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Learn English: Fix, mend and repair

Man in a repair shop
Should you use 'fix', 'mend' or 'repair'? Find out in today's lesson.

Unsplash CC: Clark Young

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What is the difference between 'fix', 'mend' and 'repair'? All of these words are used to describe the act of taking something that is damaged and restoring it. They are often interchangeable, but which word best matches which situation?

'Fix' is the most versatile and common. We often use it with technical problems.

Phone with a broken screen
"No one has been able to fix my phone since I dropped it."

Picjumbo CC: Viktor Hanacek


'Repair' is considered slightly more formal than 'fix'.

A box of needles and someone mending an item of clothing by hand
'Mend' is often used in relation to clothing.

Unsplash CC: Kris Atomic


'Mend' has the same meaning as 'fix' or repair' but it is more likely to be used when talking about repairing a hole or tear in an item of clothing.

You can also 'mend' a relationship.

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