How to Use the French Expression 'à Cause de' ('Because of')

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À cause de, pronounced "ah koz deu," is a French prepositional phrase that means 'because of" or "due to." Depending on whether the context is negative or positive, it can also be translated as: "on account of, owing to" or "for the sake of."

With Blame

Essentially, à cause de blames someone or something for a negative situation or event, as in:

  •    J'ai oublié mes clés à cause de l'appel de Philippe. > I forgot my keys because of/on account of Philippe's phone call.
  •    A cause de la mauvaise économie, j'ai perdu mon emploi. > Due to / owing to the bad economy, I lost my job.

Without the Blame

A cause de can also be used for a neutral situation or event, something that deserves neither blame nor credit, as in:

  •    Je l'ai pardonné à cause de son âge. > I forgave him considering his age.
  •    Il va venir à la fête à cause de toi. > He's going to come to the party for your sake.

With 'C'est'

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

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

Remember the Contraction

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.

An Antonym

To give credit for something positive, use the expression grâce à (thanks to), as in:

  • Grâce à ton assistance, il a fini le travail. > Thanks to your help, he finished the work.
  • Grâce aux conseils de Pierre, nous avons trouvé la maison parfaite. > Thanks to Pierre's advice, we found the perfect house.
  •  S'il a réussi à l'examen, c'est grâce à toi. > If he passed the test, it's all thanks to you.

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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Expression 'à Cause de' ('Because of')." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Team, ThoughtCo. (2023, April 5). How to Use the French Expression 'à Cause de' ('Because of'). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Expression 'à Cause de' ('Because of')." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).