Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

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Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby dannypamu » 15 Jun 2012, 02:09

I often wonder what the difference of usage is between the words 理由 and 原因 in Chinese and have never had it explained satisfactorily. They both roughly translate as reason in English but seem to have clearly different usage in Chinese. Can anyone explain/give some examples? :notworthy:
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby Tempo Gain » 15 Jun 2012, 02:21

dannypamu wrote:I often wonder what the difference of usage is between the words 理由 and 原因 in Chinese and have never had it explained satisfactorily. They both roughly translate as reason in English but seem to have clearly different usage in Chinese. Can anyone explain/give some examples? :notworthy:


理由 is the reason a person has for doing something, while 原因 is the reason something happens (the cause.)
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby yuli » 15 Jun 2012, 06:01

Tempo Gain wrote:理由 is the reason a person has for doing something, while 原因 is the reason something happens (the cause.)

Exactly. And a bonus for the OP: it's the same in Japanese. :discodance:
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby fh2000 » 15 Jun 2012, 09:26

There is no reason (理由) why this native speaker of Chinese can't explain the reason (原因) why I can't give you better examples. But, at least you can see where they would be used.
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby Gile » 15 Jun 2012, 13:32

They are quite similar in meaning. However, most of the time we use 理由 to express "excuse" in English, while 原因 is for "reason". :)
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby dannypamu » 17 Jun 2012, 00:23

Thanks to all for your prompt replies. :)

Yes, I always thought 理由 was more similar to 藉口。 However,it appears that the usage of 理由 and 原因 is quite flexible and they can often be interchanged according to my Taiwanese friends.
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby AmyLord » 22 Jun 2012, 16:51

dannypamu wrote:Thanks to all for your prompt replies. :)

Yes, I always thought 理由 was more similar to 藉口。 However,it appears that the usage of 理由 and 原因 is quite flexible and they can often be interchanged according to my Taiwanese friends.



藉口: excuse
理由: excuse/reason
原因: reason

in most of the scenarios 理由 and 原因 are interchangeable except when used along with the verb 找

e.g.
找理由 = having an excuse
找出原因 = finding the reason of something
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Re: Difference of usage between 理由 and 原因

Postby dannypamu » 22 Jun 2012, 22:06

Thank you Amy, that clarifies it a lot! :)
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