I am bit confused about the differences between lead to + gerund and result in + gerund.


This process might lead to increasing the costs.

This process might result in increasing the costs.

In essays, should I prefer one of lead to and result in to the other? Why?

  • 1
    Why do you think there's a difference? Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 14:09
  • I agree with Peter; these are simply two ways to express a cause-and-effect relationship. Any differences would be too subtle for most listeners to perceive.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 14:11
  • Are you using Gerard and Garad to mean gerund?
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 14:12
  • 1
    This process might lead to an increase in costs (or, might result in an increase in costs) sounds better, in my opinion. Or simply, This process might increase costs. Also, I think you mean gerund. Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 14:25
  • @Eugene Seidel: or just ...increased costs. I agree increasing here seems clumsy. It would be a participial adjective anyway, not a gerund. Whatever - I think this question is Too Localised Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


"Result in" gives an impression of almost instant cause/effect where "Lead to" hints that there are a number of steps between the cause and its effect:

1) Getting punched in the face might result in a broken nose.

2) Punching Ted in the face might lead to your expulsion from school.

When writing your essay decide if you want to give the feeling of an almost instant result or a longer process.

  • I agree that lead to hints at a few in-between steps, but I'm not convinced results in necessarily implies immediacy. "Punching Ted may result in expulsion" seems fine to me. That said, I liked your answer; I'm not refuting you, just adding a comment.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 21:54
  • I feel for Ted :(
    – MarioDS
    Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 22:37
  • 2
    @MarioDeSchaepmeester: I don't know if Ted's been punched yet. It sounds like his adversaries are deliberating, and weighing the possible consequences.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 23:32

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