(to be)“Trembling With Fear”

(This Phrasal Verb can be both idiomatic or literal, and I therefore hereby declare it to be both a Lexical lesson, AND a “Tid-Bit”)…  Just Because!  😉

Literally – this phrase is used to describe when a person is so incredibly frightened or scared by something, that he or she is literally shaking or “trembling“.

Idiomatically (or “figuratively” speaking) this phrase is used, in an exaggerated sense, to express that one is just very very scared, even if that person is not actually trembling.

Meaning, Function, & Usage

To Tremble” means:   “To shake involuntarily, usually out of anxiety, excitement or fear.”

In this phrase, the wordwith” can also be replace by the wordin“, however it is not as common and, grammatically, not as precise – but no one seems to care about that, so wichever you think sounds better…  well, go for it! 😉

Grammatically speaking, it would be more logical to say that a person is “trembling from fear”…  but – as you probably know by now (especially after the explanation above) – the English language is not always “grammatically logical”.  So, instead, we more-commonly use “with”.

Trembling in Fear002 - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“She was “trembling with fear” when she realized that she had forgotten to take the red lipstick out of the pocket of her brand-new pair of white jeans before starting the load of laundry in the washing machine.”

Trembling in Fear001 - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“He was “trembling with fear” when the militant feminist called him a ‘misogynistic pig’, and vowed to have him kicked off the air for daring to say that they were absolutely ridiculous.”

(Although he should be kicked off the air for all the stupid things he says about politics & current events.  He use to be a comedian — now he’s just an idiot)

 Other Uses

As with the second example above, this phrase can also be used sarcastically in response to some sort of threat or a situation where-in a person is trying to come across (either through spoken or written form) as being very tough or intimidating…  but is somehow failing.

Trembling With Fear 004 - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Other Phrases With The Word, “Trembling”

One can also be:  “Trembling with…”


  • Anticipation – (due to excitement) 😀
  • Amazement – (due to surprise and…  amazement) 😀
  • Excitement – (due to anticipation and…  excitement) 😀
  • Horror – (just a little more extreme than “Fear”) 👿
  • Passion – (usually due to a situation of sexual excitement or the anticipation of the same) 😉
  • Terror (basically the same as “Horror“) 👿


Trembling With Fear 003 - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Trembling with… well, you take your pick 😀

Thanks For Stopping By!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s “Tid-Bit”, and that it leaves you “Trembling” with…  well, something good!

Have An Excellent Day!





The Teacher

The Man Known As "The Teacher" is the creator of - administrator for - and sole content contributor to - all that is GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!,  as well as a being a TEFL certified English teacher A Master of Ninja Invisibility and Jedi Mind Tricks, AND has a secret under-ground UFO bunker and Mad Scientist's Laboratory hidden deep in The Balkans where he currently resides with his beautiful wife and the formerly-homeless monkeys that have infested his apartment. He is also a Gemini and so is his evil twin ;)

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5 Responses

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