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Unit 1: English In A Minute
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Session 30

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Prevent vs Avoid

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Dan discusses the difference between prevent and avoid! Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Dan

Hi guys! Dan for BBC Learning English here. This time we're looking difference between prevent and avoid.

Prevent basically means stop. If you prevent something, you stop it from happening - often before it starts. 
You can prevent something, prevent something from happening or prevent someone from doing something. For example: The arrival of the police prevented crime. Or: Losing my passport prevented me from flying. Or: I prevented her from slapping me! Wow!

Now avoid, basically means miss. If you avoid something, you try to make it miss you. For example: I avoided meeting my ex. Or: I avoided the slap easily

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Prevent vs avoid

Prevent
Prevent means stop. Preventing something means stopping it, often before it has happened. You can prevent something, prevent something happening, or prevent someone from doing something.

  • The arrival of the police prevented crime.
  • His hand prevented the cup falling. 
  • Losing my passport prevented me from flying.

Avoid
Avoid means miss. If you avoid something you miss it, or try to make it miss you. You can avoid something or avoid something happening.

  • I avoided the slap easily. 
  • I avoided being discovered by hiding.

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