Difference Between Cause and Effect


Main Difference

The main difference between Cause and Effect is that Cause is the reason behind any action or a phenomenon, whereas Effect is the consequences of a cause or the outcome of some chain events that have happened.

Cause vs. Effect

Cause always tells a reason why something took place; on the other hand, effect presents the results. When analyzing the cause, we deal with questions like “why” and “how” while effect deals with the question “what.

Examples of cause are John went to the shoe store, but it was out of the shoes, John wanted. John didn’t get to sit by the window in the car. John’s mother forgot to pack dessert in his lunch. And examples of effect are John got plain white shoes and was unhappy. John was squished in the backseat and was sad. John had no dessert at lunchtime.


Comparison Chart

Producer of effectProduced by cause
Can be a situation, object, or an eventResult of that event
Naturally moves towards an effectAlways follow a cause
Related Words
“Why” and “How”“What”
Mostly used as a noun and verbCommonly as a noun, sometimes as a verb
Explains the reasonConsequences of cause

What is the Cause?

The cause is the main thing behind anything that happens. Behind every action, there lies a cause that makes things happen. Even our actions contain cause as well. We can learn this term through many examples; for instance, one man is beating another man in anger. Here, it can say that anger is one of the reasons due to which action came out.


It was the simplest example; let’s take another example, “Anny got 100% on her test because she worked hard.” In this example, it obvious that Anny got the best percentage, and its cause is her hard work. Because she did a lot of hard work for this, that’s why she got 100% on a test.

What is the Effect?

In simple words, the effect is the consequences of cause. It is the result of reason like, “it happened” due to “that.” Here, again we can take the same example, which we have learned in the cause section to make a difference between two terms. For example, a man is beating another man in anger. Obviously, anger is one of its causes, but what are the consequences that it gave? Its results could be that person injured now, or it could be, the other person starts beating the first one, etc.

Let’s understand effect by another example; “John stayed up late at night, so he is still sleeping.” “John is still sleeping” is an effect, but there is a reason why he is still sleeping? It is because he stayed up late at night.

Key Differences

  1. The cause is an element, and the effect are the result of that element.
  2. The cause is the origin of a scenario, while the effect is the result where cause led to.
  3. The Source of any event caused, on the other hand, the effect gives us the answer to “therefore.”
  4. Cause talks about reason; on the other side, the effect moves the situation towards the conclusion.
  5. The cause is the answer to “due to,” whereas the effect is the end.
  6. A cause could be a person, event, situation, or and object that can result in something; on the other hand, the effect is a result of that event.
  7. A cause is an explanation of an effect, while the effect is a consequence.
  8. Cause gives us an answer to questions like “Why” and “How”; on the other hand, the effect gives the answers to the question “What.”
  9. In a sentence, a cause can work both as a verb as well as a noun, whereas effect commonly works as a noun, but in some cases, it could be used as a verb also.


The Cause is a term which deals with questions like, “Why something happens?” while the Effect is a term which deals with questions such as, “What happens as a result?”

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson