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Language tip of the week: to shock someone

Written by Liz Potter

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 the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at verbs and phrases that mean to make someone feel shocked:

shock someone to make someone feel surprised and upset:

  • The news shocked everyone.
  • What I’m going to say may shock you.

give someone a shock:

  • What she had seen had given her a terrible shock.

appal someone to shock someone very much:

  • The scale of the destruction appalled us. 

horrify someone to make someone feel extremely shocked:

  • He heard something which utterly horrified him.
  • The idea that they may acquire nuclear weapons will horrify their neighbours in the region.

stun someone to shock someone so much that they cannot react:

  • His violent death stunned the nation.
  • His words briefly stunned her into silence.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘to make someone feel shocked‘.

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Liz Potter

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