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Making someone feel frightened

Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

This set of language tips will explore the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at some adjectives that mean making someone feel frightened:

frightening making you feel frightened:

  • It’s the most frightening film I’ve ever seen.
  • It’s frightening to think what might have happened.

scary making you feel frightened: an informal word used mainly in spoken English:

  • Do you like scary movies?
  • It was really scary when the horse bolted.

terrifying extremely frightening:

  • It was a terrifying experience.
  • The car missed me by about six inches. It was absolutely terrifying.

spooky frightening in a way that makes you nervous because it involves things you cannot understand, for example ghosts and the supernatural:

  • The kids love spooky stories.
  •  The house was really spooky once the sun had gone down.

creepy frightening in a way that makes you feel nervous, but you are not sure why:

  • I had the creepy feeling someone was watching me.
  • Who’s that creepy guy she was with?

Spooky and creepy are both informal words.


About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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