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    #1

    harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    I wonder if we can use both of two alternative adjectives in this sentence or just one word "harmful". Why can't we used the other one" destructive" in this sentence? Please explain to me.

    "Not only are smoking and drinking HARMFUL/ DESTRUCTIVE to our health, they actually increase stress rather than reduce it."


    By the way, could you help me with the second sentence. Could I write it in the three following ways?

    "If I were you, I'd look for another job."
    1) He suggested that I should look for another job.
    2) He suggested to me looking for another job.
    3) He suggested looking for another job.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 15-Jun-2016 at 12:05. Reason: See below.

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    #2

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    What differences have you found in dictionaries between 'harmful' and 'destructive'? [link]

    Please ask the unrelated question in a separate thread.

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    #3

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    What differences have you found in dictionaries between 'harmful' and 'destructive'? [link]

    Please ask the unrelated question in a separate thread.
    They are the same. Because I saw some examples in Oxford advanced Dictionary.

    1) " These substances can be destructive to health."
    2) " The spraying could prove harmful to humans."

    They seem to have the same meaning . But the definition of " harmful" prefers to a person's health or the environment rather than anything else. That is the reason why we should choose "harmful", isn't it?

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    #4

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    They are not the same.

    harmful — hurtful/damaging

    destructive — destroying/annihilating

    Smoking and drinking can harm your health (make you ill). They do not suddenly and catastrophically destroy your health (kill you). It takes a long time to do that.

    The environment has nothing to do with it.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    All true. Here's my point of veiw:

    - In this context, they mean the same thing.

    - Harmful is more common and natural.

    And here's my advice:

    - When choosing between two words, it's usually better to use the smaller one.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #6

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    - When choosing between two words, it's usually better to use the smaller one.
    Thank you, but what is meant by " the smaller one"?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 15-Jun-2016 at 17:40. Reason: Pruning quote.

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    #7

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    The word that's shorter.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: harmful to your health OR destructive to your health?

    Quote Originally Posted by Son Ho View Post
    Thank you, but what is meant by " the smaller one"?
    Which looks smaller to you?:

    - harmful
    - destructive

    I would use that one.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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