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I and my friend are doing an English exercise which requires us to make a sentence with the phrase "for which reason(s)"

I have made this sentence:

  1. I left my home village yesterday, for which reason my father is sad now.

However, my friend looked at my sentence and told me it should be changed to:

  1. I left my home village yesterday, which is why my father is sad now.

He said "for which reason(s)" is used at the beginning of the interrogative sentence like:

  1. For which reasons do you buy a smartphone?

or after a verb:

  1. I want to understand for which reason the shipping cost has increased.

Could you please advise me as to whether my sentence #1 is correct or not?

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    "my father is sad now", rather than "said", I guess? Jan 7, 2017 at 6:46

3 Answers 3

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Actually your friend's sentence is no better than yours, and in any case he is mistaken that "for which reason" can only be used at the start of a sentence, or when asking the reason why. Consider this example (among many others):

We were invited to dinner by the inspector-general. The inhabitants have no tables, as not making any use of chairs, for which reason the cloth was laid in the middle of the floor.

In this case "for which reason" means "because of this" -- the cloth was laid in the middle of the floor because the inhabitants do not use tables or chairs. It is a bit formal when used as a conjunction in this way, but it is not grammatically incorrect.

There are of course many less formal / more natural ways to express the same thought, but it sounds like you are already familiar with those.

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    This Ngram books.google.com/ngrams/… shows that the usage of for which reason in this way is quite dated: it peaked about 1810, declined rapidly until 1830 and has been going steadily down since then. Dated expressions like this do sound quite formal.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 7, 2017 at 8:30
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    @JavaLatte: It would still be quite acceptable in certain contexts where a formal register is desirable, e.g. "Polio is very contagious, for which reason it is strongly recommended that children receive the vaccination." The pattern is quite common, actually: "The ____ must be ____ed, for which purpose a number of tools are available" Jan 7, 2017 at 11:28
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    @TRomano: agreed. As the NGram shows, it is still in use: it's just not as common as it used to be.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 7, 2017 at 13:51
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Your friend is correct. Your first sentence, although grammatically correct, is very awkward; your friend's sentence (#2) is much better, and his example sentences #3 and #4 are also valid example sentences that use 'for which reason'.

Your first sentence is a compound sentence, but you are trying to replace the conjunction word with the words 'for which reason'. If your sentence #1 were written as 'I left my home village yesterday, and my father is sad now.' it would be a valid sentence; 'and' in this case is the conjunction word in this example compound sentence.

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  • Thanks Mark. Do you mean 'for which reason' should not be used to replace the conjuction word of a compound sentence? Based on your answer, my other example sentence "They eat too much, for which reason they are unfit" sounds awkward and "They eat too much, so they are unfit" is much better. Is my understanding correct?
    – doquan0
    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:45
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    One thing to remember is that there are sentences you can form in English that may be grammatically correct, but feel awkward or clumsy to native speakers like myself. English is very flexible and there are almost always alternative sentences you can form with the same or very similar meaning. So although you could use 'for which reason' instead of 'and' in your original question, using 'and' is more natural sounding to English speakers. As well, in your example above, using 'so' is more natural sounding in that sentence than using 'for which reason'. Jan 7, 2017 at 8:11
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1) I left my home village yesterday, for which reason my father is sad now.
2) I left my home village yesterday, for which is why my father is sad now.

"Which" is a choice from many. To ask

For which reasons do you buy a smartphone?

the context may need to be established.

P1: People buy smartphones for convenience, taking pictures, making calls, playing games.       For which reason did you buy a smartphone?
      For what reason did you buy a smartphone?
      Why did you buy a smartphone?
P2: Pokeman!

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