Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts


1) make a problem or situation worse
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • compound the issue/matter/problem
  • Analysis

    A compound is something that is made of two or more separate elements. In a scientific context, you can talk about chemical compounds for example. As an adjective, a compound describes something that is made up of two or more distinct or separate parts. In finance, compound interest refers to the interest that is payable on capital or on top of accumulated interest. The verb to compound can mean to be made up of separate ingredients or constituents and is related to combine. To compound something can also mean to make something worse or to intensify the negative aspects of something. A compound can also refer to an area which is enclosed usually used to house animals or people. 

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. She's still upset with you for not inviting her to your birthday party, so when you see her today don't mention how well it went. It will only compound things.
    2. The police discovered an illegal compound where dogs were being bred.
    3. The compounded effects of codeine and ibuprofen work together to dull pain.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Luke's financial problems were compounded when he lost his job unexpectedly. He had hit rock bottom. 
    2. Working across time zones has compounded the need for effective communication systems across departments.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Jenny's efforts to mediate in the dispute between the two business partners ended up merely compounding the issue. Her approach was too heavy-handed.
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