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Thread: harbour X port

  1. #1
    katerina.pata is offline Junior Member
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    Default harbour X port

    Dear teachers
    please, can you explain the difference between the following words:
    harbour and port.
    Thank you very much. KP

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: harbour X port

    A port has built structures in it to make it easier for ships to berth, unload and load cargo, debark and embark passengers etc.

    A harbor refers to the geographical nature of a protected area (usually) with water deep enough to accommodate ships.

    You can have a natural harbor. You can't have a natural port.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    katerina.pata is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: harbour X port

    Thanks a lot Barb_D!

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: harbour X port

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A port has built structures in it to make it easier for ships to berth, unload and load cargo, debark and embark passengers etc.

    A harbor refers to the geographical nature of a protected area (usually) with water deep enough to accommodate ships.

    You can have a natural harbor. You can't have a natural port.
    (But of course people tend to build ports where the conditions are suitable. France has Le Havre and Portugal has O Porto; and I don't imagine the people who first named them were too concerned at the amount of construction work involved!)

    b

    PS Maybe this calls for more research. Perhaps O Porto does have less going for it (in terms of natural 'harbour-like-ness') than Le Havre. Hmm...

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