How Since and Because are Different

Since and Because are both causal conjunctions. Conjunctions are used in sentences to link two phrases, clauses, or words. Causal conjunctions explain why someone does something. Since is used in two main ways. The first is to talk about time. The second is to give the reason for something.

Related: learn about subordinating conjunctions. 

On the other hand, Because means by cause of. Overall, because is used more commonly than since when you’re using it to give a reason. Here are some examples to help you understand these two terms better:

  • She is sad because she failed her test. Or
  • Since she failed her test, she is sad.

In this example, since and because are used in the same context but put in different places in the sentence. The first sentence discusses the sadness first, showing that it’s the most important part of the sentence. Using because in this sentence makes it clear that the failed test is the only reason for the sadness. The second sentence also gives a reason for sadness, but using since in this sentence helps the focus to be more on the failed test. 

Chart Comparing Because and Since

Meaning ‘In the view of the fact that’ and ‘From a particular time in the past, until now’ ‘for the reason that’ or ‘on account of’
Reason Less Important More Important
Position In the beginning or the middle of the sentence In the middle of the sentence
Questions Do not use in questions Used in questions
Examples Since everything was on time, there was no need for concern. Aly refused to smoke at the party, because she has asthma.
Since my phone is old, it has bad reception. Joe didn’t go to work because he was sick.
Since they just had lunch, they don’t feel hungry. I was late because of an accident.


Definition: Since

Since is used in a number of different ways in a sentence. One option is to use since to show the reason for something. Another way to use since is to express a time in the past when something occurred up until now. 

Here are some helpful example sentences:

  1. Showing the reason for something:
    • I bought that shirt since it was the only one on sale.
    • Since you are tired, you should go rest.
    • Since she is late, her appointment is canceled.
  2. From a time something occurred up until now, i.e. This is something that started at a certain time in the past and still continues:
    • Brian and Jeremy are friends since first grade.
    • She has been angry since last week.
    • I moved to a new house since the last time I talked to you.
    • Since the new protocol, everyone is more productive.

Definition: Because

Because is subordinating conjunction. It is used in a sentence to give a reason, explanation, or cause for what happened. Because is at the beginning of a subordinating clause and adds to the meaning of the main clause. 

These examples will help you understand:

  1. To give a reason, explanation, or cause:
    • She can’t play basketball because her hand is broken.
    • Patrice is happy because it is her birthday.
    • I missed the start of the movie because I was late.
    • Just because I answered your call doesn’t mean I forgave you.
  2. To give facts and show why you think that a particular thing is true:
    • She probably doesn’t want to talk to us, because she hasn’t replied to our messages.
    • They all liked the movie because they are the same age. 

In addition, ‘because of‘ means ‘as a result of‘ or ‘due to‘, which also shows the cause that led to a certain event. Therefore, it looks at the consequence. 

This is shown in the examples below:

  • Joan’s application was not accepted because of its late submission.
  • She excelled as a teacher, because of her passion for education.

Main Differences Between Because and Since

Do you need help understanding the difference between because and since? Keep reading for more explanation: 

  1. The word since is used to talk about a certain time or a point in the past that still continues. It can also explain something. For example, since can show why a person does something or why something happened. On the other hand, the word because states a reason, cause, or explanation for something. It answers the question: Why is something happening?
  2. When since is used in a sentence, the reason is not as important. The one who receives the communication is already aware of the reason. Because is used to emphasize the reason due to the fact that the one who receives the communication doesn’t know the reason.
  3. Since introduces the reason when it is used at the beginning of a sentence. When since is used in the middle of the sentence, it indicates ‘until now’. Because is used in the middle of the sentence to give the reason for something happening. Because is only used at the beginning of a sentence in spoken English. It is not grammatically correct to write it at the beginning of a sentence.
  4. If you ask a question and are looking for a word to show the explanation or cause, you will use because and not since.

Example Sentences for the Word: Since

  • Since I am busy, I can’t come right now.
  • I have lost 10 pounds since I started exercising.
  • He has worked at this company since 2010.

Example Sentences for the Word: Because

  • I know Landon wasn’t at school because I saw him at the mall.
  • She didn’t get the job because she submitted the application late.
  • I am not going to the party, because I am tired.

How to remember the difference

Both since and because express a logical connection between two events. Because indicates a direct cause and effect relationship. Since shows an indirect cause and effect relationship.

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By Patrice Riley

Patrice Riley is the pen name of Dr. Deborah Riley. She is a retired English professor that enjoys grammar, literature, and all things writing.

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