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Talking about cause and effect


Cause and effectcause 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 because he broke into a bank.
  • The police arrested him since he broke into a bank.
  • She can't read the letter as she is illiterate.
  • He can't run fast for he is too fat.
  • Owing to his intelligence, he managed to solve the problem.
  • Due to the 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.

a. 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."

b. 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:

a. Due to, because of, owing to and thanks to are followed by a noun.
b. Because, since, as, for 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 are in love, they forgive each other's mistakes.
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