Tagged: cause effect

Contribution, cause, effect

😦 The experience I got from this job has strong contributions in changing my character from employee to leader.

This is a word that has been borrowed from English and is now used in Indonesian as the noun kontribusi. However, it’s difficult to find a verb that collocates with the noun contribution in English. Certainly you would not use ‘have’ + ‘contributions’. In English, contribution usually appears before the verb, as the subject of a sentence. In addition, contribution (subject) often refers either to money or to the efforts of a person or people. In the example above, however, experience and changing are both abstract nouns where one is the cause and the other is the effect.

If you want to communicate cause effect then you need the verb form contribute. There are still collocation issues, but heck – that gives you something to show off in your IELTS writing, right?

The experience I got from this job has contributed greatly to changing my character from employee to leader.

Notice!

Remember that when both nouns are abstract, contribute to behaves as a cause effect signal. This is a relatively low-frequency signal and is therefore a good signal to use in IELTS writing as an alternative to the more common verb cause.

Contribute to is also weaker than cause and is therefore useful when you want to express less than 100% certainty:

  • Greenhouse gases cause global warming. (Strong – implies no other causes)
  • Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. (Weaker – implies there may be other causes)

Using weak verbs is one of several strategies for weakening debatable claims. I deal with other strategies in other posts. You can find two more strategies here.

@eapguru

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Big cows because big horse

flag-of-indonesia In Bahasa Indonesia words are pronounced the way they are spelled. This often leads to some humorous mispronunciations when Indonesians apply the same rule to English.

It’s a good idea to try and overcome this problem, especially in words and phrases commonly used in IELTS Speaking. One such word is ‘because’.

If we say ‘because’ as it is spelled, then it sounds like:

😦 big cows

However, when a native speaker says ‘because’, it sounds very much like:

🙂 big horse

So, next time you want to say ‘because’, say ‘big horse’.

because

@eapguru

Wrong because of ‘because of’

😦 These problems have become more serious because of the government have failed to end corruption.

Ok, so there’s a problem here because of ‘because of’!

It should read:

🙂 These problems have become more serious because the government have failed to end corruption.

Just follow this rule:

because + cause sentence
because of + cause noun

If you really want to use because of then you might write:

🙂 These problems have become more serious because of the government’s failure to end corruption.

@eapguru