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|
maycouldmightcan| 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.|
Time & Certainty| Example Sentences|
Always truePresentLess certain presentPastLess 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...