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Friday Feedback Learning Points

‘It had a detrimental impact/effect ON …’

These two synonyms take certain collocations depending on:


  • big, considerable, dramatic, enormous, great, high, huge, important, main, major, massive, powerful, profound, real, significant, strong, substantial, tremendous
  • limited, marginal, minimal/minimum, negligible | overall | growing, increasing | added | disproportionate | uneven the uneven impact of the debt crisis on developing countries |


  • combined, cumulative considering the cumulative impact of a series of damaging events
  • decisive | direct The railways made a direct physical impact on the landscape. 


  • immediate, instant | initial, short-term
  • lasting, long-term | far-reaching, wider It is important to appreciate the wider impact and implications of this proposal. 
  • future, likely, possible, potential 

4. Positive/Negative

  • beneficial, favourable, positive
  • adverse, catastrophic, damaging, devastating, disastrous, heavy, negative, serious, severe

5. The ‘discussion clock/thinking tree’ types

human The severest human impact on the dolphins has been the loss of habitat. | personal The personal impact of party leaders has been very important. 

physical, visual seeking to reduce the visual impact of wind farms on the landscape | cultural, ecological, economic, emotional, environmental, financial, health, political, psychological, social The environmental impact of power generation is being assessed.

You can say ‘optimistic/pessimistic impact/effect’ but I would avoid it.

It can be used in very limited situations: (only one example)


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