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Hi.

A simple one. Could you use causes instead of reasons in the paragraph below?

In the latest study -- published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine -- researchers compared the lung cancer risk among ethnic groups who smoked the same amount.

While the study did not address the possible reasons for the racial disparity, lead researcher Christopher Haiman, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, said the findings suggest genes may be one of the factors that explain the phenomenon.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
Comments  
In this case, you can certainly replace "reasons for" by "causes of". There should not be any problem.

Cheers,

- Joy.
That's right. I should have said "causes of" to be more clear. What if you include smoking a great quantity of cigarettes a day. It is not directly causing the cancer.

Most of the time I can tell whether to use reason or cause, and this time my guts feeling told me you could use either. But sometimes there is ambiguity.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
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Cigarettes are one cause of cancer. That is to say, they are one among many factors that may cause cancer.

In this case, "cause of" is more appropriate, as "reason" implies an explanation rather than a contribution.

Clearer now?
HSS
Most of the time I can tell whether to use reason or cause, and this time my guts feeling told me you could use either. But sometimes there is ambiguity.

A-ha, I did it again. Without noticing it, my finger typed the unnecessary "s" after "gut," it should have been "my gut feeling."

Anyhow... reason needs logic to explain; thus, there is a explanatory route to reach what traspired whereas cause is more direct, spontaneous, doesn't it? See what I mean?

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
You got it mate! [y]

Cheers,

- Joy
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The problem (if there is one) with the word "reason" is that it can mean both cause and motive.
HSSA simple one. Could you use causes instead of reasons in the paragraph below?

Yes. The meaning is the same.

[8]
I'm not sure "address" is the right word, in this context.

To "address the causes of crime", for instance, means "to deal with the causes of crime, in an attempt to prevent crime".

But in a study, we don't usually "address" a problem: we investigate it.

MrP
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