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___ Vastness of the Grand Canyon, it is difficult to capture it in a single photograph.
(A) For the
(B) Because of the

When both "for" and "because of" appear together in one choice question, I have no chioce but picking the later. But I don't know why "for" is wrong? I remember I've been told that 'for' could be put in front of sentense, if it didn't lead a clause, but just combined with a noun.
e.g.
"For his ideas and actions, he went to jail for a short time."
Comments  
If you reverse the order you will see that "for" couldn't be correct in this example:

It is difficult to capture [the Grand Canyon] in a single photograph because of the vastness of [it]. (correct)

It is difficult to capture [the Grand Canyon] in a single photograph for the vastness of [it]. (incorrect)

The second sentence you give is an exception in which both would be correct:

For his ideas and actions, he went to jail. (correct)
Because of his ideas and actions, he went to jail. (correct)

When in doubt, when you are talking about the reason why a statement is true or why something happened, use "because of".
If you choose (A), your sentence can be paraphrased as;
"It is difficult for the vastness of the Grand Canyon to capture it in a single photograph".
="It is difficult that the vastness of the Grand Canyon captures it in a single photograph".
Do you think it makes sense?

paco
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Dear Dave.
Frankly I don't get this one,

when you are talking about the reason why a statement is true or why something happened, use "because of"

Again, let's take this sentence as example,
"For his ideas and actions, he went to jail. "
We are talking about the reason why something happened too- he went to jail, but we can still use "for", right?

And, I wondered why you described this sentence as a wrong one.
"It is difficult to capture the Grand Canyon in a single photograph for the vastness of it".
And, Dear Paco,
I don't think the sentence can be paraphrased as
"It is difficult for the vastness of the Grand Canyon to capture it in a single photograph".
To the contrary,
I'd say, "It is difficult for us to capture the Grand Canyon in a single photograph, because of its vastness".
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It is correct that "for" can be used in place of "because of" in certain sentences. Take, for example, the sentence you have given:

He went to jail for his ideas. (correct)
He went to jail because of his ideas. (correct)

However, I do not like this sentence:

It is difficult for us to to capture the Grand Canyon in a single photograph for its vastness.

Using "for" in the above sentence, the meaning becomes obscure. If the intended meaning is "because of", write "because of". There is then no confusion about what the sentence means:

It is difficult for us to to capture the Grand Canyon in a single photograph because of its vastness.

I should point out that there is another construction you may sometimes see: "but for". Example:

But for its vastness, it would be possible to capture the Grand Canyon in a single photograph.

In this sentence, "but for its vastness" means "if it wasn't so vast".

Generally I advise everyone - both native speakers and learners - to write sentences using the minimum number of words possible. Here's how I would write it:

The Grand Canyon is too vast to be captured in a single photograph.
I'd like to mention that I'm a writer, not a grammarian. I can give useful advice on English writing style, but I'm less reliable on issues of grammar. Grammar is a subject that I'm still learning about myself. Improving my own knowledge of grammar is in fact one of the reasons I'm attracted to this forum.

Several of the regular contributors to this forum are clearly grammar experts. I'm not one of them. So, as to what is grammatical and what isn't - and why - I will always defer to their explanations.
Dear Dave,
Thanks for you responding. They are really helpful. Maybe I haven't formed a good sense of language, so I don't feel that the sentence belowing sounds obscure,
"For the vastness of the Grand Canyon, it is difficult to capture it in a single photograph."

And, whoa, you're a writer. That's wonderful. You're living in Taiwan or what???
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