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A cause de

French expressions analyzed and explained

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Expression: A cause de

Pronunciation: [ah koz deu]

Meaning: because of, due to

Register: normal

Notes: The French expression à cause de blames someone or something for a negative situation or event.

   J'ai oublié mes clés à cause de l'appel de Philippe.
   I forgot my keys because of Philippe's phone call.

   A cause de la mauvaise économie, j'ai perdu mon emploi.
   Due to the bad economy, I lost my job.

A cause de can also be used for a neutral situation/event - something that deserves neither blame nor credit.

   Je l'ai pardonné à cause de son âge.
   I forgave him due to his age.

   Il va venir à la fête à cause de toi.
   He's going to come to the party because of you / for your sake.

To say "it's because of / due to ..." use c'est in front of à cause de:

   C'est à cause de cette décision que nous nous sommes disputés.
   It's due to that decision that we argued.

Remember that de followed by the definite article le or les must contract:

   J'ai paniqué à cause du bruit.
   I panicked because of the noise.

   Il est parti à cause des enfants.
   He left because of the children.

Antonym: To give credit for something positive, use the expression grâce à.


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