REASON, EXCUSE, PRETEXT (причина)

 
 
His reason for leaving early was that his wife was ill. (= она на самом деле больна).
 
His excuse for leaving early was that his wife was ill. (= он сказал, что она больна, а это может быть правдой, а может и не быть).
 
He left early on the pretext that his wife was ill. (= она совершенно здорова, а у него другая причина раннего ухода).
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