Main Difference – Issue vs Problem
Issue and problem are somewhat similar words since they both refer to challenging situations or matters. The main difference between issue and problem is that issue is an important topic or problem for debate or discussion whereas problem is a harmful and unwelcome matter or situation that needs to be dealt with. Although issue and problem can be used interchangeably in some contexts, there is a clear demarcation between the two nouns. In this article, we’ll analyze the difference between issue and problem by looking at the definitions and examples of these two nouns.
This article presents,
1. What is an Issue – Definition, Meaning and Examples of Usage
2. What is a Problem – Definition, Meaning and Examples of Usage
3. Key Differences Between Issue and Problem
What is Issue – Definition, Meaning and Usage
According to Oxford Dictionary, issue is an important topic or problem for debate or discussion. Merriam-Webster defines issue as a matter that is in dispute between two or more parties. Both these definitions indicate that an issue occurs when there is controversy or debate. Thus, issue is a controversial topic or matter. People often have different opinions about issues. For example, abortion is a social issue; people have conflicting opinions about it.
However, the terms social issue and social problem are often used interchangeably in general contexts. Given below are some example sentences containing the noun issue.
This article addresses a number of social issues.
The students should be taught about the issue of racism.
I just spoke with your manager; I think we have an issue.
He promised to deal with this issue.
Poverty is a social issue.
What is Problem – Definition, Meaning and Usage
Problem has two major definitions: it can either refer to a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution or a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. In simple words, a problem is something that is difficult to deal with and is a source of worry or trouble.
Problem can be either social or personal. For example, you can use the word problem to refer to a dispute in the family or a major social problem like racism.
He can provide a solution to your problems.
I told him all my problems.
The company is experiencing major financial problems.
Sexism is a major social problem in our country.
He refused to reveal his family problems.
Do you have a problem dealing with stressful situations?
As seen from the above examples, problem is sometimes interchangeable with issue. Although these two words have two different definitions, their usage is similar. However, the words solve and solution are mostly used in relation to problem.
Difference Between Issue and Problem
Issue is an important topic or problem for debate or discussion.
Problem is a harmful and unwelcome matter or situation that needs to be dealt with.
Issue implies that there is a debate or controversy.
Problem does not specifically indicate debate or controversy.
Issue is dealt with.
Problem is solved.
Issue is less commonly used than issue.
Problem is more commonly used than issue.