According to the Longman Dictionary of Common Errors,
"The noise of the traffic outside all day annoys me." is not good English and "The noise of the traffic outside all day irritates me." is better.
This dictionary explains that "Something unpleasant that happens repeatedly or continuously over a long period of time tends to irritate or frustrate people, especially because they know that they can do nothing to stop it."
I still do not understand the difference between "annoy" and "irritate." Could anyone explain the difference with some sentence examples?
To understand the difference in meaning we must go to the basic cause of annoyance or irritation. One gets irritated when his tranquility or working environment gets disturbed continuously or repeatedly, which may be caused by some unpleasant sound or behavior from some thing/body
Now a days her behavior really irritates me.
On the other hand, the basic cause of annoyance is obstruction to one’s desire/wish/orders. It can be also due to forcing some one to do something unpleasant/unethical.
The Chief Executive was annoyed with the managers due to reduced productivity.
Tom really annoyed me in the meeting when he openly criticized my proposal.
He was terribly annoyed with his girlfriend when he found her with others very often.
Last edited by sarat_106; 06-Oct-2009 at 06:52.