There's been a hurricane. The governor of your state is giving a press conference to talk about the results of the storm. A reporter asks how bad it was. The governor doesn't exactly know yet, so he says this.
We're still assessing the extent of the damage.
The "extent" of something means how much, how far, how bad, etc.
English speakers often use this word in the phrase "the extent of the damage". After some kind of accident or disaster, you have to check the extent of the damage, which means how badly things are broken and messed up. For example, a car mechanic can check the extent of the damage to your vehicle after a car crash.
The word "assess" means to check or test. "Assessing the damage" to something means figuring out how badly it was damaged.
You "assess the damage" in situations like these:
- You assess the damage to the body of someone who's been injured.
- The government assesses the damage to homes and businesses when there's been a natural disaster.
- An insurance company representative assesses the damage to your car when you've gotten in a car accident.
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