(to be)“Trembling With Fear”

(This Phrasal Verb can be both idiomatic or literal)

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 as is commonly said:  “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 because of experiencing anxiety, excitement, or fear.”

In this phrase, the wordwith” can also be replace by the wordin” — however it is not as common, and is grammatically not as precise.  But no one really seems to care about that very much — so whichever you think sounds better…  well, just say it that way 😉

Grammatically speaking — it would be more logical & proper 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” when it comes to common usage.  So, instead, we usually use the word:  “with”.

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“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.”

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“He was “trembling with fear” when he found out that no one actually thinks that he is funny anymore — and because of that, his career as a comedian is essentially over.”

 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 lesson, and that it leaves you “Trembling” with…  well, something good!

Have An Excellent Day!


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