Do Americans still use the word 'because' or is it only used as ''cause' or 'cos'?

  • Don't forget coz... So, you never hear American speakers say “because” interesting, 'cos I know a few Brits who would disagree with you there. – Mari-Lou A Apr 18 '17 at 14:57
  • Have a look at ngram books.google.com/ngrams/… – k1eran Apr 18 '17 at 15:06
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    Thanks k1eran! Hadn't came across that site before. Very useful – user2840467 Apr 18 '17 at 15:08
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    Yes, we still say "because". – Hellion Apr 18 '17 at 15:15
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    @k1eran Ngrams is utterly unreliable for casual speech, and slang. But it's a great tool for formal language, and searching for first instances in print. However, if you want to know where yall or y'all is more commonly heard, you need to ask someone who lives in the US and has actually conducted a study ditto for 'cause, 'cos, and 'coz. – Mari-Lou A Apr 18 '17 at 17:14

Cos, a short form of because, is pronounced /kəz/ or /kɒz/ and can also be spelt ’cause.

  • It can be used instead of because (and cos of instead of because of). We often use it in speaking, emails and text messages, especially in informal situations:


Why are you and Adam not talking to each other?


Cos he’s always saying nasty things about me.


I don’t eat meat cos I love animals.

They cancelled the trip cos of the snow.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

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    Or also /kʌz/ in stressed position. But it's usually weak. – tchrist Apr 18 '17 at 23:17

To clarify, "cause" and "cos" are verbal shortcut, not formal abbreviations or anything like that. That means you'll never see them in written English (unless you're quoting something someone said aloud).

But yes, Americans still say "because", depending probably on how formal they are speaking, the intended audience, and where in the sentence the word appears.

Here is an ngram for because vs cause vs cos vs cuz, as posted in comments by k1eran. My personal opinion is that this graph isn't particularly useful, those instances of "cause" are probably the literal word, not the verbal shortcut.

  • I also tried: "because of,cos of,coz of,cause of" ngram but it didn't look much different. And yes fully agreed with comments from you and @Mari-LouA regarding ngram's limitations for slang/spoken word. – k1eran Apr 18 '17 at 19:20

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