Cause & Effect Overview

Express cause and effect relationships

Newton's cradle
 

 

Summary of Cause–Effect Words

SO + CLAUSE SO/SUCH…THAT + CLAUSE BECAUSE + CLAUSE CONSEQUENTLY + CLAUSE

So (result/ effect) is a, which joins a clause expressing result/effect.  The connector with its clause is placed after the main clause (in mid-sentence position) A comma usually separates the clause.

So or Such is paired with a that-clause to express a cause-effect relationship.  So (Adv) modifies or intensifies an adjective or adverb in the cause-clause. Such (Adv) modifies the adjective+noun phrase in the cause-clause. And that follows with the effect-clause.

Because, as, since, etc., joins a clause expressing reason/cause. The cause-clause may be placed before or after the effect-clause.

Consequently, As a result, or etc., expresses a relationship between two clauses.  The word transitions the reader or listener from the main idea in one clause to the idea in the next clause.

This is called a coordinator, linking adverb, coordinating conjunction. In UUEG, it is placed before a dependent clause, which is attached to an independent clause.

This is often called an adverbial clause, a degree adverb/ intensifier with a that-clause (content clause) or an adverbial expression.

This is called a preposition, an adverbial, a subordinating conjunction, or an adverbial clause

This is also called a connective adjunct, linking adverb, conjunctive adverb or transition.

He saw starving children, so he helped them. [effect/result]

He helped, for he knew they could survive. [cause/reason]

He raised so much money that he could open a "food bank".

He raised such a large amount of money that he could open a "food bank".

He raised enough money that he could open a "food bank"

The children survived because they received help

Because they received help, the children survived.

The children survived because of the help. (noun phrase)
 

People helped. Consequently, the children survived.

People helped. For this reason, the children survived.

People helped; as a consequence, the children survived.

 

CAUSE      

*for (reason or cause)  

*rarely used, very formal

so…   (emphasis on cause)
such… (emphasis on cause)
enough…that
sufficiently…that
 

because, since, now that, as, as long as, inasmuch as, because of, due to, owing to, on account of, despite , if only because 
 

For this reason, For all these reasons

EFFECT      

so (result)

…that   (effect)
…that   (effect)

so that   (purpose-result)
in order   (purpose-result)

Therefore, Consequently, As a consequence, As a result, Thus

 

starving (Adj) – suffering without food; not having food to eat
food bank (N) – a place that gives bags of food to the poor
survive (V) – to continue to live in difficult conditions (accident, war, illness)

Also see The reason is..., The main reason for this is... Causes / is caused by, Results in/ Results from  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Descriptions

Advanced

 

 

Traditional vs. Linguistic Description

TRADITIONAL GRAMMAR
SO-CLAUSE

Conjunctions: (and, but, or) "connects words or phrases that have the same grammatical function in a sentence. This use of conjunctions is called 'parallel structure'. " (Azar 16-1, 19-2)

 

SO…THAT / SUCH…THAT

(no term given) "another way of expressing cause and effect  (Azar 19-4)

(Most grammarians describe so as an adverb of degree or extent used for emphasis in a clause, which may or may not be followed by a that clause of result.  Few discuss the  the particular context for using this structure. See So/Such that)    

BECAUSE-CLAUSE

Adverb clause (Azar 17–1-2)

CONSEQUENTLY

Transition, conjunctive adverbs (Azar 19–2-3)

LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION
SO-CLAUSE

So "falls at the boundary between coordinators and prepositions"  It is marginally a member of the coordinator category, but differs in that it does not always coordinate like structures, it may be combined with another coordinator (and so, and but) (Huddleston 15 §2.11)

Subordinator clause of result (Quirk 15.49)  

SO…THAT / SUCH…THAT

So is an adverb of degree/extent or manner, such is an adjective, and the content clause (that) has a resultative meaning…" (Huddleston 11 §4.6)

Subordinator clause of result (Biber 15.49)

So is an extent/degree, circumstance adverbial (Biber 10.2.8.7)

BECAUSE-CLAUSE

Preposition with an adjunct (required) reason clause (Huddleston 8 §12.3-4)

Subordinators reason clause because, since, for (Quirk 15.49)

Circumstance adverbials – reason, subordinators (Biber 10.2.1) 

CONSEQUENTLY

Connective adjuncts (Huddleston 8 §19)

Conjuncts (Quirk)

Linking adverbs (Biber 10.4.1.4)  

Connecting adverbs (Swan 22.1)  

 

See FANBOYS Grammar Notes.

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

The Freshman Five

College cafeteria
 

 

Read Context

Why do students in the first year of college gain on average five pounds?  Recent studies have followed freshman students through their first year in college. In these studies, health professionals measured students' food intake, analyzed their diet, and tracked their physical activity.

A number of things seem to affect student weight gain such as – college meal plans, buffet-style dining, unbalanced food choices, irregular eating habits, increased alcohol consumption, stress, and less exercise. Health professionals are doing their best to educate students to make better choices and to start healthy habits.

are used to – are accustomed to

analyze / analyse (V) – examine the elements or parts in detail

avoid (V) – prevent

balanced meal – includes fruits, vegetables, grain, protein, and dairy  myplate.gov

binge (V) – eat or drink a large quantity of food or alcohol, overeat, (e.g., binge eating, binge drinking)

burn calories – use up calories

calorie – a quantity of food capable of producing a certain amount of energy

crave (V) – desire greatly such as sweets or affection

buffet style – self-serve food from tables offering 'all you can eat"

consumption (N) – eating or drinking, intake

easy access (N) – not needing much effort, easy to get.

food intake (N) – amount of food that a person eats

gain (V) – increase

health (N) –the general condition of the body or mind; wellness

health professional (N) – a doctor , scientist or other person who work to advance wellness

meal plan (N) – most students purchase a meal plan with a set number of meals per day 

processed (Adj) – food that is changed to last longer on the shelf and be more appealing in the market

skip (V) – not have, omit, miss

 

 

 

 

Determine which cause or effect connector or expression is needed to complete the sentence.

