In this free English lesson online from Let’s Talk English Speaking Institute, you will learn the difference the commonly used English conjunction AS, SINCE & BECAUSE. English learners often get confused with these common words as they try to say the same thing, but you certainly cannot use them interchangeably. Your English teacher Michelle brings out the exact difference between these words so that you don’t make any more mistakes while using them while writing or speaking English. Watch this spoken English lesson until the end to note the key points. Improve your English and subscribe to our English learning YouTube channel to practice English online for free.
As, because and since are all English conjunctions. As, because and since all are subordinate clauses to be particular in English Grammar. They help the speaker connect the result of something or action with its reason (Why it happened)
Complete Lesson Transcript –
Why are you watching this video? You’re watching this video because you want to learn English. So I asked you a question, I asked you for a reason and you’re giving me the answer by giving me a reason using the word because. So because is an example of a causal conjunction, which means a conjunction that you can use to talk about a cause. This is one conjunction that has bothered English speakers for many years but in this lesson, I’m going to solve the puzzle for you and help you know the meaning of as, since and because and how you can use them differently. My name is Michelle and I’m glad to have you with me in this lesson.
Let’s look at some of the sentences that we have on the board. So the first sentence that we are going to look at is, for the word, as. I hope they’ve decided to come as I wanted to hear about their India trip. So what is the meaning of the word, as, here? The word as means same as because. Great, now let’s look at the second sentence that we have on the board. We’ve no dessert in the house because you ate all the ice-cream last night. Can you guess the difference? Here I’m trying to focus on the reason because you ate all the ice-cream last night. So here the focus is on the reason. I hope that they’ve decided to come as I wanted to hear about their India trip. Here the focus is on the cause. I hope they’ve decided to come, this is the cause here, because they’re out of the city so that’s why I’m using as because here the focus is on the cause and whenever you focus on the result, you would want to use the word, because.
Let’s look at the third sentence that we have, they’re rather expensive since they’re quite hard to find. so since is commonly not used in place of because but this is also an option that you can use in place of because but if you want to focus on the reason, you would want to go with the word because itself and if you want to focus on the cause then you would want to use the word, as. As you are watching the lesson, you will learn more. So here I’m talking about the cause and the cause is that you are watching the lesson.
Let’s look at the next sentence that we have, we had dessert as we watched our favourite TV show. Let’s try and replace this word with because and find out if it still means the same thing. We had dessert because we watched our TV show. No, no one has dessert because they’re watching their favourite TV show. So here the word, as does not mean because. It’s not a causal conjunction; it’s playing a different role. We had dessert while we watched our favourite TV show. So here, the word, as means same as while. We are talking about an action that is going on. So while we were watching TV, we were also having our dessert. Both the things were happening simultaneously, which mean they were happening at the same time. Let’s look at the sentence under because, because breathing is something we do automatically without thinking. Have you heard something like this before, a sentence stating with because? So if I ask you the question, why do we not think about breathing? Because breathing is something we do automatically. So here the word, because talks about a reason like earlier, however here the sentence itself starts with because. Now you have to be very careful because we can use because in the beginning of a sentence only when we are speaking. If you write an answer or a particular sentence starting with because it’s going to be grammatically absolutely wrong. So you can only use for spoken English. It’s usually used for an understood question. A question that you already understand and you just want to give an incomplete answer. An incomplete answer because the listener already knows the question.
Now let’s look at the next sentence that we have under since. This is a very tricky one. It’s been two weeks since I have spoken to John. Okay, let’s try to replace it with because like we did for as. It’s been two weeks because I have spoken to John. Does that make sense? Does it? I don’t think it does. It’s been two weeks since I have spoken to John means that the last I spoke to John was two weeks ago. It talks about a moment in the past. It talks about a period of time starting from a particular moment in the past until now. So this would be the past for you and this would be the present and this would be the future. So a particular action in the past happened here and it’s going on until now. So that’s where you can use the word since to talk about a period of time. Just to remind you, we use as in place of while which means for an action that is taking place simultaneously when two actions are happening at the same time but we use since, to talk about an action that happened in the past and is going on until now.
Now let’s look at the last set of sentences that we have with us. As we know each other, there’s no need for introduction. Here we are using the word, as in the beginning of a sentence and like I told you, you should not use because in the beginning of a sentence very often especially when you’re writing but unlike that, you can use as in the beginning of a sentence even when you’re writing. It’s going to be correct. So this is a very good replacement for because when you are writing and even when you are speaking, as sounds much better than starting a sentence with because. So as we know each other there’s no need to for intro, this means that because we already know each other, there is no need to introduce ourselves. Please be careful that when you start a sentence with as, there must be a comma, between the main clause which is this as we know each other and the second clause, there’s no need to introduction. So there must be a comma connecting both these sentences.
Let’s look at the third sentence or third question under because. Are you feeling unwell coz you ate too much? So here we are using cause in place of because which is a very common contraction when you speak quickly, the word because almost sounds like cause but this also only for spoken English and a big no-no for written English. So I’d suggest that whenever you’re asking a question and you want to put up a reason within the question. So are you feeling unwell? That’s a situation; the reason is because somebody ate too much. So you have a question and a reason together. Whenever you have a question and a reason together, you should use only because and not as. So let’s try and replace this. Are you feeling unwell as you ate too much? That’s a bit too informal. Or if you say are you feeling unwell since you ate too much? This also very informal and does not sound good. So you would want to use because in a question, in the middle of a question.
The last sentence that we have under since is, since you ate the ice-cream last night, we don’t have any for tonight. Can you guess which meaning of since are we talking about in this statement? Are we talking about time? Since you ate ice-cream last night, we don’t have any for tonight. Are we talking about time here? Like since the moment in the night until now we don; t have any ice cream, not really. We are talking about the because meaning of since. Let’s try and replace this because you ate the ice cream last night, we don’t have any for tonight. So this is how you can replace because with since, because as I told you that because is not a very good way to start a statement. So either you can use as or you can use since to start a statement. And as you’ve seen that we need a comma whenever we start a sentence with since to join the first clause and the second clause.
So these are the different ways that you can use the words as, because and since to talk about a cause and effect relationship and sometimes to also talk about time. When you want to replace the word, while you can use as and sometimes when you want to talk about a moment in the past, you can use, since. I hope this lesson was helpful for you, please come back for more. I hope you had a great time, bye.