In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.
This set of language tips will explore different ways to talk about emotions. This week’s tip looks at verbs and phrases you can use to talk about making someone angry.
make someone angry or make someone mad:
His attitude makes me really angry. ♦ It makes me mad the way he keeps criticizing me all the time. ♦ What really makes me mad is the way she expects everyone to do what she wants.
annoy someone to make someone feel slightly angry:
I don’t dislike her, she just annoys me sometimes. ♦ It really annoys me when you don’t listen to what I’m saying. ♦ It annoyed Millie that no one really took any notice of her suggestions.
irritate someone to make someone feel slightly annoyed: used about people, or about things that keep happening or continue for a long time:
Pop-up ads irritate just about everyone. ♦ It really irritates me when she talks to him in that babyish voice.
get on someone’s nerves to annoy someone, especially by repeatedly doing something:
His constant humming really gets on my nerves. ♦ It gets on my nerves the way sales assistants ignore you because they are too busy talking to each other.
rub someone up the wrong way to say or do things that annoy people, especially without intending to. Rub someone up the wrong way is a fairly informal phrase:
I don’t know what it is about Luke, he just rubs me up the wrong way.
More language tips
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