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What is the difference between:

It is my nerves

and:

It is getting on my nerves

Are they alike? In what situation do we use the first one and second one? Can I use one instead of the other?

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  • I've never heard the phrase it's my nerves, do you have examples?
    – Barmar
    Jan 26 '15 at 19:29
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    "It's my nerves" would be to lay the blame for something on your nerves. "It is getting on my nerves" would lay the blame for the unpleasant state of your nerves on an external factor.
    – Robusto
    Jan 26 '15 at 19:30
  • "It's my nerves" makes you sound jumpy. "It's getting on my nerves" makes you sound annoyed. Big difference. Jan 26 '15 at 20:41
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It's getting on my nerves is the more idiomatic expression of the two. It means that something is very annoying and is driving me mad. The sound of that baby screaming is getting on my nerves.

It's my nerves could be used in many different situations, including to indicate that something was annoying. But it could be used in a lot of other contexts too. Watching someone climbing to a dangerous height, for example, might cause you to say I can't watch that any longer, it's my nerves. Or I have to see the doctor - it's my nerves, meaning that you had some sort of nervous problem.

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