Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cause and Effect

Although it is possible for one cause to lead to one effect, academic subjects are rarely this simple. One cause can lead to more than one effect, for example heavy rain can cause landslides and flooding. Also, more than one cause can lead to one or more effects, for example, eating too much pizza and drinking too much coke for lunch can cause you to get fat and be late for class!

Vocabulary and Grammar

Cause-effect Example Sentences

...because of...

...caused by

...cause of

...reason for

...attributed to

...on account of

...owing to

There was flooding because of the heavy rain.

The flooding was caused by the heavy rain.

The heavy rain was the cause of the flooding.

The heavy rain was the reason for the flooding.

The flooding was attributed to the heavy rain.

There was flooding on account of the heavy rain.

Owing to the heavy rain there was flooding.

(These cause-effect phrases are all followed by noun phrases; i.e. 'the heavy rain'.)

... because

There was flooding because heavy rain fell all night.
('Because' is followed by a verb phrase, 'heavy rain fell all night'.)

Grammar Note: don't use 'Because' as the first word in a sentence: it's bad style.
There are a number of alternatives. You can use:
- 'Due to...'; e.g. 'Due to the heavy rain there was flooding.'
- 'Owing to ...'; e.g. 'Owing to the heavy rain there was flooding.'
- 'As...'; e.g. 'As there was heavy rain, there was flooding.'

Verbs Example Sentences





The heavy rain may have caused the flooding.

The heavy rain could have caused the flooding.

The heavy rain might have caused the flooding.

Flooding can be caused by heavy rain.

Grammar Note: modal verbs such as 'may', 'could', and 'might' must be followed by infinitive verbs, such as 'have' and 'be'.

Time & Certainty Example Sentences
Always true


Less certain present


Less certain past

Flooding is caused by heavy rain.

The flooding is caused by the heavy rain.

The flooding may be caused by the heavy rain.

The flooding was caused by the heavy rain.

The flooding may have been caused by the heavy rain.

Adverbs Example Sentences







The rain may possibly cause flooding.

The rain will certainly cause flooding.

Perhaps the rain will cause flooding.

The rain will definitely cause flooding.

The rain will probably cause flooding.

The rain will undoubtedly cause flooding.

Grammar Note: use 'will' with adverbs that show a high probability, such as 'undoubtedly', 'definitely' and 'probably'. For other adverbs, which show a smaller possibility, use 'may', 'could' or 'might'; e.g. The rain could, perhaps, cause flooding.' or 'The rain may possibly cause flooding'.

Also, the position of the adverb is usually just in front of the verb for adverbs of possibility and probability. This is because the adverb gives more information about the verb. This is different from adverbs like 'Unfortunately', which give information about the whole sentence; e.g. 'Unfortunately, the heavy rain caused flooding.'

Other Cause and Effect Phrases:


  • There are several reasons for this. Firstly, ...
  • Other causes played a part. Firstly,
  • A key factor was... ('key' means 'important')
  • This is due to ...
  • This is a reflection of...


  • As a result, ...
  • Consequently, ...
  • This meant that...
  • One consequence of this is that ...
Grammar Note:
Don't write 'are lacking of ...' as a cause or effect. Use 'there is a lack of ...' OR 'they are lacking in ...'
'Lack' is both a verb and a noun. For example, using 'lack' as a verb you can say 'Someone lacks something.', and as a noun 'There is a lack of something.'


Word Part of Speech Example Sentences


verb -
I/you/we/they lack
he/she/it lacks
singular noun + lacks
uncountable noun + lacks
  • They lack the necessary family support or any other channels where they can seek assistance.
  • Deprived and disadvantaged families lack both knowledge and self-confidence.
  • A child without parents usually lacks a sense of security.
  • The government overall lacks dynamism.
  • It was so interesting to see how Western thinking lacks creativity and is not geared to changes.
lacking adjective
  • Financial backing for the programme is still lacking.
lacking in adjective
  • It was a solidly built vessel but lacking in navigating instruments. (A vessel is a boat or ship.)
    (Grammatical structure: 'lacking in' + noun phrase.)
lacking '_ing' form (present participle)
  • Lacking any filial piety, Prince Richard rebelled against his father. ('filial piety' means 'respect for parents')
    Sentence structure: 'Lacking + noun phrase + comma + clause
lacking '_ing' form
(reduced relative clause: the relative pronoun e.g. 'who' and the verb are missing)
  • Students lacking a dictionary can use an online dictionary.
    (Meaning: Students who are lacking a dictionary can use an online one.)
lacked verb - perfect and past tenses
  • His leadership has lacked imagination and aggression.
  • He said that Hongkong lacked "a long-term authority that monitors tree-planting efforts".
lack of noun
  • Social workers blame the Government for the severe lack of residential places.
  • There's been a lack of awareness about what young people like.
  • Most landslips are caused not by design deficiencies on slopes, but by a lack of supervision and control.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]


Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]


Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

Click ok! Then delete.. before typing in your sentences to be checked...