Damp Vs. Dump

My students get confused about these two words. Let’s talk about them. 

They’re spelt and pronounced differently dAmp and dUmp.

DAMP is connected with “water”, perhaps, you can associate it with Aqua: dAmp = Aqua.

DUMP is connected with “throw”, “waste”, perhaps, you can associate “U” with a “hole” as it looks like a hole where you can dump some things.


DAMP can be an adjective, a noun and a verb. All of them are connected to something “wet”.


     slightly wet (usually in an unpleasant way).

    I don’t like a DAMP weather.

    It’s DAMP in her bedroom.


     a state of being slightly wet.

    His flat smells of DAMP.

     areas on a wall which are a little wet.

    I don’t want to rent this flat. There’s DAMP in the kitchen.

    Mind that this noun is common for British English and is uncountable.


     to make something a little wet.

    I DAMPEN the shirts before ironing them?

     to make something less intense or strong.

    We say that Mary’s dreams will never come true but nothing DAMPENS her enthusiasm.

    We have 2 variants here: DAMP or DAMPEN.


    It can be a verb and a noun and they are connected with “throw”.


      (some of the meanings)

      – to get rid of something you don’t need to especially in place that is not suitable.

      Don’t DUMP your rubbish in the river.

      – to leave something for somebody else to deal with.

      Kevin DUMPED the extra work on me once again…

      – to end a romantic relationship with somebody

      Nina DUMPED her boyfriend cause he had cheated on her.


      (some of the meanings)

      – a place where rubbish or waste is left.

      Here we come across such collocations as:

      garbage dump (Am), rubbish dump (Br), refuse dump, waste dump

      – an unpleasant or dirty place.

      I can’t understand how Harry can live in this DUMP…

      Do this QUIZ


      #1. Use a _____ towel to clean the skin.

      #2. Why don’t you _____ your girlfriend? She’s so greedy…

      #3. Use the gel to _____ your hair.

      #4. You’re a grown-up now! Don’t _____ your troubles on your parents!

      #5. It rained yesterday but the grass is still _____.

      #6. It’s an old house, all the rooms smell _____.

      #7. I found this antique chair in a rubbish _____.