Learn English – Prepositions used with “impact”


When A impacts B, do we always say "A has an impact on B"? Or does it depend on what A and B are? For example, is it right to say, "the recession had a great impact in Dubai?"

I have also seen the proposition "to" being used with the word impact.

Which is the correct form?

Best Answer

I don't do "correct", but I would normally use "impact on".

Any other preposition I would interpret as an adjunct, not a complement (i.e. not part of the meaning of "impact", but saying something about the where, the when or the how).

So I would interpret "a great impact in Dubai" as "a great impact on something obvious from context, in Dubai".

The only like case I can think of for "impact to" would be something like "have a great impact to new arrivals", meaning "have a great impact on something unspecified, as perceived by new arrivals".

Edit: it occurs to me that "impact" now has a separate meaning that doesn't require a complement at all. So "make a great impact in Dubai" is perhaps an example of this: the "in Dubai" is still an adjunct. "Make a great impact on Dubai" would says that it is somehow changing Dubai or its people.