Commonly Confused Words: Because vs. Since

Because I work at home, I never have to shower.” “Since I work at home, I never have to shower.” Is there any real difference between these two sentences? If you said, “Yes,” you’re right! If you said, “No,” I’d say it’s time to take a closer look at the words because and since and why they are not always used interchangeably.  Also, if you agree with the sentiment that you don’t have to shower because you work from home, then it might be time to re-evaluate your hygiene standards …

Because vs. Since at a Glance

First, let’s get the basic definitions and meanings of since and because out of the way.

Here is the definition of because:

  • Because indicates the reason for something.

Here is the meaning of since:

  • Since generally refers to time and can be used to mean “after.” It can also imply cause.

When To Use Because in a Sentence

Because is a tricky little word. I remember the day that I figured out that you can actually use it at the beginning of a sentence, much to my elementary school teachers’ dismay, and let me tell you, it was life-changing. However, before you go crazy using this word, double-check that your audience needs a little clarification about the idea you’re presenting. Because should also be used in situations where you want to put more emphasis on the cause of an event.

Examples of Using Because in a Sentence:

  • Because she forgot to tell her husband when she’d be home, he ended up ordering pizza.
  • They asked him to speak at the charity event because he was witty and lively.

When To Use Since in a Sentence

Use since in a sentence when you’re introducing an idea that your audience is already aware of, or if you’re repeating common knowledge. This is where knowing your audience comes in. Before you write anything, make sure that you know who your readers are and why they’re reading what you write.

Examples Using Since in a Sentence:

  • Since you have all of the cool Wii games, we should hang out at your house tonight. (cause)
  • We’ve watched Frozen 500 times since last week. (time)

Since vs. Because: Don’t Sweat It

Easy enough, right? While you may not make the Grammar Gods furious if you use since or because the wrong way, knowing when to use these commonly confused words correctly is just one of the many ways you can make your writing that much better. Once you understand the since meaning and how to use since in a sentence, things start to become clear. Are there any other words similar to since or because that you just can’t seem to keep straight? Let us know in the comments!


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