Thursday, November 09, 2006


Because is a commonly used subordinate conjunction. The word because is not followed by very many parts of speech except in this sentence where because is not a subordinator but the word being talked about. Consider the following concordance results from VIEW: Variation in English Words and Phrases.

As we can see of the 9 lines from the results, 2 are nouns, workers and germs, one is a gerund, shooting, and 3 are personal pronouns:they or she. In one sentence because introduces another dependent clause beginning if you do not pay. In line 6, the prepositional phrase like Jesus follows because. Nine lines are not enough lines to make any serious generalization from.

However, using another online concordance, Lexical Tutor, similar results were found.

These results, based on many more lines, indicate that a noun or noun phrase, pronoun, or preposition are most likely to follow because. Consequently, when writing clauses that begin with because, we should make sure the word or words that follow include a noun, pronoun, or preposition. The most common preposition that follows because is the preposition of. Do not use a verb after because unless you are writing about the word because.

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