Thanks to vs. due to

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WRONG: I was late for work thanks to bad traffic.
RIGHT: I was late for work due to bad traffic.

If I’m late for work, I don’t ‘thank’ anyone or anything. I am not pleased about it so I am hardly in the mood to start praising things or giving high fives!

In English, we thank things or people that have helped us. So, if we pass an exam, we might say, „I passed my exam thanks to my great English teacher!“

If we want to give a reason for something bad, we use the more neutral phrase ‘due to’. So, in the above example, we would say, „I was late for work due to bad traffic.“

We do sometimes use ‘thanks to’ about something bad – but only when we’re expressing sarcasm. We might say, „Thanks to you, we’re completely lost!“ To work, however, it must be clear that the person is being sarcastic!