Experiences are more reliable than reasons.

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discernment tan

Senior Member
Japanese
I might think "reasons" should be "reason", but does this sentence make sense?

Experience is better than theory, which I wanted to mean.

Especially, I want to use the word, reason, reasons, or reasoning.
 
  • discernment tan

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Why plural? Convert this to singular all through and it will be fine.
    I am teaching English to my son. Once I told him that the word "reason" does not always mean the thing what caused something, but also means "theory" or logical way of thinking. So I am glad because he used this word "reason" when translating Japanese into English, although he shouldn't have used the plural words.
    So, if it is not awkward to say "Experience is more reliable than reason." I am happy with that.
    How about "Experiences are more reliable than reason."?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    How about "Experiences are more reliable than reason."?
    That is not incorrect, but it is not idiomatic (it is not how we normally express the idea).

    English prefers 'Experience is more reliable than reason'.

    In this case, 'experience' is used in the general sense which covers any number of individual experiences. It not limited to a single experience.
    Similarly, 'reason' is used in the sense of 'the faculty of reason', that is the ability or potential to engage in reasoning.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Experience is more reliable than reason' and 'Experience is more reliable than theory' are both correct sentences, but they mean different things.

    Theory can mean an established set of ideas, or the product of a process of reasoning. Experience might well be thought more reliable than either of those,
    Reason can mean the human faculty of reasoning and, again, experience might be thought more reliable than that.
    Both propositions are reasonable.
     
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