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1.A. They said they were not adverse to examining proposals for modifying the lobbying law, though they [...].

1.B. They said they were not averse to examining proposals for modifying the lobbying law, though they [...]

2.A. They said they were adverse to examining proposals for modifying the lobbying law, though they [...].

2.B. They said they were averse to examining proposals for modifying the lobbying law, though they [...]

The first sentence is quoted from The New York Times while the others are its modified versions in which "adverse" is replaced by "averse", with and whitout the "not".

The questions are: Are "adeverse" and "averse" generally interchangeable? If so, how does the use of "not" influence the possibility of interchanging these words?

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Adverse is wrong here.

  • Averse is said of people: it means ‘unwilling’ or ‘opposed’.

    They were averse to considering the proposal in the current political climate.

  • Adverse is said of circumstances: it means ‘unfavourable’ or ‘not conducive’.

    The current political climate is adverse to the proposal's getting a hearing.

The negatives follow suit.

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