Abîmer: The Art of Skillfully Damaging in French


Welcome, language enthusiasts, to another riveting exploration of the French language! Today, we embark on a journey to discover the various ways to use the verb “abîmer,” which translates into English as “to damage” or “to spoil.” Just as a sculptor shapes a masterpiece from stone, we shall mold our understanding of “abîmer” to skillfully express damage and its consequences in French. So brace yourself and let’s dive into the art of “abîmer”!

1. Understanding the Basics:

“Abîmer” is a versatile verb that can be used to describe various forms of damage or spoilage. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or metaphorical, “abîmer” is here to help us express the effects of deterioration or impairment. Here are some examples of its usage:

  • J’ai accidentellement abîmé mon téléphone. (I accidentally damaged my phone.)
  • Les intempéries ont abîmé la toiture de la maison. (The bad weather damaged the house’s roof.)
  • Ses paroles l’ont profondément abîmé. (His words deeply hurt him.)

2. Expressing Wear and Tear:

When objects or items show signs of wear and tear, “abîmer” is the perfect verb to capture their diminished state. From old books to worn-out furniture, take a look at these examples:

  • Le livre était abîmé par le temps et les lectures attentives. (The book was damaged by time and careful reads.)
  • Les années ont abîmé les meubles, mais ils ont toujours leur propre charme. (The years have damaged the furniture, but they still possess their own charm.)

3. Describing Emotional Damage:

Just as physical objects can be damaged, emotions and relationships can also bear the scars of “abîmer.” Here’s how to express emotional damage in French:

  • Son comportement a abîmé notre amitié. (His behavior has damaged our friendship.)
  • Les critiques constantes ont abîmé son estime de soi. (The constant criticism damaged his self-esteem.)


With our exploration of the verb “abîmer” coming to a close, we hope you now have a solid foundation for incorporating this versatile verb into your French conversations. Remember to use it with precision and accuracy, as “abîmer” adds depth and nuance to your expressions of damage and impairment, both physical and emotional. So, whether you’re describing the state of your favorite antique or the impact of hurtful words, “abîmer” is your artistic tool for conveying the art of skillful damage.

Happy learning and don’t abîme your confidence on your language journey! Au revoir!