Due to vs. Owing to

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Due to = caused by or ascribable to; because of; owing to.

Owing to = because of or on account of.

 

We use the expressions ‘due to’ and ‘owing to’ by presenting the reason for something. Both ‘due to’ and ‘owing to’ are adverbial.

 

Many modern English writers have widely used ‘due to’ as a compound preposition like ‘owing to,’ but some insist that due should be used only as an adjective. So, according to their view, it is wrong to say ‘the train was delayed due to bad weather, but acceptable to say ‘the delay of the train was due to bad weather,’ where due continues to act as an adjective modifying delay.

 

Anyway, now ‘due to’ is being accepted as a full-fledged preposition. Most grammar experts agree that English speakers can get along just fine by using both these expressions interchangeably. And there’s no point in making distinction between them.

 

Some people also say that we should not begin a sentence with ‘due to’ (= caused by) because there is no sense in that construction. But this notion has also not been authenticated and even educated native speakers of English have begun their sentences with ‘due to:’

Due to computer problems, the checks will be late. (Cambridge dictionary)

 

Simply put, use ‘due to’ when you can interchange it with ‘caused by:’ the accident seems to occur due to driver’s negligence. And use ‘owing to’ when you can interchange it with ‘because of:’ the school is out owing to (not due to) the headmaster’s illness.

 

Similarly,

His death was due to excessive drinking.                          

His death was owing to excessive drinking.             

His good grades were owing to hard work.               

His success in business was due to the fortune his father left for him.       

His success in business was owing to the fortune his father left for him.    

 

More examples:

The show was cancelled due to bad weather.

Her loneliness, stress, and anxiety were due to isolation.

The project could not be started due to lack of funds.

The delay in arrival of ambulance was due to heavy traffic on highways.

The government stepped in when news came that the project was under threat due to apathy by the local administration.

He felt grumpy and foggy in the morning due to lack of sleep.

Jack went to great pains to prove that the accident was due to the negligence of the driver.

The population bomb is ticking in this country due in large part to immigration by poor countries.

The minister admitted that overall inflation had been higher than expected, due mainly to

rising fuel prices.

 

‘Owing to’ is rather more often used in British English.

 

Owing to bad weather, the train has been cancelled.

He avoided speaking to people at the annual reunion owing to a stammer.

There was an interruption in her studies owing to her mother’s death.

The show, being a political satire, has been suspended indefinitely owing to political reasons.

The whole project had been put on hold owing to difficult market conditions at that time.

The prices of white goods decreased owing to reduced demand in the market.

Some of the railway coaches yesterday night, owing to engine trouble, got derailed near Richmond station.

Owing to an accident on route number 11, there could be higher levels of traffic than usual.

We couldn’t catch the 5.30 train owing to the heavy traffic on way to the station.

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