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Your English: Collocations: grudge

Type: Article

Tim Bowen shows he doesn’t harbour a grudge as he tackles this batch of collocations.

The noun grudge is defined as ‘a feeling of anger towards someone because they have done something to you that does not seem right or fair’.

A grudge can last for a long time, in which case it is long-held or long-standing. It may also relate to a specific person, in which case it is personal, as in ‘Ever since the financial crisis, he has held a long-standing, personal grudge against the bank’s chief executive’.

You can bear, hold or harbour a grudge, as in ‘Yvonne has a number of reasons for harbouring a grudge against Alan, not least the fact that he left her to bring up four children on her own’.

Grudge can also be used in the compound noun a grudge match, which is a sports match between two teams that dislike each other intensely because of an incident or incidents in the past, as in ‘The ongoing row, coupled with the traditional animosity between the two clubs, will make this week’s fixture even more of a grudge match than usual’.

The related adjective grudging has the different meaning of ‘done in an unwilling way’ and collocates with a number of nouns that have a positive association, such as acceptance, admiration, admission, approval and respect. If you show a grudging approval of someone or someone’s actions, you have to admit that what they have done is positive even though it pains you to do so. Similarly, you may express a grudging admiration for someone, as in ‘Although I loathed the man, I couldn’t help but feel a grudging admiration for his organisational skills and his thoroughness’.

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