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I'm a non-native speaker and I'm having trouble using both due to in a sentence.

I want to describe a certain thing, let's say 'A', is a result of two processes, 'B' and 'C'.

I remembered a friend of mine who is a native English speaker advising me to use 'both due to', but I can't remember exactly how.

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"'A', is a result of two processes, 'B' and 'C'." is not a suitable example case for the use of both due to. This question might be GR, but considering your earnest, I'm posting a short answer. –  Kris Dec 24 '12 at 9:45
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Hello and welcome. I am afraid this question may be considered too open-ended and/or too basic for this site. You might be interested in our proposed sister site for English language learners. You can support it by committing. Thank you. –  RegDwigнt Dec 24 '12 at 12:34
    
@RegDwighт An open-ended question is one that has more than one possible definite answer. One that is too basic would be with a clear and definite answer, not open to debate. At least I thought so. :) –  Kris Dec 25 '12 at 4:57
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3 Answers

"X is due to Y" means that Y caused X. You've got it the wrong way round.
You could say "A is due to both B and C", but then that could be interpreted as either B or C on its own could result in A.
So you may be best to say something like, "A is due to a combination of B and C", to avoid ambiguity.

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Due to a combination of B and C is fine, as is due to both B and C, though with a slightly different meaning. But due to a combination of both B and C is pleonastic at best, and misleading at worst. –  TimLymington Dec 24 '12 at 9:41
    
See my comment at OP. –  Kris Dec 24 '12 at 9:44
    
@TimLymington: Good point. I've edited out the "both". I didn't see that "combination of both" could be taken to mean some hybrid process of B and C. In that light I'm still not happy with my choice of the word "combination". –  donothingsuccessfully Dec 24 '12 at 11:49
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The given sentence is not a suitable example. Instead, consider:

A is a result of X    } 
and                   } -> A and B are both due to X  
B is a result of X    } 

We notice that A and B are both caused by X. Therefore, they are both due to X.

An alternate situation is where

A is a result of X    } 
and                   } -> A is both due to X as well as Y
A is a result of Y    } 

His failure is both due to his lack of preparation as well his poor health. However, this is a less preferred construction and may be considered awkward.

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I'd probably rephrase the second one as "A is due to X, and A is due to Y as well." (Your sentence is not wrong per se, but I thought the first one reads much more naturally.) –  J.R. Dec 24 '12 at 10:00
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Surely your second example is a perfect demonstration of where due both to should be used rather than both due to. –  TimLymington Dec 24 '12 at 10:02
    
@J.R. Yes. It was so structured as to merely illustrate the (possible) use of the phrase 'both due to' -- a hypothetical case, if you will. –  Kris Dec 24 '12 at 10:02
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It's not "awkward": it's merely syntactically and semantically wrong, an example of how native speakers will say anything regardless of whether it says what they mean or means what they want to say & then claim that it's correct because they're native speakers & understand what it means & expect everyone else to read their mind. –  user21497 Dec 24 '12 at 10:32
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The second case could be rephrased as due both to X and to Y. –  Peter Shor Dec 24 '12 at 16:02
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Due to is understood as caused by.

Back in the dark ages of the 1960s we were taught to distinguish between necessary and sufficient causes.

If B and C are each, independently, sufficient causes of A, this may be expressed most succinctly by

A may be due to either B or C.

The may be is not strictly necessary; but it is to my mind preferable to is in order to avoid misunderstanding.

If B and C are both necessary causes of A but neither is a sufficient cause in the absence of the other, the use with both is accurate but, again, may be misunderstood; it should be qualified with an additional phrase (here bracketed—another phrase may suit the particular context better):

A is due to both B and C [operating together].

It gets more complicated if a third cause, necessary or sufficient, is involved.

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