English phrase of the day: Bear the brunt

YouTube video

Hi students! In today’s video, I’m going to teach you what it means to bear the brunt of a bad situation. I encountered this phrase in a discussion about the weather. There was a hurricane approaching the area, and someone commented that the coast usually bears the brunt of the storm.

To bear the brunt means to receive the main force of the damage, the problem, the attack, etc. If the coast usually bears the brunt of the hurricane, it means it experiences the strongest part of the storm and the most damage.

Bear the brunt of can be used with any negative effects, not just natural disasters. For example, if a company makes the unpopular decision to raise the prices of its products, the customer service workers will probably bear the brunt of the customers’ anger. In other words, customers will complain to and maybe even yell at the company’s customer service workers. Those workers will receive a lot more of the negative effects than the company’s managers and directors who don’t work directly with the angry customers.

The verb bear in the present changes to bore in the past and borne in the past participle. So you could say “The coast bore the brunt of the hurricane last month” and “Innocent people have always borne the brunt of the suffering in wars.”

Got it? Thanks for watching today’s phrase of the day video, and I’ll see you in the next one!

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