When it comes to grammar, sometimes two words are so similar in meaning you’re unsure which one to use. Or if it even matters.

Take the case of the words since versus because. Most of the time, they can be used interchangeably.

Both since and because imply that something caused something else. So in those cases, you can use whichever one you like.

Here are two examples:

Because my shoes pinch my feet, I like to write barefoot.”

Since my shoes pinch my feet, I like to write barefoot.”

The word since can also imply time, like in the sentence: “I’ve been up since dawn.” In this instance, the meaning is pretty clear. But sometimes, using since can confuse the meaning of your message.

Look at this example: “Since I ate lunch, I’ve been so drowsy.” Do you mean that in the time after lunch occurred, you’ve been feeling like you could fall asleep? Or is it because you ate lunch?

Avoid confusion by always reading your writing for clarity. If the word since makes your sentence unclear, use because instead.