Revenge and avenge are often confused. Avenge means ‘get or take vengeance for’. To avenge my father is to punish someone who has hurt my father.
- I must avenge my father.
- We must avenge the insult.
- Incorrect: I must revenge my mother.
- Correct: I must avenge my mother. (= I must punish someone who has hurt my mother.)
- Incorrect: I must revenge my enemy.
- Correct: I must take revenge on my enemy. (= I must punish my enemy.)
Note that you avenge with the idea of seeing justice done. Revenge is less concerned with justice. To revenge is to do something (wrong) just because it gives you satisfaction.
- Jane’s father avenged her death by getting her killer arrested and convicted. (Jane’s father wants to see justice done.)
- Jane’s boyfriend took revenge on her killer by killing his wife.
Of course, Jane’s boyfriend was upset with the man who killed her. But justice can’t be his primary concern when he decided to kill that man’s wife.