Bereaved and Bereft | IELTS vocabulary

Bereaved and bereft are used in two entirely different ways, and you must never mix them up.

Bereaved refers exclusively to bereavement (losing someone you love).

  • The accident bereaved the old woman of her only son.

Note that bereaved is followed by the preposition of.

Bereaved can also be an adjective. In this case, it goes before a noun.

  • There was no one to console the bereaved family. 

Bereft refers to the other kinds of loss or dispossession: bereft of one’s inheritance, bereft of all hope.

  • They arrived bereft of their possessions.
  • He behaved as if he was bereft of his senses.

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