  1. Select the connector that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or "check 1-10" button.
1.


Cause & Effect
2.


Cause & Effect
3.


Cause & Effect
4.
5.


Purpose
6.


Cause & Effect
7.

8.


Cause & Effect
9.


Cause & Effect
10.


Purpose
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

The Effects of a Fast Food Diet

Morgan
 

 

Correct or incorrect?

  1. Select your response—correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or "check 11-20" button.

 

11.
For one month, February to March 2004, Morgan decided to eat a junk-food diet in order he find out what it would do to his body and mind.

   

12.
Morgan ate three meals and 5,000 calories per day at McD's restaurant, so he could find out the effects.

   

13.
Morgan resulted by gaining twenty-four pounds.

   


Cause-effect
14.
The affect on his mental state was moodiness and irritability.

   


Affect/ Effect
15.
His liver was unhealthy due to collecting fat.

   

16.
In fact, Morgan gained so much weight that it took him fourteen months for lose the weight and get back to normal.

   

17.
Later, Morgan made a documentary movie called, Super Size Me, because he showed the truth about junk food.

   

18.
The reason for his movie was the increasing rise in obesity in the U.S., so he made the movie.

obesity (N) people who are very much overweight

   

19.
Due to the increasing problem of obesity in the U.S,  the government began to require fast food restaurants to use healthier ingredients (food) in their menus.

   

20.
As a consequence, Morgan's experiment, people now have healthier choices on menus of fast-food restaurants.

   

 

 

Wikipedia contributors. "Super Size Me." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Dec. 2011. Web. 30 Dec. 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Settling Issues  (disagreements)

McD's toys

 

 

 

 

Read for Errors

McDonald's announced that it will discontinue including toys in its Happy Meals because it wants to focus on its food and not its toys.  Because multiple law suits, McDonald's came to this conclusion. Happy Meals were making parents unhappy on account of they are high in fat, calories, salt and sugar.  As a result, kids were more attracted to the toys than the food. A group called "Corporate Accountability" also wants McDonald's to retire its clown due to it is directed at getting children to bring their parents into the restaurant and not vice versa.

The group was complaining as a result of McDonald's use of clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to impressionable children. McDonald's responded saying that its marketing practices are responsible, and that its food is high quality. This is a big issue for lower-income and communities of color for the reason of they "often have limited access to grocery stores and increased access to fast food stores," says the group's spokesperson (speaker).  For now, everyone is happy since parents can focus on helping their children make healthy food choices, and because McDonald's can focus on their food rather than law suits.

access (N) — ability to find or use something easily

announce (V) — to officially tell people about something, especially about a plan or a decision

attracted to (expr.) — interested in

clown (N) — someone who wears funny clothes, a red nose, bright make-up on their face, and does silly things to make people laugh ("Ronald McDonald")

community (N) — a neighborhood; the people who live in an area

complain (V) — mention negative or bad parts of something; express unhappiness

corporate accountability (.) — the moral and social responsibility of a business

focus (V) — give special attention to one particular person or thing

impressionable (Adj) — someone who is impressionable is easily influenced, especially because they are young

income (N) — the money a person receives from working

law suit (N) — a problem or complaint that a person or company brings to a court of law to be settled

limited (Adj) — not very great in amount, number, ability; restricted

marketing (N) — the activity of deciding how to advertise a product

multiple (Adj) — several; more than one

retire (N) — stop working (usually after reaching a specific age ~65)

spokesperson (N) — a person who is chosen to speak officially for a group, organization, or government

use (N) — usage

vice versa (N) — the opposite or reverse order stated

 

 

 

Edit the cause-effect connector so that it is used correctly.

  1. Edit the text in the text box
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or "check 21-26" button.

 

21.
McDonald's announced that it will discontinue including toys in its "Happy Meals" because it wants to focus on its food and not its toys.  Because multiple law suits, McDonald's came to this conclusion.

22.
Happy Meals were making parents unhappy on account of they are high in fat, calories, salt and sugar.  As a result, kids were more attracted to the toys than the food.

23.
A group called "Corporate Accountability" also wants McDonald's to retire its clown due to it is directed at getting children to bring their parents into the restaurant and not vice versa.



Because of / Despite
24.
The group was complaining as a result of McDonald's use of clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to impressionable children. McDonald's responded saying that its marketing practices are responsible, and that its food is high quality.



Cause / Effect
25.
This is a big issue for lower-income and communities of color for the reason of they "often have limited access to grocery stores and increased access to fast food stores," says the group's spokesperson (speaker).



Cause / Effect
26.
For now, everyone is happy since parents can focus on helping their children make healthy food choices, and because McDonald's can focus on their food rather than law suits.


 

 

 

Katz, Nell.  "McDonald's and Toy Lawsuit: Are "Happy Meals" Tricking Kids?" CBS News. Web http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20008571-10391704.html