Because Grammar

There has been a move lately in spoken English to modify the way we use because.

What is changing? 

The Because-Noun – 

There is a new form, the because-noun. Instead of being followed by a subordinate clause or a noun phrase, it can be simply followed by a noun.

because murica
(Image from here.) I will go into this punctuation trend in a separate post.

Why would you eat chicken fried bacon?  – Answer –  Because ‘Murica.
(This means: Why would you eat chicken fried bacon? – Answer- Because this is America.)

Why didn’t you study for your test? – Answer –  Because Facebook.
(This means that spending time on Facebook is the reason the person didn’t study for their test.)

Despite the name, the because-noun, this usage is actually more flexible, and can be followed by an adjective or an interjection.

Can’t go to the party, because busy.
(This means: I can’t go to the party, because I am busy.)

Let’s go out to celebrate, because yay!
(This means: Let’s go out to celebrate, because, yay, I’m happy.)

Keep in mind, this is informal slang usage. Don’t use this on your TOEFL or IELTS test, or in any other academic or formal writing!

Here is a picture of a kitten.

cute kitty 2

Why? Because cute!

Read more about the Because-Noun here.

Need a refresher in the textbook usage of because and because of? Look below.

Because –

This conjunction introduces a subordinate clause that explains the reason. It can be followed by a subject and verb

I feel sick because I ate bad seafood.seafood

On its own, a clause starting with because is not a complete sentence. It depends on the main clause to complete it.

For example, this is not a complete sentence:
Because I ate bad seafood. 
You must include the result  in the main clause (“I feel sick“) in order for the sentence to make sense.

Even though some English teachers don’t like to have sentences start with “because,” it is perfectly allowed. You can reverse the clauses to introduce the reason first. Don’t forget the comma.

Because I ate bad seafood, I feel sick.

Because of –

This is a preposition, not a conjunction. It also introduces a reason, but is always followed by a noun or noun phrase. That means that if you want to use a verb after it, you need the gerund form of the verb.

:bad weather
I couldn’t go to the party because of the terrible weather.
He started to get a headache at the birthday party because of all the screaming children.

If you want to follow this with subject and verb, people often say “because of the fact that (Subject + Verb)“.

I couldn’t go to the party because of the fact that it was raining so hard.

However, you can also just use because in this case, and eliminate some extra words.
I couldn’t go to the party because it was raining so hard.


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