worry

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JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
This is a made-up conversation.
A: He's always drinking.
B: Yeah, that's what I worry about him. (??)

Is B's line possible?

How about "Yeah, that's what I worry about about him."?

Or any suggestion?
 
  • fiercediva

    Senior Member
    American English
    This is a made-up conversation.
    A: He's always drinking.
    B: Yeah, that's what I worry about him. (??)

    Is B's line possible?

    How about "Yeah, that's what I worry about about him."?

    Or any suggestion?
    It's more common to say "Yeah, that's why I worry about him" or "that's why I'm worried about him".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I understand that "that's what I worry about him" doesn't work.
    But why is it that "that's what I worry about about him" doesn't work either?
    Shouldn't the latter be grammatical, if not idiomatic?
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    If "that's what I worry about" works, shouldn't "that's what I worry about about him" also work?
     
    IF it were necessary to clarify the person (which it's not), "That's what I worry about--regarding him." or "That what I worry about in his case." But in the given context, such is unnecessary.
    IF various people and various problems were mentioned then possibly the second "B" person might say, "Yes, in Jack's case, drinking is what I worry about."

    If "that's what I worry about" works, shouldn't "that's what I worry about about him" also work?
     

    koble

    Senior Member
    Chinese-local dialect only
    No, it doesn't work.

    It's redundant to add "about him" after the sentence. Because the pronoun "what" has already covered all the information you try to convey: you worry about him always drinking, and that's what worries you.

    "That's what I worry about about him." sounds like "I worry about him always drinking about him." :confused:
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    IF it were necessary to clarify the person (which it's not), "That's what I worry about--regarding him." or "That what I worry about in his case." But in the given context, such is unnecessary.
    IF various people and various problems were mentioned then possibly the second "B" person might say, "Yes, in Jack's case, drinking is what I worry about."
    Are you saying, benny, that you say something only if it's necessary? If that's what you're saying, I beg to differ. As is the case with most languages, there is some redundancy allowed in English in general.

    Now, in this particular case, I'm not entirely sure if adding "about him" at the end is not necessary in context.

    For example, if I were to change the verb from 'worry' to 'not like', the conversation would go like this:
    A: He's always drinking.
    B: Yeah, that's what I don't like about him. :tick:

    Do you think that "about him" is here redundant? Even if it's clear that it's about him from context, I'd say that it sounds better with "about him" than without. (At least to my non-native speaker's ears.)
    A: He's always drinking.
    B: Yeah, that's what I don't like. :thumbsdown:

    What do you think?
     

    AmaryllisBunny

    Senior Member
    Why do you worry? Because he's always drinking... Because I'll die
    What do you worry about? His drinking habit/problem... Death

    A: He's always drinking...
    B: Yeah, it (his drinking) worries me.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    JungKim, you wouldn't say "that's what I worry about about him" because it sounds silly.
    Well, I'm not a native speaker, so I'm in no position to judge what sounds silly and what doesn't. But now that you, a native speaker, say so, I get that it really does. But sounding silly really makes it ungrammatical? That was what I was asking.

    On a side note, I know for a fact that repeating the same preposition in and of itself doesn't necessarily sound silly, let alone being ungrammatical. For example, here is a thread where two consecutive for's and in's are allowed.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is grammatical, but we would avoid it because it is awkward.
    We could say 'in his case', 'with him', 'where he is concerned' etc.
     
    Good point, Jung Kim.

    I think Wandle addressed the issue in post #16. I'm sure your ear can hear that,
    "That's what I worry about about him" is awkward, hence natives would replace the second 'about' with 'regarding', or rephrase to, "That's what I worry about, in his [Jim's] case."


    For example, if I were to change the verb from 'worry' to 'not like', the conversation would go like this:
    A: He's always drinking.
    B: Yeah, that's what I don't like about him. :tick:

    Do you think that "about him" is here redundant? Even if it's clear that it's about him from context, I'd say that it sounds better with "about him" than without. (At least to my non-native speaker's ears.)
    A: He's always drinking.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    On second thought, since the verb 'worry' can be a transitive verb, I wonder why it's not possible to say "that's what I worry about him." as B did in the OP? I mean, "what" there can be considered to be the object of the verb "worry", can it not?
     
    'Worry' is (often) transitive. Hence one can say,

    a:
    His drinking worries me. (trans)
    b: His drinking? I never noticed.
    a: It exists; it's a problem; that's what worries me. (trans)

    ==
    Compare*:
    a: His drinking worries me. (trans)
    b: You're worried about him? (intrans.)
    a: Yes, I'm worried about him (intrans), in particular, about his drinking (intrans).

    See: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry

    *ADDED as per Velisarius. The second example can be re worded to avoid the distraction you noticed.
    a: His drinking worries me. (trans)
    b: You worry about him? (intrans).
    a: Yes, I worry about him (intrans), in particular about his drinking (intrans).
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Bennymix, that puzzles me:

    "I'm worried about him" - this isn't an example of the finite verb "to worry". "Worried" here is an adjective, like "tired".

    'I worry a lot" - intransitive.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    'Worry' is (often) transitive. Hence one can say,

    a:
    His drinking worries me. (trans)
    b: His drinking? I never noticed.
    a: It exists; it's a problem; that's what worries me. (trans)

    ==
    Compare:
    a: His drinking worries me. (trans)
    b: You're worried about him? (intrans.)
    a: Yes, I'm worried about him (intrans), in particular, about his drinking (intrans).

    See: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry
    What are you trying to say here, benny?
    Were you answering my question in post #18?
     
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