the atmosphere became tense/nervous

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angliholic

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I could feel the atmosphere became tense when she walked into the room.




Hi,
I presume "tense" in the above mean "nervous" but I doubt if they are interchangeable. What other words could I use instead of "tense" in the above context? Thanks.
 

Niskelton

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Looking at today's posts you seem to have spent the whole day looking for answers.
Tense relates to tension meaning tightness - so you could say that the atmosphere was tight or taut - but those are not common usages and sound clumsy - tense is definitely the best word.
Nervous comes from nerves, and since the situation and the atmosphere do not have any nerves, the atmosphere cannot be nervous. The PEOPLE IN the situation can be nervous though, and that is usually what makes the atmosphere tense.
Nervous should only be used to describe people or animals
 

angliholic

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Looking at today's posts you seem to have spent the whole day looking for answers.
Tense relates to tension meaning tightness - so you could say that the atmosphere was tight or taut - but those are not common usages and sound clumsy - tense is definitely the best word.
Nervous comes from nerves, and since the situation and the atmosphere do not have any nerves, the atmosphere cannot be nervous. The PEOPLE IN the situation can be nervous though, and that is usually what makes the atmosphere tense.
Nervous should only be used to describe people or animals
Thanks, Niskelton.
Got it.

By the way, you seem to have been well-informed in the field of etymology according to your answer.
 

warren14

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Is there a correct answer in the 4 choices?


The lights in the hall flashed and then went out. The atomosphere in the large, dark space was _______-
a. nervous b. frightened, c. heated, d. quiet
 

Anglika

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I could feel the atmosphere became tense when she walked into the room.




Hi,
I presume "tense" in the above mean "nervous" but I doubt if they are interchangeable. What other words could I use instead of "tense" in the above context? Thanks.

Nervous is not really applicable here.

Another possible word is "charged" = which derives from "charged with electricity".
 
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