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I have a piece of homework:

Hypothermia is a serious____ that can affect even the most accomplished.

What should I fill in the blank, issue or problem? According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, issue means

a problem or worry that somebody has with something.

Therefore I used to think they were synonyms, but now I have to pick one. What is the difference between them?

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An issue isn't much of a problem, it's more an annoyance or a minor trouble.

An issue is smaller, not life altering, and it doesn’t present such a degree of difficulty that you have to seek out the counsel of others in order to figure out the impact of the issue. A problem is larger in scale, often large enough to alter your life either temporarily or permanently. A problem can easily require the advice and guidance of those around you, in order to solve it. (Difference Between Issue and Problem)

Summary:

  • An issue is much softer than a problem and has a readily recognizable solution. Mostly an issue bears only a slight impact, and causes personal annoyance.

  • A problem is life altering, temporarily or permanently. They can cause others to be affected. A "problem" is something bad that you have to deal with.

An issue is a factor that might cause you some annoyance. A problem can impact people and situations around you, even if they are not directly related to the problem. For instance, "forgetting your lunch is an issue, but losing your job is a problem".

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Generally, issues are contentious points that are brought forth to be discussed and clarified; or in some cases cleaned up off the floor. In contrast, problems are difficulties that may, or may not, have solutions.

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According to Cambridge dictionary:

Issue: an important subject or problem that people are talking about

Problem: a situation that causes difficulties

Example: a company has 3 departments. All of them has the same problem (lack of human resource, etc..). So we will have 3 issues. Issue 1 for the problem of department 1, Issue 2 for department 2, and Issue 3 for department 3. Or this company has an issue, it depends on the viewpoint of the management.

So you should fill:

Hypothermia is a serious problem that can affect even the most accomplished.

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There is nothing big or small between problem or issue but those are different each other.

Check yourself below if it is suitable as problem or issue.
Problems are always technical and can have solutions

  1. Teacher gave me difficult problem to solve.
  2. My phone has a problem.
  3. Luckily I could solve that problem.

Issues are related to disagreement or life and decisions.

  1. I have an issue with my partner.
  2. There is an issues between these two people.

Issue is something which has no work around in near future and no predefined path to solve. But problems can have predefined way to solve.

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