I usually see による used as a way to express the cause of something:

There were many people who lost their lives due to the earthquake.

But in some places I see it being used as a way to express dependency on something:

Everything depends on it.

How can I differentiate between those uses?

  • Context and practice. "Their losing their lives depended on the earthquake" doesn't make sense.
    – istrasci
    Mar 9, 2022 at 18:44
  • I think they can be considered as expressing the same cause-effect (in a rough sense), the difference being the first speaking about the past and the second about the future. Another thing is that English/Japanese phrases are not one-to-one.
    – sundowner
    Mar 12, 2022 at 8:40


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