Business English Grammar: How to talk about cause and effect

Wer hat was verursacht, und wie sind die Folgen? Natürlich können Sie das alles mit "because" sagen, aber das wird langweilig. Beeindrucken Sie Ihre internationalen Gesprächspartner, indem Sie professionell und abwechlungsreich über Ursache und Wirkung sprechen.

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When you are talking about cause and effect, the word 'because' is very handy: "The train was late because of bad weather." "Fuel prices have been rising because the price of crude oil is so high." But this is very basic, and is not always suitable for business situations. There are many other ways of saying why something happened and what it led to. Here are the most important ones. Use them next time you have to describe cause and effect.

You can start by stating the cause and then describe the effect, or you can state the effect and then say what caused it.

  • Inflation has led to / resulted in / brought about the recent increase in food prices.
  • The recent increase in food prices was caused by / the result of / brought about by inflation.

Do this exercise to see if you understand the difference and know how to use the right phrases.

Secretary Today - Professionelles Business English für Sekretärinnen und Assistentinnen

Choose the word or phrase from the three alternatives in each of
these sentences.

  1. Driving slower results in/is caused by/is due to lower fuel costs.
  2. As a result/As a reason for/Resulting in high fuel prices, more people now use trains instead of driving to work.
  3. Scientists say that the increase in natural disasters is the result of/resulting in/the reason for global warming.
  4. Global warming has already due to/the reason for/resulted in numerous environmental disasters, scientists say.
  5. A leaking gas pipe was because of/the cause of/due to an explosion that killed 10 people.
  6. Ten people were killed in an explosion that was the reason for/due to/the cause of a leaking gas pipe.
CAUSEPhrase (verb) EFFECT
Inflation is the cause of/results in/
gives rise to/brings about/leads to 
rising prices. 
Rising prices are caused by/result from/
are the result of/are brought about by/
are due to 

Answers: 1 results in – 2 As a result of – 3 the result of – 4 resulted in – 5 the cause of – 6 due to

crude oil Rohöl 
to lead to sth. zu etwas führen 
to result in resultieren in 
to bring about hervorbringen 
recent  jüngst, kürzlich 
to be caused by sth.von etw. herrühren 
to give rise to zu etw. führen 
to result from sth.auf etw. zurück-
zuführen sein 
to be due to sth. an etw. liegen 
numerous zahlreich 
leaking undicht 
pipe Rohr