Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: damage

Type: Article

Tim Bowen reflects on the substantial damage sustained in riots as inspiration for some collocations.

If a lot of damage is caused, it can be described as considerable, extensive, severe, significant, substantial or widespread. If, on the other hand, not much damage is caused, it is minimal, minor or slight.

Permanent damage is irreparable, irreversible or lasting, as in ‘Pollution is causing lasting damage to the environment’.

Damage can be deliberate, in which case it can be described as criminal, malicious or wilful, as in ‘A lot of the damage caused by the rioting was simply malicious’ or it can be accidental

Apart from causing damage, one can also inflict damage and actions can lead to or result in damage, as in ‘The riots resulted in severe damage to a number of commercial properties’.

From the point of view of the victim of the damage, one can suffer, incur or sustain damage, as in ‘Several businesses sustained substantial damage in the rioting’.

Damage can be repaired, reversed or undone, as in ‘It may take months or even years to undo the damage caused by the rioting’.

Steps can be taken to limit, minimize or reduce damage, as in ‘Areas of the city were cordoned off to minimize damage to property’ or damage can be prevented altogether, in which case it can be avoided or guarded against, as in ‘Measures will be taken to guard against damage to property in the event of any repetition of the rioting’.

Finally, any damage will probably need to be assessed, as in ‘A team of surveyors has inspected the burnt-out buildings and assessed the damage’.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Superb!
    It would be even more perfect if this topic is supplemented by an exercise of some sort or another.
    It will simply stretch the learner and lessen the damage of forgetting its numerous usages.

    Thank you

    Mo Hassan

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