To aggravate someone is to bother,  cause problems, or increase a problem. It’s similar to the word "irritate."

  • This situation aggravates me. (present tense)
  • This situation is aggravating me. (present continuous tense)
  • Her lack of concern about her grades aggravates her teachers and her parents.
  • Smoking has aggravated his condition. (He made his health condition worse.)
  • Don’t aggravate her.
  • Don’t aggravate me.

Some students confuse the past participle "aggravated" with the present continuous tense (be aggravating) or the adjectives, "aggravating" and "aggravated."

  • The drivers are aggravated by the traffic jam. (This sentence is in the passive voice.)
  • The traffic jam is aggravating the drivers. (This sentence is in the past continuous tense.)
  • She feels aggravated by her supervisor’s lack of clear directions.
  • Her boss’s inability to clearly communicate directions aggravates her.
  • I feel aggravated. / I’m aggravated.
  • This is aggravating.
  • Flying can be an aggravating experience, especially if you have connecting flights.
  • The passengers on the plane were aggravated by the delays. They felt aggravated.

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June 21, 2013