From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcausecause1 /kɔːz $ kɒːz/ ●●● S1 W1 verb [transitive] CAUSEto make something happen, especially something bad Heavy traffic is causing delays on the freeway. The fire caused £15,000 worth of damage.cause something for somebody The oil spill is causing problems for coastal fisheries.cause concern/uncertainty/embarrassment etc The policy changes have caused great uncertainty for the workforce. I’m sorry if I caused any confusion.cause somebody trouble/problems etc You’ve caused us all a lot of unnecessary worry. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cause offence (=offend you).cause somebody/something to do something What caused you to change your mind?RegisterIn everyday English, people usually use the expression make somebody do something rather than cause somebody to do something:What made you change your mind?GRAMMAR: Comparisoncause• Someone or something causes something: Investigators are trying to find out what caused the accident. • Something causes a person or thing to do something: The warmer temperatures caused the ice caps to melt.The injury caused him to lose the game. ✗Don’t say: cause that someone does somethingmake• Someone or something makes another person or thing do something: The warmer temperatures made the ice caps melt.The injury made him lose the game. ✗Don’t say: make someone/something to do somethingCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1 : to make something happen, especially something badnounscause a problemThe heavy rain has been causing serious problems on the roads.cause troubleI decided not to complain because I didn’t want to cause trouble.cause damageA fire had broken out and caused severe damage to the roof.cause (a) diseaseScientists are trying to find out what causes the disease.cause injuryRugby is one of the sports that are most likely to cause injury.cause painThe infection can cause severe pain.cause deathThe famine caused the death of up to 400,000 people.cause (a) delayBad weather caused delays at many airports.cause an accident75% of accidents are caused by speeding.cause chaos/disruptionFloods caused chaos across much of the country.cause concern/alarmEnvironmental issues are causing widespread concern.cause confusionTeachers say the reforms will cause confusion in schools.cause offence/embarrassment (=offend/embarrass someone)How can I refuse the invitation without causing offence? THESAURUScause to make something happen, especially something badBad weather has caused a lot of problems on the roads.The fault caused the whole computer system to shut down.make somebody/something do something to cause someone to do something, or cause something to happen. Make is less formal than cause, and is the usual word to use in everyday EnglishWhat made you decide to become a teacher?I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.Gravity is the force which makes the planets move round the Sun.be responsible for something if someone or something is responsible for something bad, they caused it to happenThe excessive heat was responsible for their deaths.A small militant group was responsible for the bombing.bring about something to make something happen – used especially about changes or improvementsThe Internet has brought about enormous changes in society.It’s important that we do everything we can to bring about peace.result in something if an action or event results in something, it makes that thing happenThe fire resulted in the deaths of two children.The decision is likely to result in a large number of job losses.lead to something to cause something to happen eventually after a period of timeThe information led to several arrests.A poor diet in childhood can lead to health problems later in life.trigger if one event triggers another, it suddenly makes the second event happenThe incident triggered a wave of violence.An earthquake off Java’s southern coast triggered a tsunami.precipitate formal to make a very serious event happen very suddenly, which will affect a lot of peopleThe withdrawal of foreign investment would precipitate an economic crisis.The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand precipitated World War I. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuscause• The fire caused $500,000 in damage.• What used to cause a belly laugh now earns a pleasant chuckle.• The stepfather denies 24 charges of cruelty and two of causing actual bodily harm.• It caused an estimated $ 40 billion in damage and killed 72 people.• We're sorry if we've caused any confusion.• He claimed that the site was geologically unsound and any stress caused by a shift in water levels could cause an earthquake.• The autopsy showed that her death was caused by liver failure.• Approximately 90% of deaths from lung cancer and bronchitis are caused by smoking.• About half of the chemicals that were tested caused cancer in rats.• Such large emboli usually cause death within one to two hours.• The theory among media honchos is that sending a reporter may cause families to change their minds.• As children we were always causing our parents trouble.• The power failure caused the whole computer system to shut down.• Try to isolate the problems that are causing you the most difficulty.cause concern/uncertainty/embarrassment etc• Finally, the possible actions of care managers cause concern.• Virtually every organization has employees who seem to cause concern.• We recognise that reporting of the issue has caused concern.• The inaccurate economic predictions should cause concern about the reliability of the financial benefits of annexation.• The announcement will cause concern in the Middle East, where water is one of the most sensitive strategic issues.• He seemed to be genuinely horrified at the prospect of causing embarrassment or disappointment or inconvenience to another person.