What alternatives do we have other than 'because'?

'Because' guarantees you will be partially understood at best because unmodified uses of the word 'because' could mean 'solely because' or 'partly because'.

I love music because it gives structure to my day.

Implied Causality:
Is that the only reason you love music?

What if we list more reasons though?

I took the job because it is nearby and the salary is good.
I destroyed the motor because the car overheated and I kept driving. (bonus dangling)

Composite cause vs. List of independently valid causes vs. cause + independent clause
Would you have taken the job if the job is nearby and the salary is not good?
Would you have taken the job if the job is far away but the salary is good?
Are you using 'and' to join the two complete sentences "The salary is good." with "I took the job because it is nearby."?

Would the motor have been destroyed had you stopped driving?
Would the motor have been destroyed if it had merely overheated?

What do we have available besides 'because' to answer questions and list relevant factors to an outcome that do not exhibit a single issue mentioned here?

  • 5
    Because is not inherently ambiguous and does not lead to partial misunderstanding. The ambiguity lies in how the object of because is set forth: an imprecise or incomplete specification of the causes. Feb 19, 2015 at 15:25
  • 1
    Your second sentence is beautiful and I agree with it completely because additional words like only because or partially because or because of these two reasons only or because of several reasons to set forth the object, the understood meaning is equivalent to 'because' by itself is "either wholly or partially because". For example, is what I just said the only reason I agree with your second sentence? Feb 19, 2015 at 16:17
  • What @ProductionValues said. At this level, because is indeed "ambiguous", because it can mean partly, mainly, or wholly for that reason, depending on context. On the other hand, I think it's very difficult to make since imply anything other than wholly, [directly] as a consequence of... Feb 19, 2015 at 16:51
  • 4
    The word "hot" isn't ambiguous because it can refer to 100º or 1000º, it's just vague. Likewise "bear" is not ambiguous between 8 living species, it simply subsumes them all. "Partly because" is still "ambiguous" between "predominantly because" and "somewhat because", and we can subdivide "somewhat because" even further into "almost insignificantly because" and... It is in the nature of concepts and the words that signify them that only a certain level of referential exactness is assigned to the word.
    – user6726
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:16
  • I word crosses my mind, hairsplitting. I've never had any problems with "because", but philosphers can show you how faulty it is and they can write a book about it.
    – rogermue
    Mar 3, 2016 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


Instead of "because", use "cause". For your example

I took the job because it is nearby and the salary is good.

we get for one sense

The job's being nearby caused me to take the job, and the salary is good.

and for the other sense

The job's being nearby and the salary's being good caused me to take the job.

I'm not recommending we avoid "because"; I'm just trying to answer your question.

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