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The reason is…

Specifying the reason

Hire me
 

 

Cause-effect Statement vs. Cause (Reason) Statement

CAUSE & EFFECT EXPRESSIONS

When we want to relate a cause and effect situation, we use — because, since, as, due to, for this reason — to relate a cause-clause to an effect-clause.  (That is not included in the cause-clause.)

EFFECT SUBORD / PREP NOUN PHRASE

Jack hasn't found a job

because of¹

the weak economy.

 

on account of¹

the weak economy.

 

as a result of¹

the weak economy.

EFFECT SUBORD CONJ. CAUSE-CLAUSE

Jack hasn't found a job

because

the economy is weak.

 

as

the economy is weak.

 

due to the fact

the economy is weak.

 

for the reason that

the economy is weak.

CAUSE EXPRESSIONS

To specify the main reason for a situation, we use — the reason, problem, cause — followed by be .  (The cause = X) The effect may be included with a modifying "for" or "that" clause. (That is optionally included.)

CAUSE    BE NP / THAT-CLAUSE

The reason for not finding a job

is

the weak economy. (NP)

The reason  (that) he can't find a job

 

(that) the economy is weak.

The reason  why² he can't find a job

 

because of ² the economy.   

CAUSE    BE NP / THAT-CLAUSE

The problem

is

the weak economy. (NP)

The cause

 

is

(that) the economy is weak.

The disadvantage

is

 

The point  

is

 

 

¹ This expression is followed by a noun phrase.  See Cause & Effect expressions.
² The usage the reason why is… or the reason is because… is repetitive, informal usage.
*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Be"

Specifying vs. Describing

 

 

 

Specifying "be"  vs. Describing (Ascriptive) "be"

"BE" – SPECIFYING

When be is specifying, it is followed by a noun, noun phrase or clause that identifies the subject-noun before be.      

NP BE–SPEC N / NP / CLAUSE

The reason

is

the lack of money (noun phrase)

 

 

(that) we don't have enough money.  (clause)

 

 

over there (adverb /prep. phrase)

 

 

to save money(infinitive – purpose)

 

 

~ not having enough money. (gerund)

 

 

¹because we don't have enough money. 

"BE" – DESCRIBING (ASCRIPTIVE)

When be is ascriptive, it is followed by an adjective or adjective phrase that states (describes) the quality or character of the subject-noun before it.  

NP BE –DESC ADJ / ADJP

The reason 

is

logical

   

silly

   

untrue.   

   

unfortunate but true.   

 

 

half-baked (not well thought out) 

   

well thought out

 

¹Some consider the reason why is… or the reason is because… repetitive, informal usage.
~ questionable usage
ascriptive (adj) – stating the quality or character of something or someone
N – noun; NP – noun phrase; ADJ – adjective; ADJP – adjective phrase
Also see Describing vs. Specifying "be"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifying Expressions

List

Dog harness with handle
 

 

"Product Review" – reasons for and against

GOOD BAD IDEA CAUSE-EFFECT

The advantage is (that) a dog owner can pick up his or her dog and carry it.

The disadvantage is (that) the dog may not find it comfortable

The concept is (that) the owner will have more control over the dog.

The reason is (that) dog owners want an easier way to take hold of their pet.

The benefit is (that) the dog's feet won't get dirty.

The drawback is (that) it doesn't fit dogs with long backs (dachshunds and corgis.)

The current thinking is (reasoning, understanding) that dog owners are willing to pay for useful accessories.

The motivation is (that) harnesses are selling well and will make us money.

The understanding is (that) the dog owner is strong enough to carry his / her dog.

The trick is that we need to get the dog to like it. / to get the dog to like it.

The feeling is (that) the harness should be a little more colorful to attract buyers.

The explanation is (that) a handle on a dog harness will provide a quick lifting device for the owner.

The good thing is  (informal) (that) the harness is strong and will last a long time.

The thing is  (informal) that not every dog likes to be carried.

 The idea is (that) the handle helps the owner lift the dog. / to lift the dog.

 The result is (that) the owner will not have to bend down and pick up the dog when going up stairs.

 

The problem is that dog will get heavy after a block or two.

 The point is (that) this is a very useful training device and accessory. / to make a useful device.

The solution is that we make an affordable product. / to make an affordable product.

