Expressing Cause and Effect

There are many ways to express cause and effect in every language. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn how to talk about it in English.

Expressing Cause and Effect in the English Grammar

How to Express Cause in English?

Expressing cause is a way of explaining why something happened or why someone did something. It helps to clarify the reason behind an action or event and can be useful in a variety of contexts such as academic writing, news reporting, or everyday conversation.

We can indicate causation in English using the following parts of speech:

Prepositions for Expressing Cause

The most common prepositions used for expressing cause include the following:

  1. because of,
  2. due to,
  3. owing to,
  4. on account of,
  5. by reason of,
  6. as a result of,
  7. thanks to,
  8. in view of,
  9. in light of,
  10. in consideration of.

These prepositions are often used to explain why something happened or to give a reason for a particular action. They are similar in that they are all used to express causation or reason, but they differ from each other in terms of their specific usage and meaning. Here are some differences between them:

Because of and Due to

Because of and due to are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between them. 'Because of' is used to indicate the reason for something, while 'due to' is used to indicate the cause of a particular outcome. Here are some examples:

He couldn't attend the meeting because of his illness.

The match was cancelled due to the bad weather.

Owing to, on Account of, and By Reason of

'Owing to', 'on account of', and 'by reason of' all indicate the cause for something, but they are typically used in more formal contexts. Here are some examples:

The ceremony was postponed owing to the sudden demise of the chief guest.

The flight was cancelled on account of the strike by the airline staff.

He was denied entry into the country by reason of his criminal record.

As a Result of and Thanks to

'As a result of' indicates the outcome of a particular event or action, while 'thanks to' indicates the reason behind a particular success or achievement. Pay attention to these examples:

The road was flooded as a result of heavy rainfall.

He was able to complete the project within the deadline thanks to his hard work and dedication.

In View of and In Light of

'In view of' and 'in light of' both indicate that a decision or action has been taken after considering a particular situation or circumstance, but 'in view of' is used to indicate that the decision was made based on a particular situation, while 'in light of' is used to indicate that the decision was made based on new information or developments. Here are some examples:

In view of his poor performance, he was asked to resign from his job.

In light of recent allegations, the company has decided to conduct an internal investigation.

In Consideration of

'In consideration of' is often used to indicate that an action or decision has been taken after taking a particular factor or circumstance into account, while the other prepositions are typically used to indicate the cause or reason of something. Take a look at this example:

The company has decided to donate to the charity in consideration of its social responsibility.

Overall, the prepositions used to express reason or causation can have subtle differences in meaning and usage, and it's important to use them appropriately in context to convey precise and accurate meaning.

Conjunctions for Expressing Cause

Conjunctions can be used to express a wide range of meanings, including causation or reason. The most common conjunctions for expressing causation are:

  1. because,
  2. as,
  3. since,
  4. given that,
  5. seeing that,

These conjunctions differ from each other in terms of their specific meanings, functions, and level of formality.

Because and Since

'Because' and 'since' are both used to indicate the reason for something, but 'since' is often used in a more formal tone. Pay attention to these examples:

I couldn't attend the meeting because I was sick.

Since the store is closed, we'll have to go somewhere else.

As, Given that, and Seeing that

'As' is used to show a cause and effect relationship or indicate the reason for something , while 'given that' and 'seeing that' are more formal and are used to introduce a reason or justification for something. Here are some examples:

As it was raining, we decided to stay indoors.

Given that the project is behind schedule, we need to work overtime.

Seeing that she had worked hard, he gave her a bonus.

Tip!

"Since" and "as" are often used to indicate a known or established fact.

Overall, the choice of conjunction depends on the specific meaning and context of the sentence. Choosing the appropriate conjunction is important to convey precise and accurate meaning in a sentence.

Relative Clauses for Expressing Cause

Relative clauses are used to provide additional information about a noun or pronoun in a sentence, and they can also be used to express the reason or cause of something. The most common relative clauses used for expressing reason include:

  1. the reason why
  2. that's why

Here are example sentences:

The reason why he was late is that his car broke down.

I don't like to eat spicy food. That's why I always order mild dishes at restaurants.

How Do We Indicate Effects in English?

Expressing effects helps provide additional information about the outcome or result of a particular action or event. When we express effects, we are indicating the result, impact, or outcome of a specific cause or situation.
Expressing effects in English can serve several functions, including clarifying meaning, communicating cause and effect, emphasizing the consequence, and providing context.

