I walk every day because my dog needs exercise.”

One source suggests using “because” when the reason is the most important part of the sentence and “since” or “as” when the reason is already well known and is less important. e.g., “The match was cancelled because it was raining.”

I endorse this as an important distinction. I use it myself and recommend it to you. Here’s why.

“Since” also refers to a time frame. But look at this example. “Since we ate lunch, we had lots of energy.” Do you see how this statement is ambiguous? Does it mean “from the time we had lunch” or “for the reason that we had lunch”?

To avoid confusion, I recommend using “because” when your meaning relates to “cause” and “since” when it’s a factor of time. Keep the meanings distinct; it’s a good way to add clarity to your writing and power to your pen.

For clarification of commonly confused words, download a free reference guide at www.WordTrippers.com/odi

Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. You can enjoy a $30 discount at checkout by using the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi


You can enjoy a $30 discount at checkout by using the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi


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