Language Tips

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



worry someone to make someone feel nervous and upset:

  • It worries me that Laura’s not doing very well at school.
  • What worries me most is the possibility of failure.
  • I don’t want to worry you, but there’s smoke coming from your exhaust.

bother someone to make someone feel slightly worried:

  • The only thing that bothers me is how I’m going to tell my mum and dad.
  • Does it bother you that people think you’re older than him?

concern someone if a problem concerns you, it worries you:

  • It concerns me that people are being targeted unjustly.
  • What concerns me most is how we’re going to pay for this.
  • cause concern or be a cause for concern Doctors said her condition was causing concern.

disturb someone if something disturbs you, it worries you a lot, especially because it is morally wrong:

  • It disturbs me that so many young people are turning to drugs.
  • They listened to his account, clearly disturbed by what he was telling them.

trouble someone if something troubles you, it worries you and you do not know what to do about it:

  • It troubles her that he refuses to confide in her.

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

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Liz Potter

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