When can I use "thanks to" in the sense of "because of"? I'm confused about the use of "thanks to smb/smth". English-Russian online dictionary gives such examples: Thanks to recent research, effective treatments are available. We completed the work on time, thanks to your help. thanks to my foresight thanks to your obstinacy , but Cambridge online dictionary gives different examples: thanks to smb/smth-because of someone or something: It's thanks to Sandy that I heard about the job. DISSAPPROVING The baby is awake thanks to your shouting. Can I say, for example, "thanks to technological progress", or should I say "due to technological progress"? Can I use "thanks to smb/smth" only if some dissapproval is expressed?
Aug 9, 2014 5:10 AM
Answers · 5
We usually use "thanks to" when referring to the cause of something beneficial, that is, something we approve of and are grateful for, like in your example: "It's thanks to Sandy that I heard about the job." -- finding out about the job is a good thing, and we are happy with Sandy. The dictionary doesn't bother to point out that this is approving, since it's the literal meaning, and goes without saying to a native speaker -- maybe someone should tell the folks at Cambridge that ESL learners are using their dictionaries..... The dictionary then goes on to give a less usual, sarcastic meaning, which it labels specifically as dissaproving, since it's counterintuitive. This is equivalent to thanking someone when he accidently does something bad to you "Thanks for giving away my secret -- thanks a lot." (In a sarcastic tone)
August 9, 2014
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