Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Connectors showing cause and result

Connectors or linkers are words or groups of words that help us connect words, phrases or sentences. Thanks to them, we can express relationships between ideas and improve our expression by making longer, more complex sentences. For example, take these two sentences:
Our teacher was ill. We had to put off the exam.
The first sentence is the cause of the second, and the second is the result of the first. The idea would be understood more easily if we could express the relation between both sentences. Thus, we could say:
Our teacher was ill, therefore we had to put off the exam.
We had to put off the exam because our teacher was ill.
As you can see, these two examples sound better than the first two sentences, thanks to the use of the connectors therefore and because.
Image: 'The teacher'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/2018663891

Connectors can be used to show contrast, purpose, sequence, etc. but today we will be concentrating on the linking words that show cause or result.

CAUSE
  • Conjunctions followed by a complete sentence:
    • Because: it usally follows the main clause: Everybody likes her because she's very kind and friendly.
    • As and since are very similar. As is less formal than since. They are used when the reason is well known. The clauses that start with these words often begin the sentence:
      As I was very tired, I went to bed early.
       Since you are not interested, I won't tell you about it.
      (As and since can also be used as time connectors).
    • For suggests that the reason is given as an afterthought. For-clauses never come at the beginning of the sentence. For is mainly used in literary texts, therefore, it is very formal.
       We listened eagerly, for he brought news of our families.
  • Connectors followed by a noun, a noun phrase, a pronoun or a gerund:
    • Because of: They have had problems raising cash because of the credit crunch.
    • Due to and owing to are considered by many speakers as exact equivalents, but this is not so, because due to is adjectival (it follows a noun or pronoun), whereas owing to is adverbial (it complements a verb). Compare these examples:
      The game was cancelled owing to torrential rain. 
      The cancellation of the game was due to torrential rain.
      If you are doubtful as to which of these you can use, here's a trick: try to substitute due to with “caused by” and see if it works. *The game was cancelled caused by torrential rain.* doesn't sound correct, so it's not possible to use due to in this case. On the other hand, The cancellation of the game was caused by torrential rain, sounds fine. 
      Owing to is interchangeable with because of: The game was cancelled because of torrential rain.
    • On account of: The nurse had to keep the baby in another room on account of my illness.
    • Thanks to suggests that there is some cause for gratitude, though it can be used sarcastically. She was given a scholarship thanks to her excellent grades.
      Image: 'Swing Chain

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/64251830@N00/385054886


RESULT or CONSEQUENCE
  • Thus (very formal): He was the eldest son, and thus, heir to the title.
  • Therefore (formal, used mainly in written English): She is only seventeen and therefore not eligible to vote.
  • As a result: There has been a rise in the number of accidents. As a result, the government has decided to lower the speed limit. As a result of is followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund. Can you rewrite the previous example using as a result of?
     As a result of the rise in the number of accidents, the government...
  • So (less formal): There was nothing on TV, so I decided to go to bed.
  • That's why: Cold temperatures kill mosquitos. That's why you won't see them in winter.
  • For this reason: The Colonel was confident that war was impending, and for this reason he hurried his preparations to leave the country.
  • Consequently (used especially in written English): This poses a threat to the food chain, and consequently to human health.

    In the following exercise you can check how much you have learnt. Good luck!

32 comments:

  1. Was great no bad...really bad no It was great and I loved it
    Thnx!!!

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  2. so interesting ..thanks a lot .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  3. I learned a lot, that's why I thank you. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy I helped you. Thanks for your kind comment. Cheers!

      Delete
  4. Thank you very much. As an English teacher, I frequently need to brush up certain language concepts, in particular connectors for writing and this came up as very clear and helpful. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad that you found it useful! Thank you very much for your kind comment. Cheers!

      Delete
  5. Thanks. I really understood. I need lots of help to improve my writing tasks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad it helped you. Thanks for visiting! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks. I appreciate it so much. Hope to see more useful tips from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll try to do my best. Cheers!

      Delete
  8. many thanks, it was a very important information

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm happy this was useful for you, Issam. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cold temperatures kill mosquitos, that's why you won't see them in winter.

    Just wanted to point out that this is a comma splice. You could use a period instead of a comma or maybe a semicolon if you didn't include the "that's why" part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for pointing it out. I've already changed it. Cheers!

      Delete
  11. Loved it! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, thank you for sharing. It was useful for me. Can I ask, did you create the quiz on your own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Yes, I made the quiz myself. Thank you for visiting! Cheers!

      Delete
  13. Hi Inma, which tool did you use to create the quiz? Thank you for sharing, I have learnt many interesting ideas on how to teach grammar. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I've done it with "Hotpotatoes" and then I uploaded it to Dropbox, so that I could post it in the blog.
      I'm glad that I've been useful!
      Sorry for the delay in answering. Cheers!

      Delete
  14. Its Soo Good ... It Is Interesting .... I have Got 96% ..... :) thanks a lot ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like it! Thanks for your comment!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  15. I would like to see more posts in near future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Gerald. I'll try to do my best. Cheers!

      Delete
  16. I hope you will share more interesting thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will try to do my best. Thank you, Mark! Cheers!

      Delete
  17. Thank you, very useful

    ReplyDelete

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