General Writing and Grammar Help/word choice

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Question
I have questions about how to use "revenge" and "avenge."


Ex 1: The man took revenge for a business dispute with the shop owner.

 In this sentence, can I use “revenge” as a verb like the sentence below or should I use "avenge"?

“The man revenged/avenged himself on the shop owner for a business dispute”

Ex2 :She revenged herself on him for his insults.

Should I use "avenged" in the sentence? Or does it mean the same if I say, "She avenged his insults on him”

Answer
Hi, Kenneth,

Simply put, "revenge" is a noun, as in "he took revenge on his enemy."
"Avenge" is a verb, as in "she avenged the death of her father by killing his murderer."

Therefore, in your examples:
Ex 1: The man took revenge for a business dispute with the shop owner.
In this sentence, can I use “revenge” as a verb like the sentence below or should I use "avenge"?
“The man revenged/avenged himself on the shop owner for a business dispute”


The correct usages are "took revenge" for the first sentence and "avenged himself on" for the second sentence.

For your second examples:
Ex2 :She revenged herself on him for his insults.
Should I use "avenged" in the sentence? Or does it mean the same if I say, "She avenged his insults on him”


The correct usages are "She took revenge on him" (you don't need "for herself" if you explain later on what the revenge is for) and then you'd need to follow that with something about the way she took revenge, e.g., "by slapping his face for his insults" for your first sentence, which would then read, in its entirety: "She took revenge on him by slapping his face for his insults."
Discard the second version entirely. Or, rewrite it: "She avenged herself on him for his insults by slapping him" (or by whatever she did ).

I hope this helps.

Best to you. Please rate my response.

Sally

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Sally Ember, Ed.D.

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I can answer any grammar, writing, reading, editing and proofreading questions for nonfiction, fiction, literary criticism. I can also help in most content areas except for hard science and narrow areas of history. Specialize in E.S.L. , those with learning disabilities and processing problems. Clarity, fun, and simple answers as well as assisting with improving to excellence.

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