• These differ from one culture to another and can consequently be misinterpreted and cause embarrassment or suspicion.causecause2 ●●● S2 W1 noun 1 WHAT CAUSES something[countable]CAUSE a person, event, or thing that makes something happen → effectcause of Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for American women in their 40s. It’s our job to establish the cause of the fire.2 GOOD REASON[uncountable]REASON a fact that makes it right or reasonable for you to feel or behave in a particular way SYN reasoncause for There is no cause for alarm. The patient’s condition is giving cause for concern. The present political climate gives little cause for optimism.have (good) cause to do something His father has good cause to be proud of him.with/without good cause Many people are worried about the economy, and with good cause.3 something YOU SUPPORT[countable] an aim, belief, or organization that a group of people support or fight for My father fought for the Nationalist cause.cause of her lifelong devotion to the cause of women’s rights He has championed the cause of independence (=he has supported it publicly). You can get fit, and at the same time raise money for a worthy cause. Please give generously – it’s all in a good cause (=done in order to help people).4 → have/make common cause (with/against somebody)5 LAW[countable] lawSCL a case that is brought to a court of law → lost cause at lost2(12)GRAMMAR: Comparisoncause• You say the cause of something: What was the cause of the problem? ✗Don’t say: the cause for the problem• You say there is cause for concern/alarm/complaint etc: The doctor said there was cause for concern. ✗Don’t say: There was a cause for concern.reason• You say the reason for something: What do you think was the reason for their success? ✗Don’t say: the reason of their success• You talk about the reason why something happens: Can you tell me the reason why you did this?COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: a person, event, or thing that makes something happenadjectivesa common cause of somethingAlcohol is the most common cause of road accidents.the main/primary cause of somethingSmoking is the main cause of lung disease.a major/leading cause of somethingIn this country, debt is a major cause of homelessness.Drug abuse is the leading cause of crime and violence.a direct/indirect causeGovernment policies are the direct cause of the problems facing the economy.the root cause (=the most basic cause)People often deal with the symptoms rather than the root cause of a problem.the fundamental/underlying cause (=the root cause)The underlying cause of insomnia is often anxiety.the probable/likely causeThe probable cause of the fire was faulty wiring.verbsdiscover/find the causeAn investigation has failed to discover the cause of the epidemic.determine/establish/identify the cause (=discover definitely what it is)A team of experts is at the scene of the accident, trying to determine the cause.investigate the causePolice are still investigating the cause of the fire.phrasesthe cause of deathA snake bite was the cause of death.die of/from natural causes (=die of illness, old age etc, not because of an accident or crime)He died from natural causes, believed to be a heart attack.cause and effect (=the idea that one thing directly causes another)What happened was simply a question of cause and effect. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 3: an aim, belief, or organization that a group of people support or fight foradjectivesa good cause (=one that is worth supporting, for example a charity)The money we are raising is for a good cause.a worthy/deserving cause (=a good cause)The Red Cross is a very worthy cause.a just cause (=an aim that is fair and right)The rebels believed that they were fighting for a just cause.a noble cause (=an aim that is morally good)He died for a noble cause.the Nationalist/Republican etc cause (=their aims and organization)The election results were a serious blow to the Nationalist cause.verbssupport a causeGiving money is only one way of supporting a good cause.fight for a cause (=take action to achieve an aim)Young people often want to fight for a cause.champion a cause (=publicly support an aim)He has championed the cause of renewable energy since the 1980s.advance/further/promote a cause (=help to achieve an aim)He did much to advance the cause of freedom.be committed to a cause (=believe in an aim very strongly)We are committed to the cause of racial justice.be sympathetic to a cause (=understand an aim, and possibly support it)They hope the new president will be sympathetic to their cause.
Examples from the Corpuscause• These rebels felt they had a cause.• I've never had any cause to complain about my doctor.• Also, effects require or alternatively require other conditions as well as causes.• The immediate cause of last week's blackouts was a large power plant suddenly going offline in Northern California.• The persistence of black troubles, and the loss of faith in the old integrationist cause, has discredited traditional black leaders.• He no longer loved her, and with just cause, because she had betrayed him.• We have little sympathy for people who leave their jobs without just cause.• There is no cause for alarm about the safety of drinking water.• Several other causes, according to their findings, often lie at the root of violence against tenants.• Our cause is just, and we are prepared to give our lives for it.• The root cause of the current energy crisis is that we simply use too much energy.• But the very people who are the cause of the problem have to be part of the solution.• Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident.• Doctors cannot find a cure for the illness until they have identified the cause.• Thousands died in the cause of freedom.• This time, material progress did not serve the cause of the Church.• The cause of Socialism is not dead.• Lastly, they want to give tax advantages to causes deemed worthy, or at least popular.• Money from the charity dinner will go to causes chosen by the guests.• The child's behaviour is giving us cause for concern.cause of• Airline officials refused to comment on the cause of the crash.• Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered for her devotion to the cause of women's rights.cause for• FAA officials see no cause for alarm in safety procedures.in a good cause• But Will took it lying down - all in a good cause of course.• Hell, forgive and forget because it's all in a good cause.• It's all in a good cause. 6.• There speaks the nineteenth century: all gone, but in a good cause.• There is no excuse for inflicting them on your fellow-citizens by saying it is done in a good cause.• It was in a good cause.Origin cause1 (1200-1300) Old French Latin causa