I want to say that there were two reasons for something. Which would be grammatically correct?

"The reason for this is twofold" or "The reasons for this are twofold"

Or is it that both of these are technically correct but mean separate things? Do they both mean the same thing but one is preferred over the other?

Thanks for you help

  • 2
    twofold /ˈtuːˌfoʊld/ adjective Learner's definition of TWOFOLD 1 : twice as much or as many a twofold increase in spending 2 : having two parts The aims of the study are twofold. — twofold /ˈtuːˈfoʊld/ adverb Our funding increased twofold last year.
    – Livrecache
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:49
  • I think I get it now. It would be better to use singular reason when the two reasons can somehow be combined to make up a whole. Likewise, plural reasons should be used when the two are discrete and better left separate
    – feihcsim
    Dec 21, 2017 at 3:09
  • 1
    There is some discussion on this topic here. Dec 21, 2017 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


How about: "The reason is twofold." By saying that the reason is twofold, it means that there are two parts to the same reason, not that there are two separate reasons. If you wanted to say that there are two separate reasons for a phenomenon, then I would simply say: "There are two reasons for this occurrence," or something along those lines.

  • 3
    Please cite published evidence (e.g. dictionary definition) to support your explanation. See also How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour. :-) Jun 13, 2019 at 0:42
  • Collins supports your reply.
    – Leo Liu
    Nov 26, 2020 at 15:44

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