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Cause and Effect Part 1 – Grammar

Cause and Effect Part 1 – Grammar


This blog post will explore the grammar of cause and effect. You will learn about how to link different grammatical structures together, and see examples of these structures.

Noun Phrase to Noun Phrase

A noun phrase (NP) includes a noun (a person, place, or thing) and modifiers (e.g. adjectives). It is not a complete sentence. Examples of NPs include “heavy rain”, “eating unhealthy food” and “cigarette smoke”.

To connect an NP to another NP, we can use verbs + prepositions. For example:

Cause to effect

Heavy rain leads to flooding.
Eating unhealthy food results in obesity.

Effect to cause

Health problems stem from cigarette smoke.
Flooding results from heavy rain.

“Behaves like verb + preposition”

We can also connect an effect NP to a cause NP using the phrases “is because of” and “is due to”. These look like prepositional phrases, but they function like verb + preposition. For example:

Flooding is due to heavy rain.
Health problems are because of smoking.

Clause to Clause

A clause is a complete idea with a subject and verb (and sometimes an object). Examples include “It rained heavily”, “There are floods”, “You eat unhealthy food”, and “He smokes”. Note the punctuation. When the cause comes first, you may need to add punctuation.

To connect a clause to a clause, we can use discourse markers. To illustrate:

Cause to effect

It rained heavily, so there are floods.
You eat unhealthy food.  Thus, you are obese.

Effect to cause

He has health problems because he smokes.
There are floods since it rained heavily.

Clause to NP

To connect a clause to an NP, we can use a prepositional phrase. Note the punctuation. When the cause comes first, you need to separate the noun phrase from the clause using a comma.

Cause to effect

As a result of smoking, he has health problems.
Due to heavy rain, there are floods.
Because of eating unhealthy food, you are obese.

Effect to cause

He has health problems as a result of smoking.
There are floods because of heavy rain.
You are obese due to eating unhealthy food.


Verb + preposition

to lead to
to result from
to result in
to stem from

“Behaves like verb + preposition”

to be due to
to be because of

Discourse marker

as a result
as a consequence

Prepositional phrase

because of
as a result of
as a consequence of
due to

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