Uploaded by muriel.bourdon


021 How to express causes and
1.1 Read the following news items and identify the causes and
consequences of each situation
Petrol tanker in difficulty off coast of Spain
On Saturday evening distress calls were received from a Panamanian-registered oil tanker in
difficulty off the coast of Galicia, due to extreme weather conditions. The crew
were taken off the ship thanks to the Spanish lifeboat service. It was reported that some of
the 80,000 tonnes of crude oil onboard was already beginning to leak into thesea, because of
a crack in the hull of the ship. If the leakworsens, it could lead to severe pollution of the
Galiciancoast, resulting in the death of birds and other wildlife species.
Severe flooding reported in North-East France
Continuous rainfall has saturated river systems all over Northeast France, giving rise to
severe flooding and causing damage to houses, businesses and agriculture. As
rainfall has been far higher than is average for November, authorities have warned that
flooding could continue, causing further damage. As a consequence of damage to a
chemicals factory close to the Somme river, there are fears of pollution to the region’s water
tables. Local municipalities have requested financial aid from the central government to
subsidise a clean-up operation.
Fire fighters out on strike
Britain’s fire service has been severely reduced owing to a strike by 90% of fire fighters. Fire
brigade personnel have stopped work because of a dispute over pay and the
introduction of new equipment. As a result, the government has called in the army to
respond to emergency calls using equipment dating from the 1950s. The effect of the dispute
could be a higher risk of death and injury in emergency situations. Negotiations with the
government should bring about an agreement.
1.2 Here is some more vocabulary for describing causes and consequences
 Verbs 
To bring about
To give rise to
To result in
To cause
To lead to
To trigger
As a result
As a consequence of
 others
Due to
Owing to
Thanks to
Because of
Note the structures used after each expression :
A car accident in central London brought about chaos at rushhour. (to bring about +noun)
The prolonged heatwave resulted in serious drought in some
regions. (result in +noun)
Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the region.
The earthquake triggered a massive tsunami in the Pacific.(to
trigger + noun)
The building had to be closed as it did not meet the new safety standards. (as +new clause)
We had to start the experiment 3 times, due to errors of calculation. (due to
The computer crashed as a result of the virus. (as a result +noun)
The computer crashed as a result of being infected by a virus. (as a result
+vb - ing)
The results were saved thanks to the assistant who had made back-up copies.
(thanks to +noun)
Consequence 
Very few students registered for the course in quantum physics.Consequently, the college
decided to cancel it. (consequently + new sentence)
The safety features on the device had been disabled. As a result, the user had no protection.
(As a result + new sentence)
1.3 Titanic case : estate of Hans Jensen vs the White star line
1.3.1 Read the story.
1.3.2 Fill in the gaps expressing cause and consequence
Wordbank : consequently, because of, as a result, trigger ,owing to,
The sinking of the ship t___________ (verb expressing cause) the death of Hans Peter Jensen.
As____________ (consequence) his fiancé decided to file a lawsuit against the company White Star
line for the death of her beloved. O_______ ___ (cause) the will Hans had written before the journey,
Carla is the heir and executor of his estate. B________ __ the trial taking place in New York, the will
has been transferred from Denmark to the American city. C__________, the American law will
prevail over the Danish one.