It’s getting on my nerves!

man in black crew neck t-shirt smiling
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on November 19, 2021 and last updated on July 21, 2023

Talking about the things that get on our nerves is beneficial for English learners as it provides a platform to express personal feelings, dislikes and frustrations. Engaging in discussions about irritations enables learners to expand their vocabulary, practice using emotive language and articulate opinions confidently.

Through this topic, learners can improve their communication skills, effectively expressing emotions and preferences, ultimately enhancing their language fluency and fostering meaningful connections in various social settings.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

It’s getting on my nerves!

“Things that get on my nerves” refers to irritants and annoyances that can trigger frustration and discomfort in daily life. From traffic jams and slow internet to noisy neighbours, these minor frustrations can affect our mood and well-being.

Understanding the triggers that irk us can lead to better coping strategies and enhanced emotional well-being. This exploration sheds light on the human experience of annoyance and how we navigate the complexities of modern life.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • annoy (verb)
  • irritate (verb)
  • get on somebody’s nerves (idiom)
  • can’t stand (somebody/something) (phrase)
  • discomfort (noun)
  • pet peeve (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • What are some common things that get on your nerves in daily life?
  • How do you typically react when something annoys or irritates you?
  • Can you share a specific situation where you dealt with a particularly annoying person or event? How did you handle it?
  • What strategies do you use to cope with irritating situations or people?
  • Have you ever told someone to stop doing something because it gets on your nerves?
  • Do you do anything that gets on people's nerves?
  • How would you feel if someone told you that you do something that really irritates or annoys them?
  • Are there any cultural differences in what annoys people in your country compared to other countries?
  • Is it better to express our annoyance when something bothers us, or should we remain silent to maintain harmony?
  • Are there any benefits to experiencing annoying situations or people? How can they help us grow as individuals?
  • Do you think it's possible to develop immunity to certain annoyances over time?
  • Is there a distinction between things that get on our nerves and issues that genuinely require addressing? How can we differentiate between the two?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.