Enhance vs aggravate vs worsen

Monica238

Senior Member
Russian
How to choose synonyms when working with a literary text? For example, a Russian dictionary gives a few synonyms for "worsen", but in which word would be suitable in this context enhance or aggravate with "fears" ?

As a woman she sensed evil, as an astute politician she was aware of the inevitability. Conversations with Francesco enhanced her fears. Only in her prayers she found peace.

For context, it is about a complicated relationship between two young people. She is afraid the relationship will end in divorce. It's only a short extract.
 
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  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Enhance is generally used in positive contexts so it doesn't work here. You can aggravate a person but it sounds odd in the context of fears.

    "Worsen" is what naturally occurs to me with fears. It's not clear why you don't want to use that word, but you could replace it with "intensify" if you like.
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Enhance is generally used in positive contexts so it doesn't work here. You can aggravate a person but it sounds odd in the context of fears.

    "Worsen" is what naturally occurs to me with fears. It's not clear why you don't want to use that word, but you could replace it with "intensify" if you like.
    Sorry, what do you mean by "You can aggravate a person but it sounds odd in the context of fears"?
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    I mean this sentence sounds fine:
    Francesco aggravates me (=Francesco annoys me)

    But this sentence sounds odd:
    Francesco aggravated my fears.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    So it depends on personal preference, doesn't it? Because it sounds odd to some native speakers.
    My apologies; since there was some difference of opinion, I was just adding my vote, but I did it rather carelessly, I'm afraid. You'd asked about 'Francesco aggravated her fears' - that sounds odd to me too.I meant to agree with the choice of 'aggravated', in 'Conversations with Francesco aggravated her fears.' Sorry about the confusion.
     
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