Grammar Guide: Adverb Clauses of Cause and Effect

Are you triskaidekaphobic? If you are, then today is not your lucky day! Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Friday the 13th is considered one of the most unlucky days of the year, according to superstition. The year 2012 has three of them, 13 weeks apart, too! All cultures have different superstitions, but here some of the most popular superstitions in the United States:
  • Finding a penny or a pin is good luck.
  • Going out on Friday the 13th is bad luck.
  • Opening an umbrella inside is bad luck.
  • A black cat crossing your path is bad luck.
  • Breaking a mirror brings 7 years bad luck.
  • Hanging a horseshoe is good luck.
  • Walking under a ladder is bad luck.
  • Lighting three things from the same match is bad luck.
See if you can find all of these superstitions in the 1956 cartoon, Popeye the Sailor I Don't Scare.

Adverb Clauses of Cause and Effect
Unlike adverb clauses of time, adverb clauses of cause and effect answer the question why. Subordinating conjunctions that are used with adverb clauses of cause and effect are because and since.

It is possible to begin a sentence with the word because, but remember that this subordinating conjunction begins a dependent clause. It must be connected to an independent clause. Remember that if you begin a sentence with a dependent clause, place a comma after it to show that it is introductory material. If you begin your sentence with an independent clause, you do not need a comma before the dependent clause.

  • Because Olive was afraid of Friday the 13th, she did not want to leave the house.
  • Since Bluto liked Olive, he tried to ruin Popeye's date with her.
  • Popeye was upset because Bluto tricked Olive.
  •  Olive went on a date with Popeye since it wasn't actually Friday the 13th.
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