The thing is…, the thing that bothers me is… – used informally to refer to an important point or problem
The trick (n.) – clever method
The feeling – the sentiment, regard, opinion

An infinitive is used after words that speculate about future potential The idea / point / solution / thing / trick is to…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifying Expressions

Article Use

 

 

 

0 A THE POSSESSIVE PRONOUN

Speakers may drop the article in speech, but it is included in business and academic writing.

If there is more than one reason, a (one) reason may be mentioned in part.

If there is one primary reason, the reason is used.

The words above can be used with a personal possessive pronoun.  (The -ing form of a word  "reasoning" indicates the process.)

Reason is
*Reason is we have to do that.
The reason is that we have to do that.

A reason is 
A  reason for adding the touch screen is that it will make the phone thinner.  Another reason is that it will be easier to use.

The reason is 
The reason is that we had no other choice.

Their reason / reasoning is (thinking, understanding)
Their reason is that it is the right thing to do.
Their reasoning is that it is the right thing to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifying Expressions

Propositional Modifiers

 

 

 

NOUN PHRASE + PREP PHRASE

When specifying a reason, solution, problem or important point, a prepositional phrase is commonly used to modify the noun. Choice of preposition may vary.                                    

FOR    

The main reason for the crisis

is

that people spent more than they had. 

The logic for this

is

that one person's actions affect another person's earnings.  

The idea for this legislation 

is

that people will not manage themselves unless forced by law.

The concept for this idea 

is

that if people paid less in tax, they would have more money to spend. 

ON / ABOUT    

The current thinking on/ about that

is

that we all need to make changes.

The general feeling about the law

is

that it is unfair to the next generation.

The understanding (with them) on/ about that

is

that we will support their position if possible. 

WITH    

The problem with overspending 

is

that it results in failure. 

The understanding with them 

is

that we will support each other in hard times. 
 

NOUN PHRASE + PREP PHRASE

In conversation, we commonly use these expressions (1) to claim next-speaker rights (place holder), and (2) to give us a moment to mentally compose the rest of the sentence after is.

OF    

The point of this conversation

is

that we all need to make changes.

The disadvantage of this method

is

that it is more complex.

The benefit of this

is

that everyone wins.

The result of this

was

that everyone won.

TO    

The solution to the problem

is

that we need to produce more useful goods

The trick to fixing it

is

that you have to use the right tool.   

The drawback to your idea

is

that it requires a lot of money.   

TO / OF    

The advantage to/ of your method

is

that it is simpler. 
 

*The logic to/ of this

is

that one person's actions affect another person's earnings.  

 

trick (n.) – a clever method

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*The reason we don't like to work on Saturday.   (Error – an incomplete sentence)

*The reason which I can't find work is there are so few jobs.   (Error – which)

* The reason why I can't come to your party is because my dog is sick.
(not incorrect but repetitive)

~The reason why is a funny story. 
  Not incorrect, but the reason & why sound awkward together.  

* They are selling their business. The reason being they are retiring.

* He wants to get a dog. The reason is to have a walking partner.
(uncommon usage)

~ The reason is the fact that he is actually very nice guy. 
   Not incorrect, but the reasonthe fact sound awkward together. 

~ The reason for that is that we have to be on time.
   Not incorrect, but
thatthat sound awkward together.

SOLUTION

The reason is that we don't like to work on Saturday. 
Include the verb and that in the main clause.

The reason (that) I can't find work is there are so few jobs. 
The modifying clause requires that not which (typically used for non-restrictive or supplementary clauses.)

The reason [that] I can't come to your party is [that] my dog is sick.
(Simplify the number of words used for reason.)

The reason why for that is a funny story.
Consider using for that in place of another question word(why) 

They are selling their business because they are retiring.  / The reason is [that] they are retiring.

The reason [ idea / point / solution] is to have a walking partner. 

The reason is [that] he wants a walking partner.

The reason is the fact that he is actually a very nice guy.  
Consider removing the fact that because it sounds awkward with the reason. 

The reason for that is that we we have to be on time.
Most speakers will avoid a second that if it is an optional that.   

 

* Incorrect usage. / ~ Questionable or marginal use
pop-question solutionPop-Q "Reason is"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

Advanced

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

In traditional grammar, be a "linking verb" or "stative verb", also called copula or copular verb, relates the subject noun to information after the verb – an adjective, adverb, noun phrase or noun clause.  The information after be further identifies or describes the noun.

