Key Word: Cause
1 Verb + cause
Underline the verbs which mean ‘find’:
- The cause of the fire may never be discovered.
- The police never actually determined the cause of death.
- Investigators have been called in to establish the cause of the plane crash.
- Engineers are trying to isolate the cause of the problem.
2 Common adjective collocations
Complete the sentences below with the following:
common exact likely
real main underlying
- Although they can’t be certain, the investigators think that the most _________ cause of the crash was that the driver of the train had a heart attack.
- The most _________ cause of air accidents is pilot error – not mechanical failure.
- Although the link is not clear, many politicians believe that unemployment is the _________ cause of a lot of urban crime.
- We don’t know why my aunt died. The post mortem will determine the _________ cause.
- Speeding is the ________ cause of road accidents.
- We all know what the inquiry said, but do you think that was the _________ cause of John’s death?
3 Cause + for
Use these words in the sentences below:
alarm celebration complaint
- My grandmother’s failing health is giving us cause for _________ . She might have to go into hospital.
- We have run into some severe turbulence, but there is no cause for _________. Please fasten your seatbelts and remain seated till the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign has been switched off.
- I have no cause for _________. The flights, the hotel, the food have all been excellent.
- Following the breakdown of talks, the present political climate gives little cause for _________ .
- Arsenal’s victory in the competition was cause for _________ and the fans partied till about 3am.
4 Common expressions
Match the two halves to make common expressions with cause:
|1. What do you think is
2. It’s all a matter of
3. I’ve never had any
4. She’s never had a day off
5. We don’t yet know
|a. without good cause.
b. cause to complain.
c. the cause of death.
e. the cause of the pain?
d. cause and effect.
5 Cause (something people believe in)
A common meaning of cause is ‘reason’, but it can also mean something important that people believe in. For example:
A lot of people leave money in their will to good causes such as the NSPCC (the National Society for the prevention of cruelty to children).
Use a suitable preposition in these sentences:
- Most people want independence and many young men are willing to fight _________ the cause.
- These violent demonstrations will do little to further the cause _________ animal rights.
- Anti-smoking campaigners hope the public will be sympathetic _________ their cause.
- I don’t mind giving money if it is _________ a good cause.
1. Note the following:
I’ve tried everything to get my money back from the company. I’m beginning to think it’s a lost cause.
2. In 2-3 you can also say ‘root cause’- the basic, underlying cause.
3. In 5-4 deserving is also possible.
Both in a good cause and for a good cause are equally correct.
4. We use the French phrase – a cause célèbre – to talk about a very controversial issue.
5. If you die ‘of natural causes’, you die of old age – not illness or accident.
6. Notice in exercise 4 you say ‘without good cause’ and not ‘without a good cause’.
7. You can ‘champion’ a cause. For example: Germaine Greer has championed the cause of feminism.
- discovered 2. determined 3. establish 4. isolate
- likely 2. common 3. underlying 4. exact 5. main 6. real
- concern 2. alarm 3. complaint 4. optimism 5. celebration
l-e 2-d 3-b 4-a 5-c
- for 2. of 3. to 4. for
Latest posts by IELTS Editor (see all)
- All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites - February 27, 2019
- Improve Your Vocabulary in IELTS Speaking & Writing – Key Word: Thing - April 1, 2018
- Boost Your Lexical Resource – Key Word: Rule - March 26, 2018
Main IELTS Pages:
This website is to develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free books, and more. Each section (Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading) has a complete collection of lessons to help you improve your IELTS skills.
Subscribe for free IELTS lessons/Books/Tips/Sample Answers/Advice from our IELTS experts. We help millions of IELTS learners maximize their IELTS scores!