due to

due to
1. The use of due to is one of the key topics of discussion in debates about correct usage, along with infer/imply and the split infinitive. As an adjective meaning ‘owing, payable, attributable, (of an event etc.) intended to happen or arrive’ and so on, due + (optional) to causes little difficulty, and the following examples are unexceptionable:

• Pay Caesar what is due to Caesar, and pay God what is due to God —New English Bible, 1961

• Incorrect speed is generally due to a worn idler wheel —Reader's Digest Repair Manual, 1972

• It was due to start at four o'clock, but didn't begin until twenty past —William Trevor, 1976

• Part of her happiness, her unaltered sense of her own superiority, was due to a sense of virginity preserved —Anita Brookner, 1988.

In all these uses, due is an adjective with a complement formed by the preposition to or by a to-infinitive, and they are compositional rather than idiomatic.
2. A problem arises when due to is used as a fixed prepositional phrase, on the analogy of owing to (which no one objects to in this way, for some reason), in which there is no noun or pronoun antecedent that due can be regarded as qualifying and no linking verb such as be or become. The purist view of the matter is that There was a delay due to bad weather is acceptable because due qualifies delay, whereas ☒ The train was delayed due to bad weather is unacceptable because due is grammatically unattached. In some cases, it should be noted, the sentence can be construed either way, underlining the weakness of basing judgements about usage on close grammatical analysis:

• Out in the countryside, two million people are at risk of starvation, due to the failure of the harvest —Independent, 1996.

At present it is prudent to avoid this use of due to and to use alternatives such as owing to, because of, or on account of. However, due to is in strong pursuit of owing to and will undoubtedly become standard during the 21c, if only because analogy is a powerful force and due to has the considerable advantage of convenience over its more awkward rival.
3. Examples of the disputed use:

• Due to the incidence of Christmas and New Year statutory holidays it has been necessary to rearrange certain collection days —Alyn and Deeside Observer, 1976

• Michael…hated mathematics at school, mainly due to the teacher —Times Educational Supplement, 1987

• In the past 25 years the population has trebled due to the building program —East Yorkshire Village Book, 1991

• This kind of lucrative deal went downward in recent years due to the world economic situation —Evening Standard, 2004.

4. due to the fact that.
In this expression the fact that is used to turn a prepositional phrase into a conjunction. It can be awkward in use, and is often avoided by substituting because:

• That this slippage is so slight is due to the fact that [substitute because] the other Enterprise staff have worked a great deal of extra time —Annual Report, 1993.

In some cases, however, this substitution does not work well, especially when there is a strong link between due and an antecedent noun, as in the following examples:

• The success of the tampon is partly due to the fact that it is hidden —Germaine Greer, 1970

• Part of this frisson…is undoubtedly due to the fact that woman as a whole has been seen as a pacifying influence throughout their history —Antonia Fraser, 1988.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • due — due …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • due — adj [Old French deu, past participle of devoir to owe, from Latin debere] 1 a: satisfying or capable of satisfying an obligation, duty, or requirement under the law the buyer s due performance under the contract due proof of loss b: proper under… …   Law dictionary

  • due — [djuː ǁ duː] adjective 1. [not before a noun] if an amount of money is due, it must be paid now or at the stated time: • Breakwater said it was unable to meet an interest payment due yesterday. see also past due 2. [only before a noun] LAW prop …   Financial and business terms

  • due — adj Due, rightful, condign are comparable when they mean being in accordance with what is just and appro priate. Due, which basically means owed or owing as a debt, carries over in the sense here considered a strong implication that the thing so… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • due — [do͞o, dyo͞o] adj. [ME < OFr deu, pp. of devoir, to owe < L debere, to owe: see DEBT] 1. owed or owing as a debt, right, etc.; payable [the first payment is due] 2. suitable; fitting; proper [with all due respect] 3. as much as is required; …   English World dictionary

  • due — ► ADJECTIVE 1) owing or payable. 2) expected at or planned for a certain time. 3) (often due to) merited; fitting. 4) at a point where something is owed or merited: he was due for a rise. 5) proper; appropriate: due process of law. ► NOU …   English terms dictionary

  • due — {{hw}}{{due}}{{/hw}}[2 nella numerazione araba, II in quella romana] A agg. num. card. 1 Indica una quantità composta di un unità più uno: l uomo ha due braccia e due gambe. 2 (est.) Pochi (con valore indeterm. per indicare una piccola quantità) …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Due — Due, a. [OF. deu, F. d[^u], p. p. of devoir to owe, fr. L. debere. See {Debt}, {Habit}, and cf. {Duty}.] 1. Owed, as a debt; that ought to be paid or done to or for another; payable; owing and demandable. [1913 Webster] 2. Justly claimed as a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • due — due; due·ness; en·due; en·due·ment; sub·due; un·due; ven·due; fon·due; res·i·due; …   English syllables

  • due to — [ du tu ] preposition *** because of something: The company s financial losses were due to poor management. He almost died due to lack of oxygen. largely due to: The negative image of immigrants is largely due to ignorance. partly due to/due in… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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