(to be) “Trembling With Fear”

Trembling With Fear - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!


Most traditional English teachers would tell you that this expression is an Idiom…  It is not.  There is no such thing as an “Idiom”.  But this expression is not even Idiomatic.  This Phrasal-Verb can be used both Metaphorically & Literally.  However — it is most-often used Metaphorically.

The Metaphor is from the situation of a person being so filled with fear that they are LITERALLY “Trembling”.  They are “Trembling With (as a result of) Fear”.  But if someone uses this Phrase to express that they or someone else is or was very very frightened — but they are not actually physically “Trembling” — then the Phrase is being used Metaphorically.

(to) TrembleTo shake involuntarily — usually because of experiencing anxiety, excitement, or fear.


Trembling in Fear - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“She was Trembling With Fear when she realized that she did not Properly Study For Her TOEFL Exam.”


As stated above — This Phrasal-Verb is usually used Metaphorically to say that someone is or was very very afraid; filled with fear.  It is usually used as an exaggeration of the situation.

It can be argued that this Expression would be more Grammatically Correct if we used the Preposition “from”“Trembling From Fear”.  However — we also say that someone is “sick with the flu”;  has “come down with a fever”.

One could also argue for the use of the Preposition “of”, as well.  But since we have been saying this Phrase with the word “With” for so long — there is no point in trying to change the Common Usage of this Phrase.

Trembling in Fear - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“He began Trembling With Fear when he realized that he would be held accountable for his actions of mis-leading the public to take vaccines that have killed millions of people.”

Other Uses

This expression can also be used sarcastically — in response to some sort of threat — or in a situation where someone else is trying to be intimidating, but is not doing a very good job of it.

Trembling with Fear - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

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 sexual excitement or the anticipation of the same)  😉
  • Terror (basically the same as “Horror)  👿


Continue Learning

Trembling in Fear - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Trembling With…  Well…  You Decide.”  😀

And That’s That!

Have An Excellent Day!


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