Effects can be indicated using the following parts of speech:

Coordinating Conjunctions for Expressing Effect

There are two coordinating conjunctions in English that are commonly used to express effects. These include:

So

"So" is a common conjunction used to express the effect or consequence of a previous action or situation. Pay attention to the example:

I finished my work early, so I decided to go for a walk.

And

While "and" is typically used as a coordinating conjunction to connect two similar or related ideas, it can also be used to express an effect, especially in informal or conversational language.

I studied hard for the exam, and I got an A.

Warning

When expressing an effect using these coordinating conjunctions, the order of clauses cannot change.

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are words that connect independent clauses and show the relationship between them. They often express things like cause and effect, contrast, or sequence.
Some common conjunctive adverbs that can be used to express effects include:

Therefore

"Therefore" is a conjunction used to indicate a logical result or conclusion based on a previous statement or situation. For example:

The roads were closed due to heavy snowfall; therefore, we had to cancel the trip.

Consequently

"Consequently" is a conjunction used to indicate a result or consequence of a previous situation or action.

The company lost a lot of money last year; consequently, they had to lay off some of their employees.

As a result

"As a result" is a conjunction used to introduce a result or consequence of a previous action or situation. For example:

The company implemented new cost-cutting measures. As a result, they were able to increase their profits.

Thus

"Thus" is a conjunctive adverb used to indicate a logical result or conclusion based on a previous statement or situation.

The team worked hard on their project; thus, they were able to complete it on time.

Thereby

'Thereby' is used to indicate an outcome or effect that is achieved by a particular action or method. It usually follows a statement about the means or method used to achieve a particular result. For example:

The company reduced its expenses, thereby increasing its profit margin.

Accordingly

"Accordingly" is a conjunctive adverb used to indicate an effect or a consequence that is appropriate or expected based on a previous statement or situation. For example:

The weather forecast predicted heavy rain; accordingly, we decided to reschedule our outdoor event.

Hence

"Hence" is a conjunctive adverb used to indicate an effect or consequence that follows logically from a previous statement or situation. Pay attention to the example:

The bridge was closed for repairs; hence, we had to take a detour to reach our destination.

These conjunctive adverbs are used to connect two clauses in a sentence where the first clause expresses a cause or reason, and the second clause indicates the effect or consequence.

Warning

When using conjunctive adverbs to express effects in a sentence, it's important to remember that the order of the clauses expressing the cause and the effect cannot be interchanged.

Prepositions for Expressing Effects

While prepositions are not commonly used to indicate effects in English, there are some specific prepositions that can be used in certain expressions to indicate the effect or outcome of a particular action or event.

By

This preposition is used to indicate the means or method by which a particular result or outcome was achieved. For example:

She achieved her goals by working hard and staying focused.

Through

This preposition is used to indicate the process or means by which a particular result or outcome was achieved. For example:

We made progress through careful planning and collaboration.

Verbs for Expressing Effect

These verbs are used to indicate that a particular action or event leads to a specific outcome or that one thing causes or sets off another thing. Some of the verbs that are commonly used to express effects in English include:

  1. Cause,
  2. Result,
  3. Lead to,
  4. Bring about,
  5. Generate,
  6. Spawn,
  7. Trigger,
  8. Provoke.

Now pay attention to some examples sentences using these verbs to express effects:

The heavy rain caused flooding in the streets.

The accident resulted in several injuries.

Skipping breakfast can lead to low energy levels and difficulty concentrating throughout the day.

The new policy brought about a significant change in the company's culture.

The new project generated a lot of interest among investors.

The success of the first movie spawned several sequels.

The announcement of the new product triggered a surge in sales.

The controversial statement provoked a heated debate.

These verbs can be used in various tenses and forms to express different types of effects or results, depending on the context and intended meaning.
It is important to remember that in these sentences the subject of the sentence indicates the cause or reason, while the object expresses the effect or result.

Tip!

Verbs used to express effects can also be used in passive voice to emphasize the result or outcome. For example:

The flooding in the streets was caused by the heavy rain.

Instead of 'the heavy rain caused the flooding in the streets'

Comments

Loading recaptcha

You might also like

Expressing Comparison

There are many ways to express comparison and contrast in every language. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn how to talk about comparison in English.

Expressing Contrast

Expressing Purpose

There are many ways to express purpose in every language. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn how to talk about it in English.

Expressing Condition

There are many ways to express conditions in every language. Here in this lesson, we are going to learn how to talk about it in English.

Greetings

Ever wondered how to greet people? or how to say goodbye? you'll find all kinds of phrases for that here.

Nationality

On this page, you learn all the grammatical details of how to talk about one's nationality and different ways to talk about nationality.
LanGeek
Download LanGeek app