be worn out vs be worn down

Discussion in 'English Only' started by amby, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. amby Banned

    Is there any difference between ' I am worn out' and ' I am worn down'. As far as I understand, both of them seem to mean ' I am really tired or I am exhausted'. Is it correct?
  2. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    "I am worn out", means I am (physically) tired and is an idiomatic expression.

    We would not (in AE) say "I am worn down", and it doesn't mean tired. We might say, "my boss's constant criticisms are really wearing me down", meaning that my boss's behavior is depressing me, destroying my confidence.
  3. amby Banned

    Then, in the following sentence, can't I use ' worn down'?

    All these situations produce stress but if you can control it and not the other way round you will feel stimulated, not worn out( or worn down?)
  4. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    British English
    It's the same in BE, so you can't say 'worn down' unless you want to use the wrong expression. You need 'worn out', meaning exhausted.


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