Number one for English language teachers

Cause and effect: Science

Type: Word list

Keith Kelly looks at examples of the language of cause and effect from the area of science, covering verb phrases, noun phrases and connectors, such as adverbs and conjunctions.

To download the accompanying lesson plan, please click on the link to the right of the screen.

Adverbs and conjunctions

cause

because of: Water moves up the xylem vessels because of three factors: root pressure, capillary action and transpiration.
due to: The pumping action of the heart is due to regular contractions of the cardiac muscle.
because: Cross-pollination produces greater variety in offspring because it involves two parents.
as: As animals visit flowers for nectar, they collect pollen on their body and this is transferred to other flowers they visit.
since: Mercury can be used to measure very high temperatures since it boils at 365°C.

effect

therefore: There is a greater concentration of oxygen in the alveoli than in the blood, therefore the oxygen diffuses from the lung to the blood.
thus: Pneumonia can develop from a simple viral cold or influenza, which causes excess production of mucus thus encouraging bacterial growth.
hence: The reaction is the force exerted by the gas on the engine and hence, the plane.
as a result: These gases dissolve in the rainwater and, as a result, acids are formed which fall as acid rain.
then: If the acid fizzes then it is limestone.


Verbs

cause

cause: Some minerals can cause problems if too much is eaten.
result in: This results in objects that are far away being seen clearly and near objects being blurred.
lead to: The rupture of the eardrum may lead to permanent deafness.
be responsible for: Identify digestive enzymes which are responsible for the breakdown of food you have eaten.
bring about: Changes in mass may also bring about energy changes.
give rise to: The stem produces buds at the top, which give rise to the new shoots in warm, rainy periods.

effect

come from: The energy needed for turning a turbine comes from moving water or steam.
result from: Obesity results from eating food containing more energy than the body uses.
arise from: The centripetal force arises from the sideways friction between the tyres and the road.

Nouns

cause

cause: Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men, and the cause of many deaths each year.
reason: There may be an environmental reason for this, such as drought or crop disease.
source: Electric circuits need a source of electricity, such as a battery or mains electricity.

effect

effect: Make an electromagnet and observe the effect of current on its strength.
result: In some plants this is the result of growth.
outcome: Make a Punnett square to show the possible outcome of offspring having tongue-rolling traits.
product: Carbon dioxide is a waste product of respiration.

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