Adverse or averse

Difference between adverse and averse may seem not very clear at first sight. It happens because these words have the same origin — Latin. The root ‘vert’ meant ‘to turn’. So, adversus meant ‘turned toward’ while averse meant ‘turned away’.

Nowadays their meanings have changed a bit but they are still confusing. A lot of English learners can not understand the line between adverse and averse. Let’s make it clear.

Adverse is an adjective and today means something harmful and hostile. We use it mostly to describe effects rather than to speak about people. For example:

Air pollution may have adverse effect on Covid-19 patients.

Carol always finds peace in adverse times.

Roads closed across three regions due to adverse weather conditions.

Averse is also an adjective and on the other hand, describes people and means a strong feeling of dislike. We usually use it like this

to be averse to somebody or something

to be not averse to somebody or something

For example:

The Chinese government was averse to discrimination against foreigners.

I’m not averse to traveling abroad.

Fund investors remain risk averse for the week despite strong market returns.

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Everyone was ____ to going out.
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