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I tried to say this:

Due to it will have less features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better.

Basically, I used a sentence after due to, and one of my English friends said it does not make sense and is not grammatically correct.

What is wrong with using due to at the beginning of a sentence?

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7  
It does not make sense and is not grammatically correct. –  RegDwigнt May 24 '12 at 12:56
    
Due to simplicity, its performance will overtake the actual standard system. –  Mostafwani May 24 '12 at 21:03
    
Due to is usually replaceable directly by because of, not as or since. –  Edwin Ashworth Oct 22 '12 at 10:47

7 Answers 7

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The problem is not that you used due to at the beginning of a sentence. The problem is that due to must be followed by a nominal phrase, since to is a preposition and prepositions are (almost) always followed by nominal phrases. For this reason, you need to use a verbal noun or a gerund after to:

Due to having less features than an actual standard system, the performance will be better.

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1  
Something with less features has the features of the less(1) program. –  tchrist May 24 '12 at 13:08
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@tchrist, "less features" is perfectly grammatical, and more to the point, there's a separate question for that. This question here is about "due to". Keep the discussion on topic. –  RegDwigнt May 24 '12 at 13:31
2  
If you're worried about losing tense information, you might want to say "Due to the fact that it will have..." or you could of course just say "As it will have less features...". –  Neil Coffey May 24 '12 at 14:08
    
Especially as the insistance on 'fewer' is described in that question as "Another arrow in the prescriptivist’s quiver of pointless pedantry." :) –  Neil Coffey May 24 '12 at 14:15
    
I don't think this "corrected" version is grammatically valid either, since it contains no reference to the actual thing having less features and better performance. @hrishioa's alternative is much better anyway, but to enforce grammaticality using "due to" you'd have to say something like "Due to its having less features, its performance will be better". –  FumbleFingers May 25 '12 at 16:34

What you have is ungrammatical. Rewrite along these lines:

  • Due to having fewer features than the actual standard system, performance will be better.

  • Because it will have fewer features than the actual standard system, performance will be better.

I don’t like “actual standard”, either. I think one of those two words must go.

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As others have said, there is no problem in beginning a sentence with due to. If you wanted to do so with this particular sentence, however, you would have to recast it as something like ‘Due to its having less features than the standard system, its performance will be better.’

I personally would prefer ‘It doesn’t have as many features as the standard system, so its performance will be better.’ But it depends on context.

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He's right, it's not grammatically correct. I think what you're trying to say is

As it will have less features than actual standard system, the performance will be better.

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ok:) thanks a lot. –  AnarchistGeek May 24 '12 at 12:58
2  
Fewer features, less functionality. And it's missing a the. –  Hugo May 24 '12 at 12:59
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@Hugo The the isn’t missing, merely misplaced. :) –  tchrist May 24 '12 at 13:01

Apart from the grammatical points in the other answers:

In British English, it is widely considered grammatically incorrect (or, at least, grammatically dubious) to start a sentence with a conjunction.

For example: Starting with "Because...", "And..." are discouraged: you should use these in the middle of a sentence two separate two clauses. I would put "Due to..." in the same category as this.

However, this is a rule which is frequently broken.

And, it is certainly accepted in American English to start a sentence with a conjunction ;) I have seen this form in SAT exams, for example: asking whether this is grammatically correct. This can cause significant problem for British students taking American SATs.

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From grammar.ccc : A frequently asked question about conjunctions is whether and or but can be used at the beginning of a sentence. This is what R.W. Burchfield has to say about this use of and: There is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with And, but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial And is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues. from The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. –  Edwin Ashworth Oct 22 '12 at 10:42
    
Continuing: The same is true with the conjunction but. A sentence beginning with and or but will tend to draw attention to itself and its transitional function. Writers should examine such sentences with two questions in mind: (1) would the sentence and paragraph function just as well without the initial conjunction? (2) should the sentence in question be connected to the previous sentence? If the initial conjunction still seems appropriate, use it. –  Edwin Ashworth Oct 22 '12 at 10:43

First of all, I agree with tchrist. I prefer his formulation:

Because it will have fewer features than the actual standard system, performance will be better.

But let me answer your question.

Part I: Assuming the strict rule

The problem is not that due to is not allowed at the beginning of a sentence. The problem is that due to must modify a noun or a nominal phrase, indicating the thing that is explained. It should be replaceable by caused by, rather than by as a result of, because of or on account of.

In your example, it's not so much the performance that is explained, but the improvement in performance.

Therefor, this is allowed, according to the strict rule:

The improvement in performance will be due to the lower amount of features it will have compared to the actual standard system.

It's possible to start a sentence with a Due to …, but you have to make sure that the subject of the sentence is the noun or nominal phrase that is explained.

Since this is allowed:

An improvement in performance, due to the lower amount of features it will have compared to the actual standard system, will be noticeable.

this is theoretically also allowed:

Due to to the lower amount of features compared to the actual standard system, an improvement in performance will be noticeable.

However, people still might read this as if the noticeability of the performance improvement is explained by the "due to" modifier, rather than the actual performance improvement (which is what the sentence literally says, if the strict rule applies).

Which brings me to…

Part II: Is the strict rule an actual rule?

This has been answered elsewhere. Let me repeat TrevorD's upvoted answer:

Chambers Dictionary has the following explanation:

due to
It is sometimes argued that, because due is an adjective, due to should have a noun or pronoun that it refers back to (an antecedent), as in• • Absence from work due to sickness has certainly not been falling (where 'absence' is the antecedent)• . This argument would disallow sentences like:

?• A special train service was cancelled due to operating difficulties (where due to is effectively a preposition).

This point of view is based on the word's behaviour in its other meanings; in this meaning it has taken on a new grammatical role that is now well established. Due to often refers back to a whole clause even when there is a notional antecedent, as with 'starvation' in the sentence• • Out in the countryside, two million people are at risk of starvation, due to the failure of the harvest.

RECOMMENDATION: it is correct to use due to in both the ways shown

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Your sentence is wrong. You could try the following:

Since it will have fewer features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better.

Because it will have fewer features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better.

As it will have fewer features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better.

Due to having fewer features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better.

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Ugh. The last option isn't an option. "Due to lesser features" does not make sense. –  RegDwigнt May 24 '12 at 13:04
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Those are all wrong, I fear. It can only be less ‘featureful’ or perhaps less featured; otherwise it must have fewer features. And “lesser features” doesn’t mean what you think it does. –  tchrist May 24 '12 at 13:05
    
change "less(er)" to "fewer," though, and it's not a bad answer... –  J.R. May 24 '12 at 13:07
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Yes now. Lesser features means that they are minor features, not that there are fewer of them. –  tchrist May 24 '12 at 13:20
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@rudra - Just because something is frequently said/heard doesn't mean it is grammatically correct. –  dj18 May 24 '12 at 13:47

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