Noun = X

i. The reason is logical.  (adjective) 
ii. The reason is the high cost. (noun phrase)
iii. The reason is that the cost is too high. (noun-clause)

 

 

In current linguistic description, be is "ascriptive" or "specifying", and may be complemented by a wide variety of structures; noun phrase (NP) prepositional phrase (PP) adjective phrase (ADJP) adverb phrase (ADVP) a full clause, or possibly a nonfinite clause. 

i. The reason is logical.  ("ascriptive be" – Subject Complement: adjective phrase) 
ii. The reason is the high cost. ("specifying be" – Subject Complement: noun phrase)
iii. The reason is that is costs too much. ("specifying be" – Subject Complement: that-clause)
iv. That is costs too much is the reason. (Subject: that-clause)
v. The reason is that is costs too much. ("postposed subject")

Huddleston "Ascriptive and specifying uses of be" 266; "Internal Complement in Clause Structure: Postposing of subject" 958;  Swan 492; Quirk 3.31, 15.5.iii.
 

REED-KELLOGG DIAGRAM  TREE DIAGRAM

That it costs too much is the reason.  The reason is that it costs too much. 
 

The reason is that it costs too much.  That it costs too much is the reason.   

CATEGORIES:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Detdeterminer; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective
FUNCTIONS: Subject:  Subject,   Predicate: Predicator (V) Complements: (elements required by verb) Object, Indirect Object, Predicative Complement  Adjuncts: (optional modifiers) Adj, Adv

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Job Interview

Job Interview
 

 

Read (context for practices 1 – 3)

Q:   What brings you here to us today? 
A:   I am here for the statistical analyst job.

Q:  I see that you have a bachelor's degree from Pepperdine. Why did you choose to study there?
A:   Because I liked the program they offered.  It was a good match for my goals.

Q:   Why are you applying here at Tzonga?
A:   The reason is the Tzonga name. It stands for quality.

Q:   Do you own a Tzonga tablet?
A:   Yes, I do.  The thing I like is that it has great apps.

Q:   Which of our apps do you like best?
I like the Compose app because I like to write while I commute on the train.

Q:   How would you make it better?
A:   The problem is that it doesn't have a voice input feature, and it's not always convenient to use the keyboard to input text or use other apps.

Q:   True, the current thinking is that we should move away from keyboard entry. 
A:   Yes, the advantage is the ease of word entry.  The disadvantage is the input for speakers with accents.

Q:   Would you be interested in working on the Compose app project?
A:  Yes, I would very much, because I know its pros and cons. (good and bad points)

Q:   Great. We need someone to analyze its online user data. Have you learned CSSS?
A:  No, I haven't.  The reason for that is we used SPSS instead. However, I could quickly learn it.

Q:   Excellent.  Do you have to leave right away? I ask because we have an afternoon focus group that should meet you.
A:  I'd be happy to stay and meet them. The problem is that I have a doctor's appointment at 2:00 p.m. today, which I can't change at the last minute.

Q:   That's not a problem.  How about returning Thursday at 1:00 p.m.?
A:  That's fine.  Let me give you my mobile phone number in case you need to reach me.

Q:   Sure.  That's a good idea because sometimes there is a room change.
A:  Here is the number.

Q:   Thanks for coming in. We'll see you on Thursday.
A:  Yes, Thursday.  Thank you for this opportunity. Goodbye.

 

 

 

 

Complete the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-5" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.
The benefit of a degree in statistics is .

be in demand – be required as necessary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Responding with reasons

 

 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select a response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

6.
What is your reason for applying to Tzonga?
The reason I'd like to be part of a creative group.

   

7.
Why do you like our new app Compose?
The advantage is for it's a good idea.


   

8.
How would you improve it?
The drawback for the tablet is that it requires the keyboard to input data.

   

9.
Can you stay for our afternoon meeting?
Unfortunately, I can't. The reason being I have a doctor's appointment.


   

10.
Ah well. The solution is to come back on Thursday.
Certainly!  What time?

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Tzonga Work Advantages

 

 

 

Edit /the sentence (formal usage).

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 21-30" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

11.
Why is Tzonga successful?

REWRITE: The reason why is because everyone is passionate about working here.


12.
Are there perks in working for Tzonga(perks – extra or special advantages)

REWRITE: There are several. The main reason being they want to keep us here.

å

13.
How so?

REWRITE:  Reason is they offer us breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that we will stay on site and keep working late.


14.
Does it work? Do you stay longer at work?

REWRITE:  Sometimes, but not always. The reason is because I have children to care for.


15.
Does Tzonga plan to add a daycare facility?

REWRITE:  Perhaps, they will after they lease the building next door.  Their reasoning is that they need more space.