I understand the simple distinction between "due to" ("adjectival") and "because of" (adverbial), but I get a little confused when the sentence includes modal or complex verbs. For example, could one write: "Participants may be excluded due to any of the following transgressions....."? ("due to follows "may be + excluded")

Or should one stick to a more strict "Participant exclusion may be due to any of the following transgressions...."?

Or is that even wrong, and they should both be "because of"?

This is NOT a duplicate of any other question because it addresses a particular use of "due to" that at least one response suggests is acceptable - but for reasons that actually add confusion!

marked as duplicate by Drew, Barmar, Sven Yargs, Mitch, Tragicomic Oct 9 '15 at 7:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Yes - same question. But this time I have an answer! – Adrian Oct 7 '15 at 17:33
  • Is it the right answer you were looking for? – user140086 Oct 7 '15 at 17:39
  • Not certain. I am pursuing clarification. Can you assist? – Adrian Oct 7 '15 at 18:01
  • Not really, Sven. I am trying to ascertain if there is an exclusion to a rule I think I understand. That "due to" is adjectival and should follow some form of "to be". Matt, below, suggests that it is acceptable to use "due to" after a verb that isn't "to be" if the sentence is passive and conditional "Participants may be excluded due to XXX". Any ideas? – Adrian Oct 8 '15 at 15:35
  • @Adrian how is this sentence conditional? – michael_timofeev Oct 8 '15 at 16:59

"Participants may be excluded due to any of the following transgressions..." is correct. This is because "be excluded" is the past perfect voice of "to exclude," with "transgressions," a noun, being associated with participants, not their actual state of exclusion (or of being excluded, to put it another way). The contest officials are the excluding agents, and are not even mentioned in the sentence. (Again, this sentence is in the passive voice, which for this occasion, is perfectly acceptable.) Use of the adjectival "due to" modifies the state of exclusion that a participant can be in.

This question is a tricky one because the actual state of exclusion is not directly mentioned as such, but implied as a possibility based on the use of the word "excluded," which is a verb form and not a noun. If this sentence were written in the active voice, the opportunity to use the adverbial "because of" becomes much more apparent.

  • Thanks, Matt. But if I specifically referred to an exclusion criterion - "Participants may be excluded due to cheating", would your rationale be the same? Is the passive voice the reason for the acceptability of the sentence, such that "participants were excluded due to cheating" would be wrong? This is why I am confused! – Adrian Oct 7 '15 at 17:39
  • What are you saying? Reading this "answer" is like trying to read cipher text from an Enigma machine. – michael_timofeev Oct 8 '15 at 16:57
  • sigh... The OP asked which of the two approaches was correct. I answered the question and explained why. Sorry if some people cannot follow the explanation but this exchange is about the use of English, including the grammar, etc., thereof. If some people can't understand the technical words associated with English grammar, then I suggest rather than complain about same, they make use of a dictionary, or stay off the site entirely. – Matt Campbell Oct 8 '15 at 17:30
  • @MattCampbell are you kidding? – michael_timofeev Oct 8 '15 at 17:35
  • @michael_timofeev No, not at all. – Matt Campbell Oct 8 '15 at 17:38

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