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

'À cause de' awards for a negative situation or it just shows cause

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.

Additional Resources