Signal Words – Cause and Effect: English Vocabulary Words & Phrases to Explain what happened and why/how it happened


When you think of cause & effect, think two WH words WHAT (the effect/the reason something happened or the result of something happening) and WHY/HOW (cause/why or how something happened).

In English there are many words such as adverbs and adverbials that can be used to express cause & effect.

In English, it is possible to put the cause before the effect; and it is also possible to put the effect before the cause. However, depending on the way you phrase your sentence, you may have to change the adverb or adverbial you use

Signal words help to connect your ideas and show a relationship between ideas and concepts in your sentences – explaining what happened and why/how it happened.

Signal words can also help to make your speech, and your writing clearer for the listener and reader.



Because I was late, I lost my place on the queue. (Why/cause before what/effect)

I lost my place on the queue because I was late. (what/effect before why/cause)



The medical trials were a disaster; as a result the company discontinued the medication. (why/cause before what/effect)

As a result of the disastrous medical trials, the company discontinued the medication. (why/cause before what/effect)



Since you refuse to honor your contractual obligations, my client has decided to commence a lawsuit (why/cause before what/effect)

My client has decided to commence a lawsuit because you refuse to honor your contractual obligations (what/effect before why/effect)

Below are other cause and effect vocabulary you can use.


  • For (I did not go to the gym for I am tired)
  • Since (Since he is untrustworthy, I think we should avoid telling him confidential information)
  • Because (He will marry you because he loves you)
  • As (As it is late, I have to leave)
  • So long as (So long as I have life, I will continue to exercise)
  • As long as (As long as Trump is President, Jennifer plans to remain in Prague)
  • Now that (Now that it’s winter, I am happy.)



  • As a result (She failed the bar; as a result she cannot practice law in her state)
  • This led to (The refugees were denied food and shelter; this led to several deaths)
  • On account of that (The boss thought George was incompetent; on account of that, he fired him.)
  • Due to that (It poured for days. Due to that, the entire city is flooded)
  • For this reason (I am not Jewish. For this reason I do not go to synagogue.)
  • Consequently (He broke the rules. Consequently, he has been suspended from school for two months.)
  • As a consequence (She is very beautiful. As a consequence she has had everything handed to her.)
  • Therefore (It is way past my bedtime. Therefore, I am going to bed)
  • Thus (The government is oblivious thus it is up to voters to take action.)
  • So (He beat his wife so she left him.)
  • If…then (If you come with me to Ipanema, then I will go with you to Somalia.)
  • resulted in (The plane was accidentally not fueled in Dubai. This resulted in a crash in the South Atlantic.)




1. I was drinking ______________ I was tipsy
A. Since
B. Because
C. So

2. ________________ I was drinking, I decided not to drive.
A. So
B. As
C. If

3. ______________ I had been drinking, my friend took my keys
A. Being that
B. As a result
C. For this reason

4. Jane is a mean lawyer. ________________, her client fired her and sought new counsel.
A. As a consequence
B. Consequently
C. This led to

5. You can practice law _______________ you are admitted to the bar.
A. Therefore
B. So long as
C. For this reason

6. I do not share your views ______________ I am not going to support you.
A. Thanks to
B. Owing to
C. Therefore

7. _____________ the mistake, I lost a lot of money in the stock market last year.
A. For this reason
B. Owing to
C. Since

8. ______________ the detective, we found my bag.
A. Thanks to
B. So
C. Because

9. The woman shoplifted the diamond necklace. This ___________ her arrest.
A. Led to
B. Thanks to
C. Due to

10. I object to being told by you what to say ____________ the fact that I know my own mind better than you do.
A. Due to
B. As long as
C. Since

11. The business partners had a major dispute and _____________ one of them decided to sue.
A. This Led to
B. Thus
C. Because

12. _____________ I am a millionaire, I have become very frugal.
A. Since
B. Now that
C. Due to



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