How to Use ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ Correctly

How to Use ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ Correctly

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It is a common error among Malaysians to mistake the use of ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’. So in today’s post, we will show how to use ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ correctly. Make no mistake, ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ carry different meanings! Read up this post to the end to find out the easy way to understand the correct use of ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ – and be on your way to convey your ideas more effectively.

Why People Get Confused between ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’

There is ONE reason Malaysians get confused between ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’. First and foremost due to the fact that ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ seem to come from the same word. ‘Cause’. This misunderstanding is the root of the misconception of both ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ to be mistaken as ‘Reason’.

In this post, we will go through some examples with their Bahasa Melayu translations. That way, we can see more clearly the difference between the meanings of ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’. This shall ease our understanding and help construct more effective sentences in the future. Remember, clear and concise sentences enhance communication efficiency.

‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ Equivalents in Bahasa Melayu

Often, the mistakes made in English sentences by Malaysians are due to direct translations between the two languages. As emphasised in this blog and The Janitor’s Elysium – Grammar Errors Begone book, this is not the most effective way to construct English sentences. The best way to learn besides practising is to have a clear understanding of grammar usage.

‘Cause’ is defined as something that brings effect. Do note that ‘Cause’ can be used as a noun (kata nama) or a verb (kata kerja). That said, in Bahasa Melayu, ‘Cause’ can take the meaning of ‘Penyebab’ (kata nama) or ‘Menyebabkan’ (kata kerja). On the other hand, ‘Because’ is defined as conjunction (kata sendi) that carries the meaning of ‘oleh sebab’ or ‘kerana’.

The examples in the next section will provide more clarity on the use of ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’. Exploring the use of both words with the aid of Bahasa Melayu translations will cement the understanding of how to use ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ correctly.

Examples Using ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’

The cause of the pain was his stiff neck muscle.
In the sentence above, it is stated that the pain was due to his knotty neck muscles. ‘Cause’ is this sentence can be replaced with the word ‘Source’ as in, ‘The source of the pain was his stiff neck muscle.’

The Bahasa Melayu translation for this sentence would be, ‘Punca kesakitannya ialah otot leher yang tegang.’ Note that instead of using ‘Penyebab’, the word ‘Cause’ can be replaced with the word ‘Punca’.

His stiff neck caused a lot of pain.
In the sentence above, it is stated that a lot of pain was brought about by his stiff neck. ‘Caused’ in this sentence can be replaced with the word ‘Created’ as in, ‘His stiff neck created a lot of pain.’

The Bahasa Melayu translation for this sentence would be, ‘Otot lehernya yang tegang menyebabkan kesakitan yang teruk.’ Note that ‘Cause’ in this sentence is a verb and not a noun. The word ‘Cause’ in this sentence is replaced with the word ‘menyebabkan’.

He is in pain because of his stiff neck.
In the sentence above, it is stated that the reason for his pain is his stiff neck. ‘Because of’ in this sentence can be replaced by the words ‘due to’ as in, ‘He is in pain due to his stiff neck.’

The Bahasa Melayu translation for his sentence would be, ‘Dia kesakitan kerana otot lehernya yang tegang.’ Note that ‘Because’ in this sentence is replaced with the word ‘Kerana’.

On the other hand, the sentence above can also be translated as, ‘Dia kesakitan akibat otot lehernya yang tegang.’ Note that ‘Because’ in this sentence is replaced with the word ‘Akibat’.

So what do you think of the words ‘Punca’, ‘Menyebabkan’, ‘Kerana’, and ‘Akibat’? Don’t they all carry different meanings?

Conclusion

Understanding the difference between ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ minimises the risk of mistakes when creating English sentences. From this post, we explored the different meanings of ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ and the easy way to know how to use both correctly. Understanding that ‘Cause’ can be a noun or a verb, while ‘Because’ is a conjunction – underpins a solid comprehension to create effective sentences using these two words.

The easiest way to know when to use ‘Cause’ or ‘Because’ is to know the gist of your sentence. Are you talking about the ‘Punca’ (‘Cause’) or are you talking about the ‘Akibat’ (‘Because’)? Awarenes on the purpose of your sentence is a good fundation for a solid, concise, and effective sentence.

So remember, use ‘Cause’ for ‘Punca’ and ‘Because’ for ‘Akibat’!

Simple, right? Just like how simple it is to know how to use ‘Beware’ and ‘Be Aware’ here.

Now we would like to hear from you. Has this post helped you understand the difference between ‘Cause’ and ‘Because’ better? Drop a line in the Comment section if you agree 🙂

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