Little Book of Confusables

ADVERSE vs AVERSE: simple spelling tips to remember the difference

The words ADVERSE and AVERSE are easy to confuse because they look alike – but that doesn’t mean they can be used interchangeably! Read on to remember the difference between these two commonly confused words.

Here are my simple tips to remember the difference between ADVERSE and AVERSE.

When to use ADVERSE

ADVERSE is an adjective that means harmful or unfavourable. It’s often used with the word ‘effects’ or ‘conditions’.

You can use ADVERSE in a sentence like this:

“The prescribed medicine had an ADVERSE effect on the patient.”

OR

“The strike had an ADVERSE effect on production.

When to use AVERSE

AVERSE is an adjective that describes the feeling of having a strong dislike for something. 

It’s often used with the preposition ‘to’, like this:

“I became vegan because I’m AVERSE to eating meat.”

But it can also be used in a compound adjective, like this:“When it comes to investing my money, I’m fairly risk-AVERSE.”

This sentence shows the difference between ADVERSE and AVERSE in use:

“I’m not AVERSE to taking medication – but I’ll stop if I develop any ADVERSE side-effects.”


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Confusables: ADVERSE and AVERSE. Simple spelling tips to remember the difference, from The Little Book of Confusables

The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend

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