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Because using “since” as a conjunction can be confusing, use “because” instead

While “since” can be used to denote causation, using the word in such a manner can lead to confusion.

  • Confusing: Since we won the contract, we drank
  • Not confusing: Because we won the contract, we drank.

The first example might be ok if you are referring to the events of the previous evening. But what if the contract was awarded three years ago? A reader might think you’re on one hecukva bender.

To minimize ambiguity, avoid using “since” when you can use “because” instead.

Often writers use “since” as a conjunction as the first word in a sentence because they don’t think it’s ok to start a sentence with “because” (I was taught that rule in elementary school). There’s nothing wrong, however, with doing so.

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2 Responses to Because using “since” as a conjunction can be confusing, use “because” instead

  1. Gisele July 10, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    The use of “because” is much more correct than the use of “since,” but do you not encounter far too many uses of the word “as” instead of either “since” or “because” in a causative sentence onstruction? It is driving me nuts.

    To use your example, “As we won the contract, we drank.” This misuse seems to be taking on popularity on blogs, and even in print. I was reading a bio last night and the author had used it with such frequency that I had to toss the book. “As we lived in the country, we did not experience the same privations . . .”

    Then there are the folks who stick a comma in front of the word, “as,” as if this overused form of punctuation is a prophylactic against bad grammer (the grammar antidote equivalent to ketchup on bad food).

    “I did not purchase this item, as I already own one.”

    Rant over.

  2. Gisele July 10, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    Please excuse typos during previous rant: construction and grammar are mis-spelled.

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