Unit 9.2

Cause and Effect Conjunctions

Introduction

Conjunctions are words that function as a link between clauses or elements in sentences.

Cause and effect conjunctions are used to introduce clauses with the purpose to express the concept of cause and effect.

Form

We can focus on the cause or on the result by using different conjunctions.

Cause

When we want to focus on the cause, we use conjuctions as because, since, as, due to, owing to.
They can be followed by a clause or a gerund/verb in the following way:
Clause 1 + because/since/as + clause 2;
Clause 1 + due to/owing to + gerund/noun.

Effect

When we want to focus on the effect, we use conjuctions as as a result, so, therefore.
They are followed by a clause in the following way:
Clause 1 + so/therefore/as a result + clause 2

Example

Cause:

  • I used full fat milk because I did not have skimmed milk at home.
  • We couldn’t talk to her since she wasn’t home. 
  • We can’t go to the cinema as it is too late. 
  • I sneezed due to the spices in the air.
  • I missed my train owing to a traffic hold-up. 

Effect:

  • We had no kiwis so I decided to eat some cherries instead.
  • He wanted to buy a new house, therefore he started saving up his money.
  • I couldn’t walk for a year as a result of the accident.

Use

We use cause and effect conjunctions to link two sentences and to show their cause and effect relationship:

  • cause conjunctions (because, due to/owing tosince/as) are used to introduce the reason of a sentence;
  • effect conjunctions (as a result, so, therefore) are used to show the purpose of a sentence.

Summary

Some conjunctions can be used to introduce clauses with the purpose to express the concept of cause or effect.

When we want to focus on the cause, the structures are: we always start with the first clause. When the first clause is followed by because, since or as, we continue with the other clause. When it is followed by due to or owing to, we continue with a gerund or a noun.

When we want to focus on the effect, the structure is: we start with the first clause followed by so, therefore or as a result followed by the other clause.

For example:
“The sausages are burnt because you cooked them for too long.” / “The sausages are burnt due to the high temperature of the oven .” = The cause of the sausages being burnt is that you cooked them for too long, or in high temperature.
“He baked too many cupcakes, as a result we couldn’t eat all of them.” = The effect of him baking too many cupcakes is that we couldn’t eat all of them.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

For better understanding:
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