区别辨析cause、reason与excuse

这些名词均有“原因”之意。

cause : 指直接导致事情发生的原因,与所发生的事个有因果关系。

  • Unemployment is a major cause of poverty.
    失业是贫困的主要原因。
  • There was discussion about the fire and its likely cause.
    对那场火灾及其可能的起因进行了讨论。
  • Drinking and driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents.
    酒后驾车是导致交通事故最常见的原因之一。

reason : 强调指从逻辑推理上得出的结论性原因,不是直接说明起因。

  • The reason for the disaster was engine failure, not human error.
    这次灾难的原因是发动机故障,而非人为错误。
  • The reason why grass is green was a mystery to the little boy.
    对这个小男孩来说,草为什么是绿色的是一个谜。
  • The reason (that) I'm calling is to ask a favour.
    我打电话是为了恳请帮忙。
  • The reason I walked out was because I was bored.
    我走出去是因为我感到很无聊。

excuse : 指为自己辩解,希望得到谅解时所提出的种种理由,是借口性的理由。

  • He'd better have a good excuse for being late.
    他迟到最好有正当的理由。
  • I've never known him to miss a meeting - I'm sure he'll have an excuse.
    据我所知,他从来没有缺席过会议——我敢肯定他不来是有原因的。
  • There's no excuse for that sort of behaviour.
    根本没什么借口为那种行为开脱。
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