Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: flaw

Type: Article

There are no flaws in Tim Bowen’s logic as he presents a faultless stream of collocations.

A flaw (meaning a mistake or fault in something) can be serious in nature, in which case it can be described as basic, critical, fatal, fundamental, inherent, major or significant, as in ‘The fatal flaw in the project only became apparent when the cost analysis was published’.

Flaws can also be minor or slight, as in ‘If I could just point out one slight flaw in your argument’. They can be glaring or obvious, as in ‘The lack of a serious financial backer is an obvious flaw in the scheme’.

Flaws can be logical, methodological, structural or technical and may lie in design, software and security, as in ‘There is a major technical flaw in the design of this item’ or ‘A number of technical flaws in the design of the aircraft’s engines have led to a delay in its production’. If a flaw is found, identified, discovered, spotted or uncovered, it will need to be addressed, corrected or fixed, as in ‘The manufacturer has been quick to address the flaws identified during the testing programme’.

Flaws can be revealed, exposed, highlighted, pointed out or pointed to, as in ‘Critics have pointed to a number of flaws in the design of this product’. Flaws may be found in an argument, reasoning or theory, as in ‘There are a number of flaws in his argument and I am not convinced that his approach is the best way forward’.

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