Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to express your concern in English

How do you tell a friend that you are worried about them?

Today build this important connection skill when you want to say that you are concerned about someone in English.

Today we’ll start with a role play:

L: Michelle do you want to hear what I am doing this weekend?

M: Sure what are you doing?

L: Well I am itching for another cross country trip.

M: Okay and…

L: And this time I want to make it even more of a challenge.

M: So what are you gonna do?

L: Well i am going to hitch hike to California

M: What? You can’t do that!

L: Just kidding. I am not going to hitch hike. That would be crazy. Fun, but crazy.

M: Oh good. You had me worried.


What happened in that role play?

Michelle said, “You had me worried.”

Why? What was she trying to express?

She was trying to express a sense of  worry, a sense of uncertainty and wanting the person to be safe.

This is going to be an episode to build a real connection skill today.

You’ll find out how to express that you were worried or that you are worried about something or someone. 


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Let’s start with a listener question today.

Hi Lindsay and Michelle,

Firstly, I have to say I’m very pleased for what your podcast has done for my English.

I have been listening it since late 2015 mainly while I’m commuting to work or on my way home and my English has taken off since then.

Frankly speaking, this podcast has become a cornerstone for me when it comes to learn English. I’ve got one question which is about the expression “You had me worried”.

I was watching a TV series of a woman who is a superhero and at certain point, she used this expression to convey her concerns about her sister who had left a party they were without telling her. I have looked for its meaning on Internet and found just a few explanations about it but those sounded vague.

I understood it means you have got concerned about what someone has told or done for you.

Which cases or contexts would native speakers use it? Is it common in spoken English? I guess you are able to explain it thoroughly. Thank you and happy holidays as the end of 2017 nears.

– Rodolfo Rodrigues


Great question!

So yes, the meaning of “you had me worried” is just saying “I was worried about you” when you left the party. 


What’s the grammar point?

The grammar point that you can use today is: “You had me ____ (emotion)”

This makes your English sound more interesting than if you only say “I was worried.”


Does this work with other emotions?

Other emotions we can insert when we say “You had me ____” include:

  • You had me concerned.
  • You had me confused.
  • You had me freaked out.
  • You had me guessing.


Other ways to express that feeling:

  • I was worried.
  • You worried me.
  • I was concerned.
  • I wasn’t sure if you were okay.
  • I was worried sick. (we don’t use this anymore but you might hear it on TV**)



This is a key skill for connection.

You need to be able to express that you care about someone and that you were worried about them.

This could be a way to start a more serious conversation about a person’s habits.

You have also learned a new grammar form today.

Use the form: “You had me ___ (emotion)” to express that someone created a feeling in you.


What questions do you have for today?

Let us know in the blog comments below.

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