Differences between shiver and trembling - are there?

Michael   Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:20 pm GMT
Hello everybody!
Are there differences between words: shiver and trembling?
furrykef   Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:34 am GMT
Hmm... in literal meaning, they are the same, but they tend to be used in different situations. I usually hear "trembling in fear", and "shivering in the cold", for example. But it's certainly possible to "shiver in fear" and "tremble in the cold" as well, and they mean the same things.

- Kef
JP   Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:47 am GMT
I would say that there are some differences in usage, even though these words do have similar meanings.

For example, while one could certainly say, "The last earthquake was so severe that the buildings trembled on their foundations," using "shivered" instead of "trembled" would seem quite strange (at least to me).

A voice can also tremble with emotion, but not shiver. Leaves can tremble in the breeze, but they usually don't shiver in the breeze.

In general, I most often use "shiver" to describe the shaking of a living thing in response to extreme cold or fear, and "tremble" for everything else.
furrykef   Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:36 am GMT
Hmm, JP's right. But there are still those times where they're more or less interchangeable.

- Kef