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Due to

May 2008
Spot the Error

Due to the merger, the corporate office in Los Angeles was closed and its operations were moved to the headquarters in Dallas.

WARNING: This entry contains grammar terms. Grammar terms have been known to cause confusion, cold sweats, and a feeling of stupidity. If you experience these symptoms, breathe deep and plow ahead. You will NOT be tested.

Due (or due to) is an adjective, not a preposition; therefore, it shouldn’t have been used to start the sentence above. (There ... that wasn’t so bad, was it?)

Used properly, due to typically follows some form of to be (such as is, was, are, or were). For example:

The delay of my shipment was due to inclement weather and canceled flights.

Want another way to check? Switch out due to with attributable to. If the sentence still reads correctly, then you’ve used due to properly.

If you feel compelled to use due to at the beginning of a sentence, or at a time when it doesn’t follow a form of to be, try this: Write the sentence as you normally would, and then switch out due to with because of or owing to. You’ll still get your meaning across, and people will admire you for knowing the difference between an adjective and a preposition.

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