cause somebody unable

< Previous | Next >

ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello:

I always tell my daughter if she doesn't go to the kindergarten, then she won't see her mom in the evening.

Today my daughter refused to go to the kindergarten. When I came back home in the evening I was angry and told her: "Your bad behavior caused mommy unable to come back home tonight. "

1, Your bad behavior caused mommy unable to come back.
2, Your bad behavior caused that mommy was unable to come back.

Can I use the bold words here? I wanted to emphasize the cause and effect here.


Thank you.
 
  • Neither sentence is good, especially the first. The closest grammatical approach, using 'caused,' would be.

    OP# Your bad behavior *caused Mommy's being unable to come back.


    However, we would more likely say, "Because of your bad behavior, Mommy can't [is unable to] come back tonight."

    By the way, this sounds very harsh to me. It is strangely indirect or obscure as well. The true state of affairs seems like it might be "Because of your bad behavior, I'm not letting you visit your mommy [or 'letting your mommy visit you'] tonight." I am guessing, here.

    *ADDED: Preferable to add 'has' before 'caused'.
     
    Last edited:

    ridgemao

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    Thank you for your quick reply, can I use "make" here?

    Your bad behavior made mommy unable to come back.

    Is it grammatically correct? Is it idiomatic?

    Thank you again.
     
    Your second proposal is grammatical but odd, unless the child ran over mommy's foot with its tricycle.

    To use 'make', one might say (a bit unnaturally). "Your bad behavior has made it impossible for Mommy to come back tonight." Again the logic is obscure.

    Again, the truth might seem to be, using 'make,'

    Your bad behavior has made me decide to cancel your mom's visit for tonight." I'm guessing. or, "has made your mom decide to cancel her visit...."
     

    Antoine Meyer

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    The grammar of both sentences is incorrect. Both sentences should be reworded as follows for the bold words to be used correctly:

    Your bad behaviour has caused mommy to be unable to come back.
    Your bad behaviour has caused that mommy has been unable to come back.

    "Has" is important to show that the action of being unable to come back has been completed now, not long ago.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The grammar of both sentences is incorrect. Both sentences should be reworded as follows for the bold words to be used correctly:

    Your bad behaviour has caused mommy to be unable to come back.
    Your bad behaviour has caused that mommy has been unable to come back.:cross: :confused: Awkward and unnatural in my experience
    As always, others might feel differently, of course.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The grammar of both sentences is incorrect. Both sentences should be reworded as follows for the bold words to be used correctly:

    Your bad behaviour has caused mommy to be unable to come back.
    Your bad behaviour has caused that mommy has been unable to come back.

    "Has" is important to show that the action of being unable to come back has been completed now, not long ago.
    These sentences may be grammatical but they are so bizarre that I really don't know how to comment on them.
    Except to say that I can't imagine any context in which a native English speaker would ever use them.

    Getting back to the topic, it is critical to our response for us to know the relationship between the speaker and the child's mother.
    I always tell my daughter if she doesn't go to the kindergarten, then she won't see her mom in the evening.
    Today my daughter refused to go to the kindergarten. When I came back home in the evening I was angry and told her: "Your bad behavior caused mommy unable to come back home tonight. "
    I can't understand this statement of the context.
    It would be really helpful if ridgemao would explain this in other words.
     

    ridgemao

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    Getting back to the topic, it is critical to our response for us to know the relationship between the speaker and the child's mother.
    I can't understand this statement of the context.
    It would be really helpful if ridgemao would explain this in other words.

    My daughter doesn't want to go to kindergarten, but she wants to see her mom(my wife) in the evening(her mom goes to work in the morning), so in order to encourage her to go to kindergarten, I always tell my daughter if she doesn't go to the kindergarten, then she won't see her mom in the evening. If she can believe this cause and effect, then she will go to kindergarten even though she doesn't want to go there.


    Today my daughter refused to go to the kindergarten. When I came back home in the evening I was angry and told her: "Your bad behavior caused mommy to be unable to come back home tonight. "
     
    Last edited:
    Ridge,
    Responding to your explanation in post #8,
    I stick with what I said above, post #4.

    Bennymix
    To use 'make', one might say (a bit unnaturally). "Your bad behavior has made it impossible for Mommy to come back tonight." Again the logic is obscure.
    Perhaps you are aware of the saying, 'What a tangled web we weave...' ?

    ADDED: I agree with sdg and pan that Antoine's second proposal (post #5) does not work:

    AM:
    Your bad behaviour has caused that mommy has been unable to come back
    :confused:
     
    Last edited:

    wordsalad

    Senior Member
    English - US
    1, Your bad behavior caused mommy unable to come back.
    2, Your bad behavior caused that mommy was unable to come back.
    Both sound bizzarre and in English nobody would say this, because the sentence is missing an important premise that is "no kindergarten, no seeing mommy" (Mommy does not want to see you unless you go to kindergarten). Connecting not going to kindergarten to being unable to come home as cause and effect is not a logical argument.

