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should i use a reason or the reason

See example:

There number of reason why America family structure has influence on mortality rate based on income level and other factors as follows: -
asked Aug 04 '12 at 20:39 maglan New member

1 answer


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Your sentence has more problems than whether "a reason" or "the reason" is appropriate.

 

What does "i" mean? I know what "I" means, but the lowercase "i" is not a word in English. In archaic Spanish, "i" and "y" were alternate spellings for "and". However, if I substitute "and" for "i" in your first sentence, it still makes no sense.

 

Is your first sentence a question or a statement? "Should" often introduces a question, but your sentence has no question mark, or even a period. How am I suppose to interpret this?

 

It is important to always use proper capitalization and punctuation, especially on a forum dedicated to proper grammar, usage, and style.

 

Your sample sentence is a sentence fragment -- it contains no verb to act upon the subject of the sentence, "there". You can correct this by making one of the following changes (I have left the other errors intact):

 

There are a number of reason why America family structure has influence on mortality rate based on income level and other factors as follows:

 

The reasons why America family structure has influence on mortality rate based on income level and other factors are as follows:

 

Here, it is appropriate to address your specific statement (question?). Neither "a reason" nor "the reason" is correct in your "sentence." "A reason" suggests that while there are many reasons, you are talking about just one reason. "The reason" tells us that there is only one reason. However, you end your "sentence" with a colon. The colon is used to introduce a list. By definition, a list consists of more than one element -- thus you are talking about multiple reasons (plural), not reason (singular).

 

The indefinite article "a" is required before "number of reasons" -- "a number of reasons." "America" is being used as an adjective and should take the adjective form "American". The definite article "the" is required before "American family." "Mortality rate" is singular, but you say "based on income level and other factors". This tells us that you are actually looking at several "mortality rates" (plural). While there is but one mortality rate for the population as a whole, different populations (grouped by income level and other factors) will each have a different rate -- thus "mortality rates." Additionally, if you use the singular "mortality rate," it must be preceeded by the definite article "the" -- "the mortality rate."

 

Are you using "influence" as a noun or a verb? If you are using it as a verb, then it is in the wrong tense -- "has influenced". (Note that a verb in this position does not serve as the main verb of the sentence.) If you are using it as a noun, it must be preceeded by the indefinite article "an" -- "an influence." "As follows" is correct grammar, but awkward in this sentence. You can omit it without losing any meaning if you still use the colon to introduce the follow list. If a list does not follow, end in a period.

 

There are a number of reasons why the American family structure has an influence on mortality rates based on income level and other factors:

 

The sentence ending remains awkward. I would suggest either deleting everything following "mortality rates," or introducing this information in a separate sentence.

link answered Aug 05 '12 at 00:27 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

What an explanation for a simple question, Sir. I am up-voting you, sir.

sanjayAug 06 '12 at 06:21

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