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Many people, even good writers, say “the reason why.” You might even hear “The reason why is because.” While you can make perfectly grammartical sentences using these expressions, the issue is style. Let’s examine some expressions people use by combining “due to the fact that” and “the reason why (is because)” and see how you can avoid them and improve your style.
Due to the fact
Sometimes you think that you need to say “due to the fact (that)” because you want to explain the reason for something. However, there are many alternatives that do not sound so wordy.
Good stylistic use of “due to.”
You want to express this idea: The game was canceled + the reason is there was a storm.
The game was canceled due to the storm.
Wordy use of “due to.”
You want to express this idea: John failed the exam + the reason is that he did not study hard.
John failed the exam due to the fact that he did not study hard.
You could say “due to lack of studying,” but that would sound stilted.
John failed the exam because he did not study hard.
The reason why
Although many people say “the reason why” (e.g., “the reason why I left is I was tired”) quite frequently in everyday language, it is not very concise for formal, written English; it is repetitive because “the reason” and “why” express the same concept.
Sometimes people even say “the reason why is because” (e.g., “the reason why I left is because I was tired”), which is a triple use of expressions expressing the same concept.
Especially in formal, writen English, revise your sentences using these redundant forms.
Example 1. Good stylistic uses of “the reason.”
- The reason he wants to learn French is to go to school in France.
- Lack of funding is the reason they stopped building the new arena; however, it is not the only reason they decided to pull the plug.
1. Wordy use of “the reason.”
You want to express this idea: I stopped eating out + the reason is I needed to save money.
The reason why I stopped eating out is that I needed to save money.
Using both “the reason” and “why” makes the sentence redundant.
Solution 1: Get rid of “why.”
The reason I stopped eating out is that I needed to save money.
Solution 2: Rephrase the sentence.
I stopped eating out because I needed to save money.
I stopped eating out so that I could save money.
I stopped eating out to save money.
Complete an exercise to practice what you have learned learned in this lesson.