Interested in Language
Teachers: I guess for non-native speakers, one of the hardest things when it comes to learning English is telling in what situations words that have similar or same meanings should be used. For example, "mend","fix","repair" these three words are sometimes confusing. I have heard native speakers use fix and repair a lot, but never have I heard them use "mend". Is it a matter of AmE or BrE, or is it still being used? If yes, in what situation?A similar example would be "seldom","rarely","barely". Do people still use the word "seldom"? I just don't hear it that much. When and where do people use it? Thank you!!!
[AmE - not a teacher]
Thinking only briefly about this, "fix" and "repair" are nearly synonymous, and can be used in any situation. "Mend" seems to be reserved for idioms like "mend fences" and "mend a broken heart", or specific uses such as, "we mend relationships" and "mend torn clothing". But, we can also "fix or repair relationships", "fix or repair torn clothing", and "fix or repair a broken heart" (with various levels of sounding "normal").