    I can see that such argument with missing premises is quite possible and commonly used among non-English speaking people, who are adept in reading between the lines. I suppose Chinese and Japanese are good at it, and their communication style can be indirect. However, that could be lost in translation.
     
    Last edited:
    Some further comment on the problem of "caused that [+ clause]"

    Ridgemao, your proposal 2, even as revised by Antoine is odd. Let me explain why:

    Ridge
    2, Your bad behavior caused that mommy was unable to come back.
    Antoine:
    Your bad behaviour has caused that mommy has been unable to come back.
    I cannot think of any example of such that isn't awkward: Consider: The lack of his usual meal caused that my dog wandered around all afternoon looking for something to eat.:confused:

    The rain caused that I became wet on my way home.
    :confused:

    "Caused" is usually followed by such items as a simple noun. "The rain caused chaos" or some sort of 'ing' phrase (noun-like). The rain caused my being late for work. [or, informally 'me being'].

    The more elaborate results are usually of this type, often infinitive: The rain caused me to become late for work.

    ---
    I did some search for "caused that" + person + verb and I did find some examples. Often these were in the Book of Mormon, which, though 19th century, imitated [sometimes poorly] earlier scriptural Christian texts [KJV Bible]. I found only one current example. {What I give is just a non-scientific, informal sample of what's out there.

    The Book of Mormon - Google Books Result
    books.google.ca/books?isbn=1101201584
    2008 - ‎Religion
    And after three days, having counselled with his priests, he caused that he should again be brought before him. And he said unto him, Abinadi, we have found ...

    New Light on the Atonement: Revelations of the Prophet ...
    books.google.ca/books?isbn=1555179800
    Chad Morris - 2006 - ‎Atonement
    Satan rebelled against that plan, against God's will, so as the Lord recounted, "By the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And ...
    The Transmigration of the Seven Brahmans: Translation by ...
    www.sacred-texts.com/hin/tsb/tsb05.htm
    Their piety caused that they passed into a class of beings more elevated; transported into the beautiful country of Sarodwipa, they had the form of those geese ...
    Junk Food Causes Brain Changes in Rats, New Study Finds
    healthyeatingharbor.com/junk-food-causes-brain-changes-rats-new-stud...
    Sep 6, 2014 -
    The natural response to the sound cue “stopped working”. This in effect caused that they didn't care about the sound cue anymore – the natural ...
    ===

    So I conclude that the "caused that" [+ clause] construction is perhaps allowed, but has a dated or scriptural feel. It does not sound well to this AE ear. Also see the subjunctive verb in the clause, for the scriptural examples.

    Note that, oddly enough, inversions of order make a variant of the construction passable, in my opinion:

    The rain caused that I became wet on my way home. :confused:
    That I became wet on my way home was caused by the rain. :tick:

    Hence a version of 2, in the first post, that somewhat 'works' is.
    2#
    That mommy was unable to come back was caused by your bad behavior.


    ADDED: Jordybro, just below has made the good point that ability/inability is not really the issue. Hence this simplification is also possible:
    2## That mommy did not come back was caused by your bad behavior.

    ===

    Note, as above, all of these chastisements [as expressed variously, above], seem to someone like me, in a North American 'pro child' culture, rather harsh and punitive.
     
    Last edited:

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    The problems with the sentence do lie in the bolded parts. You second correction was much better. Using "made" to create a causative is much more typical than "cause". In this instance we would say "not able to" as opposed to "unable to", but "able to" is already needless. Some possibilities:

    Your bad behaviour meant mommy didn't come back.
    Your bad behavior stopped mommy from coming back.
    Your bad behaviour made mommy not come back.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    My daughter doesn't want to go to kindergarten, but she wants to see her mom(my wife) in the evening(her mom goes to work in the morning), so in order to encourage her to go to kindergarten, I always tell my daughter if she doesn't go to the kindergarten, then she won't see her mom in the evening. If she can believe this cause and effect, then she will go to kindergarten even though she doesn't want to go there.


    Today my daughter refused to go to the kindergarten. When I came back home in the evening I was angry and told her: "Your bad behavior caused mommy to be unable to come back home tonight. "
    Having read through the thread carefully, and considered this post, I still have no idea why the mother cannot come home.
    If the mother goes out to work in the morning, surely she has to come home again in the evening anyway, does she not?

    As far as I can see, it sounds as if the father is deliberately stopping the mother from coming home, in order to punish the child.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    [...]Today my daughter refused to go to the kindergarten. When I came back home in the evening I was angry and told her: "Your bad behavior caused mommy to be unable to come back home tonight. "
    It's moral blackmail, of course, but if you must express the thought, say "Your bad behaviour meant that Mummy could not come home this evening".
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top