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English - French : because of, thanks to - à cause de, grâce à

The words to say “thanks to” and “because of” in French

by | 4 Jul 2017 | English-French Vocabulary


Thanks to and because of are two very common phrases to express cause or responsibility.

In English, we usually use thanks to for something which is good, when we are thankful, and because of for more neutral or negative causes.

In French, for thanks to, use the phrase grâce à:

  • J’ai réussi à faire ça grâce à toi ! (I managed to do that thanks to you!)
  • Grâce au traitement qu’il a eu, son état s’est nettement amélioré. (Thanks to the treatment he received, his condition has improved a lot.)

To say because of, use à cause de:

  • Je n’ai pas pu prendre l’avion pour rentrer à cause d’une grève. (I couldn’t fly back home because of a strike)
  • Nous sommes tous restés à l’ombre à cause de la chaleur. (We all stayed in the shade because of the heat)

Careful! Remember that in French, if you need the article le after the preposition à, you’ll need to say au (à + le = au).
Likewise, if you need the article les, you’ll need to say aux (à + les = aux) :

  • Ils sont devenus plus confiants grâce au cours de théâtre qu’ils ont suivi. (They got more confident thanks to the drama class they attended.)
  • Elle a réussi son examen grâce aux efforts qu’elle a fournis . (She passed her exam thanks to all her efforts).

In a similar way, de becomes du (de + le = du) or des (de + les = des):

  • Ils n’ont pas pu sortir à cause du mauvais temps. (They couldn’t go out because of the bad weather)
  • Je n’ai pas bien dormi à cause des voisins qui faisaient la fête (I didn’t sleep well because of the neighbours who were having a party)

There you are! Both phrases grâce à and à cause de are simple and very useful if you have a conversation in French. Make sure you use them! 🙂


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