by the fact that S + V


I was confused by the fact that he changed his words.

I was confused because he changed his words.


I would like to hear from you whether there is a meaning difference between them or not. Some recommends me to use both for the same meaning but some says the first one is unnatural. However, we can hear the first kind of sentence often and whether it is natural or not, I do not sense big difference in meaning.


What do you think? Thank you so much in advance.

edited Feb 13 '14 at 06:02 Hans Contributor

2 answers


The definition of 'because' is 'for the reason that', which is pretty much the same as 'for the fact that'.  I'm sure you will find some who will argue that 'reason' doesn't mean the same thing as 'fact', which is true.  In this context, the two sentences are virtually identical in meaning.

link comment answered Feb 13 '14 at 12:41 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

I find "by the fact that" to be an awkward or slangy phrase, but that might just be me.  By just doesn't fit well with the fact that.  The word "because" does not appear anywhere in the the twenty five definitions of "by" in the dictionary.  If I wanted to use "by" or "the fact that" in this sentence, I would rewrite it one of these ways:


I was confused by his changed words.

My confusion was due to the fact that he changed his words.

link comment answered Feb 13 '14 at 14:04 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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