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This question is about worried about vs. worrying about. I think "being worried about someone/something" is more usual than "worry about", isn't it?

Can I use the progressive aspect for ongoing worriedness? For example:

  • I am worrying about their expectations about me.
  • I'm worrying about next.
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About the next what? – tchrist Dec 25 '12 at 3:37
@tchrist I think he meant future:) – Noah Dec 25 '12 at 8:23
@Noah you're welcome :-) – Erhan Bagdemir Dec 25 '12 at 11:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The usual construction in such cases is I’m worried about . . . This is because verbs of perception, emotion and thinking do not typically occur in the progressive form. That is not to say that they never do. It would not be unusual to hear, for example, someone who was a habitual worrier being asked What are you worrying about now? But if English is not your first language, then you are probably on safer ground by avoiding it with such verbs.

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Google Ngrams shows that "worried about" is 3 times more prevalent than "worrying about". You can say either one and it will be grammatically correct and understood, but the norm seems to be "worried about". You can also say "I worry about" instead of the other two and it'll mean the same thing (allowing for nuances added or subtracted by context) and is 6 times more prevalent than "worrying about".

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