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  1. onetwothree's Avatar
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    #1

    What do we call a person who is...?

    We call a person who worry about nothing a free-spirit.
    Then, what do we call a person who worries about everything, even the smallest thing and something that isn't worth at all.

    By the way, I wonder...if the sentence " She worries about nothing" has two meanings.
    I mean, the first meaning is certainly that " She doesn't worry about anything".
    And I think the second meaning might be " She always worries although there is nothing to worry"

    So is that true???

    Please explain it for me.
    Thank you very much!!!
    Last edited by onetwothree; 04-Aug-2007 at 16:08.


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    #2

    Re: What do we call a person who is...?

    1) One such term, a little old-fashioned maybe, is "worrywart."

    When a person is imagining terrible scenarios that might not ever take place ("What if he misses his plane, then he'll be stuck in Philadephia overnight and if he can't find an ATM then he won't be able to eat...") we also say he or she is "borrowing trouble."

    2) "She worries about nothing" grammatically can have the first meaning you list, but I would use it more commonly to mean the second. I would probably emphasize the word "nothing," when I spoke to make the meaning clear. I know I hear, "You get yourself all worked up over nothing!" often -- probably because I am a "worrywart."

    [native speaker, not a teacher]

  2. onetwothree's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What do we call a person who is...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    1) One such term, a little old-fashioned maybe, is "worrywart."

    When a person is imagining terrible scenarios that might not ever take place ("What if he misses his plane, then he'll be stuck in Philadephia overnight and if he can't find an ATM then he won't be able to eat...") we also say he or she is "borrowing trouble."

    2) "She worries about nothing" grammatically can have the first meaning you list, but I would use it more commonly to mean the second. I would probably emphasize the word "nothing," when I spoke to make the meaning clear. I know I hear, "You get yourself all worked up over nothing!" often -- probably because I am a "worrywart."

    [native speaker, not a teacher]
    Oh!!! I see. Thank you.
    Actually, I understand the first explanation, but the second one.
    Would you mind explaining more clearly again, please? And please give me some more examples for the second meaning that I mentioned.
    Thanks again.


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    #4

    Re: What do we call a person who is...?

    Okay, I'll try. "She worries about nothing." As you point out, this is a perfectly grammatical way to say that a person does not worry. However, in AE at least, a speaker is more likely to say, "She doesn't worry about anything" or "She never worries about anything."

    In the old TV show hogan's Heroes, a character named Sgt. Schultz frequently said, "I see nos-sink!" in his heavy German accent; the phrase was deliberately chosen for its slight awkwardness. It wouldn't have been funny if Sgt. Schultz said, "I don't see any-sink!"

    However, "there's nothing" is used interchangeably with "there isn't anything." "There's nothing to worry about/ There isn't anything to worry about."

    "She always worries, although there is nothing to worry about." "She's always borrowing trouble. She's always fretting about nothing. She's always imagining the worst." There is probably a fictional character who exemplifies this trait (Dickens, maybe?) but I can't think of one right now.

    Also, if you are making plans to deal with a problem that hasn't arisen yet, someone may advise, "Don't cross that bridge till you get to it."

  3. onetwothree's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: What do we call a person who is...?

    Oh, yes!!!
    I now understand. Thank you very much.


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    #6

    Re: What do we call a person who is...?

    You're very welcome :)

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