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  • I have injured my ankle.

  • I have damaged my ankle.

Could you tell me the difference?

How can I use injured/damaged correctly?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Generally, an injury is something that a person suffers, whereas damage is something that an inanimate object suffers. So, "I fell and injured my ankle", while "the book fell off the table and damaged the box."

You can, however, refer to various body parts taking damage when they are the subject of the sentence, since body parts by themselves are not considered people: "My ankle took some damage from the fall." Or, "The box was damaged when I injured my ankle tripping over it."

(There's also a difference between an injury and a wound, namely that a wound is a type of injury that involves a breaking of the skin. So a bruise such as a black eye is not a wound, but a cut or a scraped knee would be.

Further, being wounded generally involves having a wound or injury inflicted upon you by a third party, whereas being injured could be accidental or self-inflicted.)

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