What is the difference between – Problem, Trouble & Issue?

The words “problem”, “trouble”, and “issue” are very close in meaning. What’s the difference bewtween them? The answer is quite complicated, actually! Let’s look at the meaning of each word and some of the ways that they’re used:

The meanings of “problem”, “trouble”, and “issue”

The word “problem” is connected with the word “solution”. A problem is something negative that needs to be solved. Some bad things that happen can’t be called “problems” because they’re unsolvable. For example, if you broke your leg, you probably wouldn’t call your broken leg a “problem”. The broken leg can’t be fixed. On the other hand, figuring out how to get to work with a broken leg is a problem.

“Trouble” is less connected to solutions. It’s more connected to negative feelings that you get when bad things happen.

“Issue” is associated with difficult decisions and disagreements. We use “issue” in a similar way to “problem” or “trouble”, but it also has another meaning. It can mean a topic that people are talking about or disagreeing on. Social issues and political issues are examples of this kind of “issue”.

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