Because, since, as, for
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Yutaka 15406 1621
Depending on the context, 'because', 'since', 'as', and 'for' can have the same meaning. I imagine that these conjunctions are in the order of informality, plausibility, or causality.
July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    the difference between “because” and “since”
    "Generally speaking, we use 'because' to state the reason for something that the listener or reader doesn’t already know, or when it’s uncertain if they know or not. We use 'since' to emphasize the reason for something that is already known to the listener or reader."

    http://englishhelponline.me/2011/02/
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    The difference in use between 'because', 'as', 'since' and 'for'
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningengli...

    "Because is used when the reason is the most important part of the sentence or utterance. The because clause usually comes at the end."

    "As and since are used when the reason is already well known and is therefore usually less important. The as or since clause is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence."

    "For suggests that the reason is given as an afterthought. It is never placed at the beginning of the sentence and is more characteristic of written, rather than spoken English."
    July 2014
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    SanneT 343 487
    Because of your post I now feel the urge to comment. As I post too often in any case this contribution is no doubt not necessary. Since I am at it, though, I'll add another sentence. For me to let a day go by without at least one forum post is quite hard, for it has become part of my daily routine on LingQ.
    July 2014
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    ColinJohnstonov 51559 7603 179
    I try my best never to use 'as' in this way when I write. It just leads to difficult and ambiguous sentences.

    - As I was on the train, I didn't want to talk on the phone.

    This has two meanings

    1. While I was on the train, I didn't want to talk on the phone.
    2. Because I was on the train, I didn't want to talk on the phone.

    Since can also be ambiguous.

    - Since I was on the train, I didn't want to talk on the phone.

    This can mean

    1. I have not wanted to talk on the phone since that time I was on the train.
    2. Because I was on the train, I didn't want to talk on the phone.

    However, I don't find 'since' to be as confusing as 'as'. I think it is just best to use 'because' and not try to sound elegant.
    July 2014
  • Ozemite 88 3530 561
    @ Sanne T - You and I sound 'elegant' in our everyday speech :)~
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    SanneT 343 487
    @ColinJohnstone As we don't go in for "Haarspalterei" here on LingQ, I'll elegantly let your ambiguity statements stand.
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 51559 7603 179
    When I wrote that last post, I was thinking more about technical writing, for some reason. I have come across quite a few statements that are unclear because of the use of 'as' to mean 'because', but this is mostly in technical physics papers. Whenever I find myself writing 'as' in this way, which is often, I change it to 'because', which seems more crude, but is clearer.

    I don't think in normal writing it makes a difference which one is used.
    July 2014