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If someone has a health problem and I would like to ask him/her what the cause of the problem is, two questions are in my mind:

  1. Is it due to eating unhealthy food?
  2. Is it due to not playing sport?

Now I need to use the word or or something like that to ask the two questions at the same time. How can I do it to sound like a native speaker? And which of the following is correct?

  1. Is it due to eating unhealthy food or not playing sport?
  2. Is it due to eating unhealthy food or is it due to not playing sport?
  3. Is it due to eating unhealthy food or it is due to not playing sport?

Thank you,

  • I'm not a native speaker, but I think that the third one is wrong and that the first one needs an additional to: «...or not to playing any sports?». – mrnld Feb 4 '16 at 9:49
  • Moreover the second alternative sounds unnecessarily repetitive with the addition of the second "is it". – mrnld Feb 4 '16 at 9:55
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    You could just ask the questions sequentially, as with your first 1 & 2. – Lawrence Feb 4 '16 at 17:05
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Your second option

Is it due to eating unhealthy food or is it due to not playing sport?

is correct and clearest, but not the most common usage.

The first option

Is it due to eating unhealthy food or not playing sport?

is the most common usage but it also logically allows a yes/no answer which (I'm assuming) you don't want.

The third option is incorrect (in UK English).

  • If my second option is not the most common usage and the first option allow a yes/no answer. Would you suggest a clear and most common phrase that has the same meaning, Please? – user2824371 Feb 4 '16 at 16:31
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    You can use either first or second options, I say the second is not the most common but it is the most correct. The first option is what people would usually expect you to use and in 99.9% of cases would give the answer you expect. – Separatrix Feb 4 '16 at 18:41

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