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Language tip of the week: nervous

ILearn English with Macmillan Dictionaryn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about feeling nervous:

When you feel nervous it is like being pulled, tied or stretched tightly. When you relax, it is like becoming loose again.



I was feeling a bit tense.
I find running is a good way to release tension.
Her voice was high and strained.
There’s no need to get so wound up about it.
I’ve been really strung out lately.
She’s so highly-strung, she needs very sensitive handling.
I felt taut and tense with nerves.
I don’t know why he gets so uptight about things.
Her stomach seemed to be tying itself in knots.
You should try to loosen up a bit.
It’s good to unwind at the end of the day.
Just let go of all your worries.
I told her to hang loose and stop worrying.
It’s a place where people can let their hair down.

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Liz Potter

1 Comment

  • Dear MACMILLAN DICTIONARY Team

    Thanks for the language tip of the week. Some of those above were new for me…
    As a very keen language learner attentive to new words and their meanings, I thoroughly welcome the outcome of your ongoing research.

    Best Wishes

    Maria do Céu

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