“Do to” or “Due to”: Know the Correct Grammar

Is it do to or due to? If you’re just getting started learning English, this one is bound to be a bit confusing. The do to or due to grammar conundrum happens because of the fact that they sound alike.

What are Homonyms?

Do to and due to are examples of homonyms.

Let’s define what a homonym is before diving deeper into these two words. A homonym is a word with the same pronunciation but two different meanings.

So, what is a homonym, and how do you know that two homonyms are different? One can tell the difference between “do to” and “due to” with a bit of research about the origins and history of each word.

“Do to” is from the Latin tuus occurrere — “your presence is present”. Meanwhile, “due to” relates to ad — “to” — due to its meaning of “by reason of, because of,”.

Because these two are homonym and their pronunciation is similar doesn’t always mean that they are the same word.

In fact, some homonyms that sound like a homonym aren’t, or even word different forms entirely, like “NAACP” and “Indianapolis.

How Do you Tell Them Apart?

Fortunately, the do to or due to grammar problem is easy to solve.

The word to is a verb phrase, whereas the word due is used in the preposition phrase. The verb phrase is do to, whereas the preposition phrase is due to. Due can also be an adjective or a noun.

These two phrases are seen all over the place in sentences, and it is important to understand the different distinctions between them.

When to use due

When used as an adjective, “due” is something that is planned or expected. If a library book is due on a certain date, it is expected you will return it by then.

Taken a noun, due it is most often used in its plural form. If this is the case, it usually refers to monthly membership payments to a club or other organization.

When to use do to

Do to is a verb form and will be seen in sentences denoting action.

Memory Trick no. 1

Due is an adjective that means expected or planned. Due and expected each contain the letter E. Memorizing this makes it easy to keep in mind which to select.

Memory Trick no. 2

Another way to prevent the do to or due to grammar error is to substitute the word because for them in a sentence.

If you can use because in the sentence, then the word you should use is due.

Conclusion — When in Doubt

Do to and due to are homonyms. They sound alike, but do not mean the same thing. Do to is a verb meaning to cause something to happen as a result of doing something. Due to is a noun meaning the cause that leads to or originates something.

If you’re still confused, use the tricks we suggested in this article to help you out.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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