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afflict, inflict

Which should you use, afflict or inflict? To afflict someone with something means to distress someone. To inflict something on someone means to impose it on them. For afflict, the direct object is a person. For inflict, the direct object is a thing. Do not confuse the two words.

Incorrect: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer that inflicts women.
Correct: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer that afflicts women.
Incorrect: He wanted to afflict as much damage as he could.
Correct: He wanted to inflict as much damage as he could.
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