300 Days of Better Writing

June 15, 2011

Anxious and Eager are Different


People often use anxious to mean eager, but this is incorrect. These words have different meanings.

For example, I might hear someone say “I’m anxious to go,” meaning he or she is eager and excited to go. What this person is saying, however, is that he or she is worried about or afraid of going. So let’s take a moment and define these two words.

Anxious means, roughly, worried and fearful. This word is typically followed by about. You are anxious about something.

Correct use: “I am anxious about the upcoming presentation.”
Correct use: “The man anxiously waited for his summons.”

Eager means, roughly, excited and longing for.

Correct use: “I am eager to go.”
Correct use: “I am eager for this day to be over.”
Correct use: “She eagerly opened her mail.”


This is the strategy for day 290 in 300 Days of Better Writing, available at Hostile Editing in PDF, Kindle, and paperback formats.

For a sample of 300 Days of Better Writing and other books by Precise Edit, download the free ebook.

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