Talking about cause and effect

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Cause and effect

When we talk about an effect resulting from a certain cause, we use expressions such as: because, since, as, owing to, due to…

Examples

  • The police arrested him becausehe broke into a bank.
  • The police arrested him sincehe broke into a bank.
  • She can’t read the letter asshe is illiterate.
  • He can’t run fast forhe is too fat.
  • Owing tohis intelligence, he managed to solve the problem.
  • Due tothe bad weather, they didn’t go for a picnic.

Other ways to express cause and effect

You can also express cause and effect as follows:

  • The cause of …is…
  • …is caused by / is due to …
  • Thanks to …

Examples

The cause of global warming is pollution.
Global warming is caused by pollution.
is due to

 

Thanks to his hard work , he passed the exam

Is there a difference between due to and owing to?

Owing to and due to are used interchangeably by native speakers although some state that there is a difference.

Due to:

If you can use caused by then you can also use due to:

Example:

“The cancellation of the flight was due to (caused by) high winds.”

Owing to:

If you can use because of then you should use owing to rather than due to:

Example:

“The flight was canceled owing to (because of) high winds.”

Use of thanks to

People tend to use thanks to in positive situations.

Example:

“Thanks to his intelligence he managed to find the solution to that math problem.”

Sometimes thanks to is used ironically in a negative way

Example:

“Did she lose the election?”
“Yeah, thanks to you and to all the others who didn’t bother to vote.”

“The baby is awake thanks to your shouting.”

Things to remember about cause and effect

Due tobecause ofowing to and thanks to are followed by a noun.
Becausesinceasfor are followed by a verb.

Due to +      Noun
Because of
Owing to
Thanks to

 

because  

Subject + Verb

since
as
for

Examples:

  • Due to his laziness, he didn’t pass the exam.
  • Thanks to her beauty, she attracted the attention of all the guests.
  • Because / since /as / they arein love, they forgive each other’s mistakes.