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  1. #1
    enydia is offline Member
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    the preposition of 'cause'

    Hi, Teachers.

    Please see the following three sentences:
    (1) disregard the strict letter of the law in the cause of true justice
    (2) Smoking is one of the causes of heart disease
    (3) You have no cause for complaint

    I have some questions of the preposition of the word cause.
    (a) In (1), I think 'true justice' is the reason for disregarding. In (2), 'heart disease' is the resule of smoking. So, it seems that the object of the phrase 'cause of' can be either the reason or the result. Is this grammatically correct?

    BTW: What's the meaning of (1)? Should 'disregard' be 'regard'?

    (b) What is the difference of 'cause of 'and 'cause for' in (2) and (3)?

    Thanks in advance.
    Enydia

  2. #2
    beascarpetta's Avatar
    beascarpetta is offline Key Member
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    Re: the preposition of 'cause'

    [quote=enydia;298782]Hi, Teachers.

    Please see the following three sentences:
    (1) disregard the strict letter of the law in the cause of true justice
    (2) Smoking is one of the causes of heart disease
    (3) You have no cause for complaint

    I have some questions of the preposition of the word cause.
    (a) In (1), I think 'true justice' is the reason for disregarding the law. In (2), 'heart disease' is the result of smoking.
    So, it seems that the object of the phrase 'cause of' can be either the reason or the result. Is this grammatically correct?
    It is.

    BTW: What's the meaning of (1)? Should 'disregard' be 'regard'?
    No,you are wrong here , since the message conveyed is that of ignoring the exact words of the law for the sake of its more important general meaning


    (b) What is the difference of 'cause of 'and 'cause for' in (2) and (3)?
    I'd say that in (2) cause means the reason why something, especially something bad, happens
    whereas in (3)
    cause is tantamount to reason to feel something or to behave in a particular way

    hope this helps
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 22-May-2008 at 17:03.

  3. #3
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    Re: the preposition of 'cause'

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, Teachers.

    Please see the following three sentences:
    (1) disregard the strict letter of the law in the cause of true justice
    (2) Smoking is one of the causes of heart disease
    (3) You have no cause for complaint

    I have some questions of the preposition of the word cause.
    (a) In (1), I think 'true justice' is the reason for disregarding. In (2), 'heart disease' is the resule of smoking. So, it seems that the object of the phrase 'cause of' can be either the reason or the result. Is this grammatically correct?

    BTW: What's the meaning of (1)? Should 'disregard' be 'regard'?

    (b) What is the difference of 'cause of 'and 'cause for' in (2) and (3)?

    Thanks in advance.
    Enydia
    These are different uses of the word 'cause'.

    In (1), (which is NOT a sentence), the word 'cause' means 'for the sake of' or, 'for the principle of'. It is important to disregard the strict letter of the law, so that true justice should be done. Sometimes, if we were to follow 'the strict letter of the law' as written, justice would not be done. For example, it might be that if we (Britain) followed the law 'to its letter', someone might be deported to a country known for torturing its political opponents. So, it is important not to adhere to the law too dogmatically, in order for fairness or humanity to result.

    Here is another example of this 'cause of': He gave up his life for the cause of democracy. Democracy is NOT the result of the sacrifice of his life. True justice is NOT the result of disregarding the strict letter of the law. In (1) 'cause of' means the aim, or the principle under which an action is carried out.

    In (2), cause means 'that which produces an effect'. The effect of smoking is heart disease. We say there is a causal relationship between smoking and heart disease.

    In (3), there is no causal relationship since this is an opinion, not a fact. Here 'cause' means 'reason for'. It means, 'I do not believe that you have reason for complaint'.

    I hope this gives you cause for thought !
    Last edited by fromatto; 22-May-2008 at 17:58.

  4. #4
    enydia is offline Member
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    Re: the preposition of 'cause'

    Quote Originally Posted by fromatto View Post
    These are different uses of the word 'cause'.

    In (1), (which is NOT a sentence), the word 'cause' means 'for the sake of' or, 'for the principle of'. It is important to disregard the strict letter of the law, so that true justice should be done. Sometimes, if we were to follow 'the strict letter of the law' as written, justice would not be done. For example, it might be that if we (Britain) followed the law 'to its letter', someone might be deported to a country known for torturing its political opponents. So, it is important not to adhere to the law too dogmatically, in order for fairness or humanity to result.

    Here is another example of this 'cause of': He gave up his life for the cause of democracy. Democracy is NOT the result of the sacrifice of his life. True justice is NOT the result of disregarding the strict letter of the law. In (1) 'cause of' means the aim, or the principle under which an action is carried out.

    In (2), cause means 'that which produces an effect'. The effect of smoking is heart disease. We say there is a causal relationship between smoking and heart disease.

    In (3), there is no causal relationship since this is an opinion, not a fact. Here 'cause' means 'reason for'. It means, 'I do not believe that you have reason for complaint'.

    I hope this gives you cause for thought !
    very detailed and really helpful!

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