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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'



 
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #1 (permalink) Wed May 17, 2006 14:37 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #74 "Christmas Postman (1)", question 1

My main ......... for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period.

(a) cause
(b) incident
(c) rational
(d) reason

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #74 "Christmas Postman (1)", answer 1

My main reason for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period.

Correct answer: (d) reason

Your answer was: incorrect
My main cause for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period.
_________________________

Hi,
Could you tell me the main difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'?
Why 'cause' doesn't fit here?
Pivosz
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Cause/reason #2 (permalink) Wed May 17, 2006 15:15 pm   Cause/reason
 

Hi,

You asked:

Quote:
Could you tell me the main difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'?
Why 'cause' doesn't fit here?


The reason for something happening is why something happens.

The cause for something happening is the factor that results in something happening

For example:

The reason why the house was destroyed by the storm was because the foundations were very poor.

The cause for the house being destroyed was as a result of the severity of the storm

In the test the sentence:
Quote:
My main reason for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period.
this is an explanation for becoming a postman and answers the question: Why did you become a postman?

Alan
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Reason is deliberate. #3 (permalink) Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:52 am   Reason is deliberate.
 

To explicate:

"Reason" is the use of reason, that is, by the human mind. In common conversation its meaning can overlap with "cause" but, if you're unsure which to use, keep in mind what reason really is.

Quote:
The reason why the house was destroyed by the storm was because the foundations were very poor.

The cause for the house being destroyed was as a result of the severity of the storm.


I would probably use "cause" in both of these. (You can already see "cause" in the word "because" in the first sentence.) I would probably write, "The house was destroyed by the storm because the foundations were very poor."

Reason might explain why the builder poured such poor foundations, perhaps because he was cheap or had run over his budget.
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #4 (permalink) Mon Jun 01, 2009 18:06 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Hello Alan
Could you explain me the difference between "each" and "every"
Thanks
Iraberezhany
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #5 (permalink) Tue Jun 02, 2009 16:00 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Here are some phrases you cannot use "every" and must use "each."

For instance, you can say "Each of you must do your English homework for tomorrow's class." But you can't say "Every of you must do your homework..." Instead you would say, "Everyone must do his or her homework for tomorrow's class."

Saying "Each" has more of a connotation of "individuals items in a group," such as "Each individual in a group..."

Saying "Every" has more of a connotation of referring to a collective as a whole. "Everything, everyone, every time, etc."

Thanks to " G "

Kitos.
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #6 (permalink) Tue Jun 02, 2009 20:33 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Kitosdad wrote:
Here are some phrases you cannot use "every" and must use "each."

For instance, you can say "Each of you must do your English homework for tomorrow's class." But you can't say "Every of you must do your homework..." Instead you would say, "Everyone must do his or her homework for tomorrow's class."

Saying "Each" has more of a connotation of "individuals items in a group," such as "Each individual in a group..."

Saying "Every" has more of a connotation of referring to a collective as a whole. "Everything, everyone, every time, etc."

Thanks to " G "

Kitos.


Keep in mind that despite the common use in conversation of "everyone" as a plural noun, it's not. When writing, write "Everyone must bring his own pencil," not "Everyone must bring their own pencils" (as if it meant "All"). This has been exacerbated by the use of the singular "they" (which is an attempt to avoid labeling mixed-gender groups and women as masculine).

Where I would say, "Everyone must bring his own pencil," some feminists would insist on "Everyone must bring their own pencil." Notice that in this debated use, the writer uses "their" as if were singular, like "his."
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #7 (permalink) Fri Mar 29, 2013 14:25 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Don't you have the feeling that the sentence "My main reason for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period." is unfinished? Shouldn't it be written more like on the pattern of these sentences "This is my main reason for..." or "...holiday period is I needed extra spending money."?
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #8 (permalink) Fri Mar 29, 2013 17:03 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

You'll have to quote me more text as I wrote that piece many years ago.

Alan
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #9 (permalink) Fri Mar 29, 2013 18:52 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Tommyek wrote:
Don't you have the feeling that the sentence "My main reason for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period." is unfinished? Shouldn't it be written more like on the pattern of these sentences "This is my main reason for..." or "...holiday period is I needed extra spending money."?


Hello Tommyek,

You are correct that the extract is not a sentence, but if you look at the whole of the test you will see that the sentence it relates to is spread over several questions, so the sentence continues in question 2.
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #10 (permalink) Fri Mar 29, 2013 19:06 pm   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

Oh, you're right. I was misled by the full stop in the forum version of this sentence. Thank you.
Tommyek
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Re: Cause/reason #11 (permalink) Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:16 am   Re: Cause/reason
 

Alan wrote:
The reason for something happening is why something happens.

The cause for something happening is the factor that results in something happening

For example:

The reason why the house was destroyed by the storm was because the foundations were very poor.

The cause for the house being destroyed was as a result of the severity of the storm


Hi Alan,

I found the meanings of 'reason and cause' are not that easy to understand. They mean the same to me except that 'cause' refers to the direct factor that leads to something happens according to your explanation.

I suppose both 'reason' and 'cause' can be used in the following sentence, and they both make sense.

#1 In our view, the root cause of the crime problem is poverty and unemployment.

#2 In our view, the root reason of the crime problem is poverty and unemployment.

'Poverty and unemployment' can mean both 'the reason why the crime problem happens' and 'the factor that results in the crime problem happening'.

However, I found people use 'the root cause of something' when I googled online. I am confused indeed. Could you please clarify that? Thank you.
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Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause' #12 (permalink) Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:04 am   Difference between the words 'reason' and 'cause'
 

It is easier to understand if you use the right preposition - 'cause of' and 'reason for'. Agreed in your sentences they both merge, but the idea behind each has a different approach. 'Cause of' suggests result and 'reason for' suggests why. They merge because crime is the underlying factor.
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