English version


From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Education
problemprob‧lem /ˈprɒbləm $ ˈprɑː-/ ●●● S1 W1 noun [countable]  1 difficultyPROBLEM a situation that causes difficulties She was older than me, but that wasn’t really a problem.problem of The problem of street crime is getting worse every year.problem with I’ve been having a few problems with my car.RegisterIn writing, people sometimes prefer to use the word issue rather than problem, as it sounds more neutral and less negative:the issue of race relations2 something wrong with your health or with part of your bodyhealth problem/problem with your health Does she have any long-term health problems?back/heart/kidney etc problem If you have back problems you should avoid lifting heavy objects.hearing problem Many people with hearing problems try to hide their condition.weight problem She refuses to admit to herself that she has a weight problem.emotional/psychological problem Is this a sign of some kind of deeper psychological problem?see thesaurus at illness3 questionSE a question for which you have to find the right answer, using mathematics or careful thought She gave us 20 mathematical problems to solve.4 no problem5 have no problem (in) doing something6 the (only) problem is (that) ...7 that’s your/his etc problem8 it’s/that’s not my problem9 What’s your/his etc problem?10 Do you have a problem with that?11 problem child/family/drinker etcCOLLOCATIONSMeaning 1: a situation that causes difficultiesverbshave a problemWe saw water rushing in and realised we had a serious problem.cause/create a problemThe building’s lack of parking space could cause problems.present/pose a problem (=cause it or make it have to be considered)A shortage of trained nurses is posing major problems.deal with/sort out a problemThe state has failed to deal with the problem of violence against women.tackle/address a problem (=deal with it)There is more than one way to tackle this problem.solve/resolve a problem (also fix a problem informal)He solved his financial problems by selling his car.overcome a problemWe try to help families overcome housing problems.face a problemTerrorism is possibly the most important problem facing western countries.raise a problem (=mention it, so that people can discuss it)He also raised the problem of noise from planes taking off and landing.encounter/experience a problemYou shouldn’t encounter any further problems.a problem arises/occurs (also a problem comes up) (=it happens)Problems may arise when the family wants to move house.compound/exacerbate a problem formal (=make it worse)The country’s economic problems are compounded by its ageing population.the problem lies in/with somethingThe problem lies in the design of the rocket.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + problembig/major/seriousThe school’s biggest problem is a shortage of cash.little/small/minorOld cars often develop minor engine problems.the main problemThe main problem for the climbers was lack of sleep.a real problemThey quickly found that their real problem lay with marketing.a difficult problemDoes the team have the skills to tackle these difficult problems?a thorny/knotty problem (=difficult)He still faced the thorny problem of finding a way out of the jungle.a fundamental problem (=relating to the most basic and important parts of something)The government has done little to solve the fundamental problems of poverty and crime.a pressing problem (=one that needs to be dealt with very soon)Lack of clean drinking water is the most pressing problem facing the refugees.personal problems (=relating to your private life and relationships)My daughter found it hard to talk about her personal problems.family problemsShe would never discuss family problems with outsiders.financial/money problemsOur financial problems are over.economic problemsHe argued that the government was to blame for the country’s economic problems.a technical problemThe delay was caused by technical problems.a practical problemBurying a pet can present practical problems.an environmental problemAir pollution is our most serious environmental problem.COMMON ERRORSIt is more usual to say a big problem, a major problem or a serious problem, instead of saying 'an important problem'.
THESAURUSsetback a problem that stops you from making progressThe space program suffered a major setback when the space shuttle, Discovery, exploded.snag informal a problem, especially one that you had not expectedThere’s a snag – I don’t have his number.hitch a small problem that delays or prevents somethingThere have been a few last-minute hitches.trouble when something does not work in the way it shouldThe plane developed engine trouble.hassle spoken a situation that is annoying because it causes problemsJust trying to store all this stuff is a hassle.
COLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: something wrong with your health or with part of your bodyADJECTIVES/NOUN + problema health/medical problemHave you ever suffered from any of these health problems?a back/heart/kidney etc problemHe was born with heart problems.a hearing problemThere are special telephones for people with hearing problems.a weight problem (=the problem of being too fat)Patients with weight problems were put on a strict diet.psychological problems (also mental health problems)She is being treated for psychological problems at a mental hospital in Oxford.emotional problemsHe suffers from depression and other emotional problems.behavioural problemsMany of these children have behavioural problems.a serious/major problemLifting things carelessly can lead to serious back problems.a minor problemShe has had some minor medical problems.verbshave a problemHe's always had a weight problem.suffer (from) a problemThe patient began to suffer breathing problems.
Examples from the Corpus
problemThis is a problem in making an ordered sequence with respect to time from different fragments or partial records.The first section of the test will contain twenty algebra problems.If you have any problems, give me a call.Our biggest problem is lack of money.The new traffic system is causing problems for everyone.Please call 5326 if you have any computer problems.Federal laws have almost no effect on the crime problem that concerns most people - crime on the streets.Bill isn't sleeping well - I think he's having problems at school.Tannen retired early due to health problems.We are taken to a place where characters have nice little problems and impressive muscle tone.Three would involve complex skeletal and muscular problems tending to impede rather than improve mobility.There seems to be some kind of problem with the heaters.Sue's had a lot of problems with her neighbours recently.We try to move at the parents pace and, where necessary, show them one problem at a time.The only problem is that this runs counter to trends in the labor market.We have our problems and our frustrations.She's had a lot of personal problems - her mother died when she was eight.Whiteflies can be a serious problem that affects produce grown in California and other states.Where motor vehicles are concerned, the problems are different.In spite of this we do need to make an effort to define the problem.Engineers were unable to find the source of the problem in the spacecraft's cooling system.Scientists still have not solved the problem of what to do with nuclear waste.The problem of substance abuse in high school is widespread.problem ofthe problem of homelessnessemotional/psychological problemAfter all, there is so much talk about emotional problems and abnormality that many people wonder if they need help.But she gave herself up to police and told them her real motive was to win attention for emotional problems.He or she may have emotional problems that result in occasional deliberate binges but that is not necessarily alcoholism.She said there are no more psychological problems among Ipalook students than among those at any other school with a similar profile.The sixth and oldest, a 9-year-old boy, currently is in specialized foster care because of emotional problems.More difficult would be patients with a deep seated psychological problem which would require more than three months' treatment.Those with extensive past histories suggesting emotional problems also tended to have longer courses.Liberal emphasis on the psychological problems of the radicals appears misplaced.mathematical problemsThey spend so much time thinking about mathematical problems that they do not notice what is happening around them.In a similar way it is possible to phrase many other unsolved mathematical problems in terms of the Turing machine halting problem.I started to find great relaxation in playing with mathematical problems and puzzles.
Pictures of the day
What are these?
Click on the pictures to check.