ache

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Please help me choose the best one.
1. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant pain in her back.
2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant ache in her back.
Thanks.
 
  • Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    I would say "pain"--you can't go wrong with it.

    "A constant ache" seems like a pleonasm, because "ache" already means something that is pretty steady and constant.

    Z.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Isotta said:
    "A constant ache" seems like a pleonasm, because "ache" already means something that is pretty steady and constant.
    I agree with this. Although, "a constant ache" is very common to hear.


    mimi2 said:
    1. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant pain in her back.
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant ache in her back.
    To me, they are both good sentences.

    However, to me, a pain is stronger than an ache.
    An ache is uncomfortable, and lasts for a long time. While, a pain hurts a little more, and doesn't imply "long-lasting".
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I agree pretty much with VenusEnvy.

    But I would say "... a constant ache" rather than "... constant ache",
    and I'd leave out "from".

    "She suffered constant pain."
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    mimi2 said:
    Please help me choose the best one.
    1. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant pain in her back.
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant ache in her back.
    Thanks.

    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant aching in her back.
    or
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from a constant ache in her back.
    or
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from a constant back ache.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    nycphotography said:
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from constant aching in her back.
    or
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from a constant ache in her back.
    or
    2. For a long time after the accident, she suffered from a constant back ache.

    Would you be happy to leave out the "from"?
     

    Derringer

    Member
    USA
    USA, English, Portuguese, German, Latin
    Brioche said:
    Would you be happy to leave out the "from"?
    Strictly speaking, the verb is intransitive, so the preposition should remain, but "She suffered pain in her back" does have a nice ring to it.
     

    Derringer

    Member
    USA
    USA, English, Portuguese, German, Latin
    You're right, and my apologies to Brioche. That's what I get for trusting an old guy's memory instead of going to a dictionary.

    Isotta said:
    The verb is both transitive and intransitive. For me either is perfectly fine.

    Z.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    A couple of observations. First of all, I wouldn't drop "from." Suffer as a transitive verb has other meanings, and it echoes those meanings when used with "ache" or "pain" as a direct object. It implies "put up with" or have a "let it be" attitude toward something.

    It's also a very specialized verb, located mostly in a couple of set phrases: "Suffer the little children..." and "doesn't suffer fools gladly."

    Second, I think people are objecting to "constant" because of a concept in the word ache that I would rather parse as "chronic." Aches tend to be chronic, meaning they can come and go or ebb and flow. Pain is exactly as you've pointed out, specific, sometimes sharper, a little clinical-sounding. By "specific" I mean it tends to be particular, or happen on an "ad hoc" basis. The word itself isn't more specific, in fact if anything it's more generic.

    Therefore, pain can take on any of the nuances of ache, by the use of modifiers-- including "chronic" or "constant." Isotta's "you can't go wrong" remark is apt for pain.

    Remember when we found an AE/BE difference between "I have a toothache" and "I have toothache?"
    .
     
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