`afflict’ and `inflict’

Very often people deliberately go out of their way to cause pain or problems to others. When they do this, they are inflicting pain on them; they are doing things that they hope will make others experience something unpleasant.

*The General wanted his troops to inflict pain on the prisoners.

When you are afflicted with pain or illness, you suffer; the pain affects you badly, and it causes severe problems. You may suffer either physically or mentally.

*Many countries in Africa are afflicted by civil war.

Source: S. Upendran, The Hindu ‘Know Your English’ Series, March 20, 2006

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