What is the Difference Between "Because" and "Since"?

Because and since can be used to refer to the reason for something. In most instances, since-clauses commonly come at the beginning of a sentence while because-clauses usually come at the end, as shown below:

  • Since you are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. (= Because you are not sure...)
  • Since we can't seem to escape discussing it, let's embrace it willingly. (= Because we can't seem to escape...)
  • Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. (= Because we cannot change reality...)
  • I alone had survived the blast because of my anti-electron suit
  • I've delayed telling you because the work is lowly and I fear you'll scorn it.
  • I am free because I know I am morally responsible for everything I do.
As pointed out on previous examples, because can replace since but not always the other way around. Because can stand alone but since cannot be used like this, as illustrated below:
  • 'I don't know what you're getting so upset about.' — 'Because you don't know me.' (Not 'Since you don't know me.) 
  • 'Why did she cast you off?' — 'Because I was burdensome and she disliked me.' (Not 'Since I was burdensome...)
  • 'Then why must you leave?' — 'Because of your wife!' (Not 'Since of your wife!')

Since is preferred when the reason is not the most important part of the sentence or it is already known to the listener or reader.  On the contrary, because is used when the reason is the highlight of the sentence or when new information is introduced, often previously unknown to the listener or reader. 

  • Her knowledge of magic had not been stolen, since no thief, however skillfull, can rob one of knowledge.
  • Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.
  • Dea pessimistically expected more trouble since Juno had again begun to go to school.
  • My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.
  • Cris wore great eyeglasses with gold rims, not because his eyes were bad but because the spectacles made him look wise. 
  • You never hear me snore, because I never sleep. 
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