Due to and Owing to – which is correct?.
DUE TO and OWING TO are often used today to mean the same thing.
However, even though they can be used interchangeably, there is a small difference in that ‘DUE’ is used as an adjective and ‘OWING’ is used as an adverb.
DUE TO means caused by or attributable to…
“The floods were due to / caused by the heavy rain.” Here the heavy rain resulted in floods.
(We use ‘due to’ in an adjectival form when referring to a noun – i.e. the rain.)
OWING TO means as a result of or because of…
“Owing to / because of your laziness, the work was not completed”.
Here the ‘laziness’ didn’t cause the work, but the fact that the work was not completed.
(We use ‘owing to’ in an adverbial way when referring to a verb – i.e. completed.)
- It can be considered incorrect to use DUE TO in the following example:
“He was absent due to a death in the family” – This is saying that a death in the family actually caused his absence, which is not correct.
- Instead, we should say:
“He was absent owing to a death in the family” – This correctly explains that the reason he was absent was because there was a death in the family.
- Or, it could be written as follows:
“His absence was due to a death in the family” – This again explains that a death in the family was the reason for his absence, not the cause of it. ‘Due to’ is normally used after a linking verb; in this case, the linking verb ‘was’.
Today, both due to and owing to are used to mean because of.
Because of is an explicit term and can therefore be used instead of either.