Now, the VOA Learning English program, Words and Their Stories.
Americans can sometimes begin a sentence with the words "You're giving me." This expression usually describes a person's reaction to a surprise or to something unpleasant.
First, let's look at an example from the world of business.
What if you are asked to speak to a group of important customers -- people who depend on your product or services? You prepare for your speech, but you still have concerns about how you will perform in front of the group. Minutes before the speech, you might tell a friend that you have "the jitters." This means you are worried. Even experienced performers can get the jitters, especially before a big event.
Creeps, willies and heebie-jeebies -- oh my!
Now, let's talk about your neighborhood.
What if a stranger lives in a house near your home? The man does not appear normal. He may talk to himself, and even raise his voice at imaginary things. He makes you very nervous, even fearful. So, you might say "I get the creeps every time he walks by." Or you could say, "That guy gives me the creeps."
The willies are a lot like the creeps. You get the willies when you have a nervous feeling, like when you are in a forest and hear something unusual. These sounds give you "the willies."
Having a nervous feeling can also mean something or someone is giving you "the heebie-jeebies.".
You might say "I got the heebie-jeebies when I saw him looking at me." Also, it is a fun word to say - heebie-jeebies.
Sometimes your body shows you what you are feeling in the form of tiny bumps on your skin called "goosebumps."
Goosebumps can appear when you are nervous, excited or even very cold. In American English, you might say "I get goosebumps every time I think about it" or "It gives me goosebumps."
Butterflies are small, often beautiful insects. But they can also be a nervous feeling you get in your stomach, often before a performance of some kind.
You might say "I am looking forward to playing, but I must admit I've got butterflies in the pit of my stomach."
Sometimes, when a person likes another person romantically, they may say she or he gives them butterflies. They are excited at the thought of being with that person.
Finally, some Americans, when frightened, may use the expression, "you almost gave me a heart attack!" But they are not really having a heart attack. They just mean they were so scared that their heart might have stopped beating. A mother who sees her child fall from a tree might say the experience "almost gave me a heart attack!" In other words, the fall frightened her very badly.
So if someone says they have the jitters, try to help them calm down. Tell them to take a few deep breaths.
If you are told you are giving someone the creeps or the willies or the heebie-jeebies, it might be a good time to consider making some changes. Try not to be so unusual.
If a person tells you that you give them goosebumps or butterflies, it means they like you -- a lot. So, stay the way you are.
In your language how do you say someone is giving you the creeps, or the willies, or the heebie-jeebies? And do you have things like goosebumps or butterflies in the stomach? Let us know what these words are in the comments section!
Christopher Jones-Cruise wrote this report in Learning English. I'm Anna Matteo.
1.depend on 信赖
You shouldn't listen to the rumour.You can depend on me.
2.have the jitters 紧张不安
All of my classmates have the jitters because of the test.
3.get the creeps 毛骨悚然
I stayed listening to all the strange noises in the deserted house until I began to get the creeps.
4.get goosebumps 起鸡皮疙瘩
I get goosebumps when I see a snake.
美国人有时候会用“You're giving me”来开始一句话。这种表达通常描述的是一个人对惊奇或不愉快的事情的反应。
如果你被要求向一群重要的客户--比如说依赖你的产品或者服务的那些人--演讲，那会怎么样呢？你为你的演讲做了准备，但你仍旧对在这些人面前表现自己感到忧虑。在演讲前的几分钟，你可能会跟你的一个朋友说你have the jitters。这个短语的意思是你紧张不安。即使是经验丰富的表演者也会紧张，尤其是在一项重大事件之前。