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problem noun

1 sth that causes difficulties

ADJ. acute, big, enormous, grave, great, serious Our greatest problem is the lack of funds. | little, minor, petty | complex, complicated, difficult, knotty, thorny | growing | basic, central, main, major | common | pressing, urgent | immediate | insoluble, insuperable, insurmountable, intractable Depression is a natural feeling if your problems seem intractable. | long-standing, long-term, perennial | practical | technical | attitude, behavioural, emotional, psychological His teachers say he has an attitude problem. | health, physical, sexual | back, heart, knee | drink, drug | social | housing | economic, financial They sold their car to ease their financial problems. | environmental | legal

VERB + PROBLEM be, pose, present (sb with) Inadequate resources pose a problem for all members of staff. | have | bring, cause, create Success brings its own problems. Staff shortages cause problems for the organization. | be beset with, be confronted by/with, be dogged by, be faced with, be fraught with, confront, encounter, face, run into He has been faced with all manner of problems in his new job. The scheme has been fraught with problems from the start. | raise She raised the problem of falling sales at the last meeting. | identify | consider, debate, discuss, look at/into | address, approach, attack, combat, come/get to grips with, grapple with, handle, tackle The next meeting will address the problem of truancy. | avoid, circumvent, find a way around/round, get around/round | clear up, cure, deal with, overcome, resolve, solve He had to undergo surgery to cure the problem with his knee. | alleviate, ease, reduce | exacerbate | analyse, explore

PROBLEM + VERB arise, come up, occur problems arising from poor ventilation | exist | persist, remain If the problem persists you should see a doctor. The basic problem remains the lack of housing available. | confront sb, face sb | lie in sth The problem lies in the lack of communication between managers and staff.

PROBLEM + NOUN area | child

PREP. ~ about I didn't imagine there would be a problem about getting tickets. | ~ for The rail strike is a problem for all commuters. | ~ of the problem of poverty | ~ with Have you got a problem with her?

PHRASES an approach to a problem, the crux/heart/root of the problem We need to get to the root of the problem before we can solve it. | a remedy/solution to a problem, the scale of a problem

2 question to be solved

ADJ. complicated, difficult | easy, simple | mathematical solving simple mathematical problems

VERB + PROBLEM do, find the answer to, solve I have five problems to do for homework.

PROBLEM + NOUN solving This kind of activity develops the children's problem-solving skills.