There are words in the English language that seem equivalent in use. It can be hard to tell if these terms are truly equivalent. Plenty of times they’re not equivalent, and they might have separate meanings.
This article will state whether you should use “damn” or “damned” when describing something.
Damn or Damned?
When used as adjectives, “damn” and “damned” are synonyms. You can both describe something as “damn good” or “damned good”. However, when used as an exclamation, e.g. “damn it!“ you should only use “damn.” The word “damned” can also be used as the past tense of “to damn.”
Evidently, “damn” and “damned” are separate words. However, when used as an adjective, or used to describe something, they are fully equivalent. This is why we say that they are full synonyms in this context.
There are contexts in which they are not interchangeable. For example, the exclamation “damn it” that people use in frustration. You can’t say “damned it.”
Here are some examples to showcase how you can use either “damn” or “damned” as adjectives:
- You’re damn right, I think we should go ahead with this exciting new project.
- He knew damned well that we were all going to this together tomorrow.
- He’s a damn fool, I wouldn’t worry about what he knows or doesn’t know.
- I damned near drove by the correct place, it was pretty much just luck that I’m here.
When to Use “Damn”
“Damn” is an expression that you can use as an adjective, or as an exclamation.
When using “damn” as an exclamation, you use either “damn” or “damn it”. It’s a fairly common expression of frustration.
Here are a few examples to show you how to use “damn” as an exclamation:
- Damn it! I knew this would happen at some time.
- Damn… I’m very sorry to hear what happened to you.
You can also use “damn” as an adjective to describe something else.
“Damn” is considered inappropriate language in many contexts. Therefore, you should probably avoid using “damn” in formal or business contexts.
Here are some examples that will show you how you can use “damn” as an adjective:
- It’s damn hard to figure out the instructions for that device, but I actually did it.
- I think it’s a damn shame that she got rejected by our process, she’s really talented.
When to Use “Damned”
“Damned” is an expression you can use as an adjective or as the past tense of the verb “damn”.
You can use “damned” when you want to describe something interchangeably with “damn”. However, you can also talk about someone “being damned” and use the term in that description.
Here’s a few example sentences that will show you how you can use “damned” as an adjective:
- It’s a damned shame that he came in last, I really thought he could do it.
- You know, that metal is damned hard to operate, I don’t like working with it.
When used as adjectives, “damn” and “damned” are interchangeable when describing something. Therefore, you can say that something is “damn good” or “damned good”.
“Damn” is also used as an exclamation, e.g. “damn it,” and “damned” is used as the past tense of “to damn”.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.