Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: grievance

Type: Article

Are collocations a source of grievance? Let Tim Bowen clear things up.

A grievance is defined as ‘a feeling that you have been treated unfairly or a complaint about the fact that you have been treated unfairly’. A grievance can be genuine, legitimate, valid or real, as in ‘The management recognizes that the workforce has a number of legitimate grievances and is prepared to enter into discussions over these’.

It can also have existed for a long time, in which case it is long-standing, as in ‘It now seems that the new civilian leader is finally prepared to address the long-standing grievances of religious minorities in the country’.

Apart from addressing a grievance, one can also resolve or settle a grievance, as in ‘Grievances are usually best resolved through direct dialogue between the employee and the relevant manager’.

Before a grievance is addressed or lodged, it first has to be aired or voiced by the aggrieved party, as in ‘We aim to create a secure environment in which employees feel able to air their grievances and discuss problems freely’.

If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you may nurse or harbour a grievance, as in ‘For much of his life he harboured a grievance against the authorities for the way his claim for compensation had been handled’.

Something can be a source of grievance, as in ‘The cost of staging the event is a source of grievance for many’, and you may also harbour a sense of grievance, as in ‘The peace deal left many people in the region with a strong sense of grievance’.

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