Since vs Because – Difference and Comparison

What is Since?

Since is a word used for different purposes with different meanings. It can be used as a preposition and a conjunction. Since is also used as an adverb of time and a conjunction to introduce a reason.

Since is a word we use to talk about the past. Since is a preposition that we employ before a date, a time, or a noun phrase.

It was the team’s first match since August 1997. (since + date)

I have been a mother for 12 years, since the age of 23. (since + noun phrase)

We also use since as a conjunction introduce a subordinate clause:

It’s so while since we met. (since + clause)

Paulina had stayed awake most of the way since leaving Alabama. (since + clause)

He’s been to the school a few times since he dropped out. (since + clause)

Since is also used to give a reason for something:

James had to take a cab since his destination was very far.

Since his wife was an introvert, he decided to go to the party alone.

They couldn’t perform well since they had no time for practice.

What is Because?

We use because when we want to state a reason.

He spoke loudly because he wanted everyone to hear.

I can’t come on Sunday because I have to go to church.

Often, the because-clause is used at the beginning of a sentence when we want to reason to have extra focus and emphasis. In such instances, we use comma after the clause, e.g:

Because blinking is something we do spontaneously, we rarely give it any attention.

We can also make a because-clause to stand alone without the main clause in speaking or informal writing. Take the conversation below as an instance:

John: Should I switch on the AC?

B: No.

A: Why?

B: Because it sickens my stomach. (I don’t want the AC to be switched on because it sickens my stomach).

Difference Between Since and Because

  1. We use the term “since” to refer to a specific period or moment in the past that is still ongoing, as well as to explain anything, such as why someone did something or why something happened. We use the word “because” to give a reason, cause, or explanation for something, i.e., why it is happening or taking place.
  2. Because the recipient of the message is already aware of the reason, the explanation is given little weight when the word “since” is used in a sentence. In contrast, the word “because” emphasizes the reason, even if the recipient of the message is unaware of it.
  3. ‘Since’ (used to express reason) is advised against by grammar scholars in casual conversation as it can confuse the listener.
  4. We use because rather than since when asking a question and providing an explanation or cause.
  5. Since can be used to indicate cause as well as time. Because is used to indicate the cause.

Comparison Table Between Since and Because

Parameters of ComparisonSinceBecause
UsageUsed to refer to a period in the past that is still ongoingUsed to explain a cause or reason
EmphasisLittle explanation is givenEmphasizes
Usage in Expressing ReasonOften advised against being used to express reasonGrammatically accepted for expressing reason
ContextsNot used in providing an explanationOften used in providing an explanation or clause
Other usesCan also be used to indicate timeCannot be used to indicate time.