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Using the conjunction "due to"

 
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ConfusedKi



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Using the conjunction "due to" Reply with quote

Hello all,
First of all, my apologies if I've posted this on the wrong board. None of the other boards looked related to my question, so I thought I'd try my luck here.
Anyhow, my question is the about the conjunction "due to", its structure and whether or not it can be used instead of "due to the fact that..." Take for example,

1. Due to the fact that I am a teacher, students think I know everything.

2. I lost my tennis match today, due to a lack of concentration.

I've tried making up random sentences using "due to" and "due to the fact that" and everytime, it seems to me that the former is followed by a noun clause and the latter is followed by an independent clause. Is there a clear rule for the usage of these two conjunctions?

Recently, I came across this question:
"_____ logging provides jobs and profits, the government is reluctant to control it."
a. As a result
b. Consequently
c. So
d. Due to

In my mind, "due to" is the best answer for the blank but I am unsure of how to explain why "due to" can be followed by an independent clause. Therefore, if possible, I would like to know the clear distinction between the two conjunctions and whether they can replace one another.
Thank you kindly.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi CK! Interesting question. (Don't be afraid to post stuff like this on the Applied Linguistics forum, by the way!).

I reckon that the gap-fill would be better coming between the two clauses*, but sticking with the sentence-initial gap-fill for the time being, I'd agree that d) would be the best choice, but only if 'provides' were changed to 'providing' (or 'logging [industry]'s provision of'); that is, 'due to' can't (at least, not in the context here) be followed by an "independent" clause (NB: I think I'd just call it, after it's been corrected to 'Due to logging providing/logging's provision of jobs and profits...' of course [cf. 'Due to the fact that logging provides..'], a non-finite dependent clause). So I'd simply call the gap-fill exercise or test item WRONG! than worry unduly about whether "'due to' can be followed by a finite clause" (Answer: It can't! (AFAIK)). All of which I guess answers your general question about 'due to' versus 'due to the fact that' (i.e. 'that' is a clear subordinator). [COBUILD English Usage says, at the entry for 'fact: the fact that': "Note that you must use 'that' in clauses like these. You do not say, for example, 'The fact quick results are unlikely is no excuse for delay'."].Wink


*Note that if the gap-fill were indeed moved to between the clauses, there would then be no problem with the finite form 'provides' in the first, and 'due to' would in fact become the least best choice: not only would 'is' then need changing to 'being' (or a possessive apostrophe -s ['s] followed by the noun 'reluctance' rather than the adjective 'reluctant'), but the whole meaning beyond the grammatical agreement involved just wouldn't make as much sense with this new word-ordering/emphasis/"information focus": ?Logging provides jobs and profits, due to the government being reluctant to control it. But even choices a) - c) with this sentence/clauses-medial gap would probably need a change in at least the punctuation, from a comma to perhaps something like in the following thread: http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=10074 .
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ConfusedKi



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right... that was a bit of a mind-boggle there fluffyhamster! I had to read your post twice before comprehension clicked... So, in short, you're saying that 'due to' (as far as you know) cannot be followed by an independent clause, as such in the example I gave and that the gap-fill question was incorrect. Lovely... did I mention that I thoroughly dislike multiple-choice questions?!

Thanks again.

PS: Just read of your post again. You said that 'due to' couldn't be followed by an independent clause in this context. I'm racking my brains here for a context that would permit the use, but no joy. Would you mind showing me a context that would, please?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again CK, I tend to say things like 'in this context' as a hedge, but the fact that the pair of us have racked our brains and drawn a blank regarding the possibility of those sorts of forms following just 'due to' would suggest that such combinations are for all practical purposes indeed an impossibility eh!
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JamesAtRealize



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Kobe, Sanomiya, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shouldn't it be "Due to logging providing jobs and profits ..." ?
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