Basic+ Word of the Day: trouble

trouble (noun, verb) past tense: troubled LISTEN

He's in trouble!

We use the word trouble when we have a problem or we are in a bad situation.

  • I'm having trouble with my neighbors. They hate me!

Trouble can also mean that something is difficult for you.

  • I always had trouble with math at school.

If you are in trouble, it means that someone knows that you did something wrong and you will probably have problems because of it.

  • He's in trouble at work because he's always late.

To trouble means ‘to make someone feel worried.’

  • My money problems are troubling me.

Common uses

If you are in trouble, this can also mean that you are in a bad situation. Example: “I’m in trouble. I need help!”

Watch out for

We can add -s to problem to make problems, but we don’t usually do this with trouble. For example, “I had trouble with science” is correct but “I had troubles with science” is not.

In pop culture

Do you know the Taylor Swift song “Trouble”? It is about a romantic relationship she has with a man who was not good to her. Listen to her say, “I knew you were trouble when you walked in” (in this case, when you walked in = when you arrived the first time). What do you think it means if you say that a person is trouble?

There are other meanings of trouble.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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