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Advanced English Vocabulary: Fussy vs To Make a Fuss

a year ago
Advanced English Vocabulary

Fussy vs To make a Fuss

Read this short conversation:
Tom: How are you? How are the children?
Sally: Pretty good, thanks. We are having a bit of trouble with Ollie though. He’s such a fussy eater. He won’t eat anything except for chicken nuggets.
Tom: Oh no! I know what you mean. We had the same issue with our daughter. She would always make a fuss at dinner time!

Choose the correct answer
A: Only Tom has a problem with his child's eating habits.
B: Both Tom and Sally have a problem with their children's eating habits.

Understanding Meaning*:

If you are fussy are you difficult to please? Yes/No
Is Sally finding it difficult to cook for her son Ollie? Yes/No
If you are fussy are you choosy? Yes/No

To make a fuss
If you make a fuss is the level of emotion necessary? Yes/No
Does Tom's daughter usually complain at dinner? Yes/No
If you make a fuss do you complain about something? Yes/No
If you make a fuss do you think something is satisfactory? Yes/No
*See answers at the end of the article.

Understanding Form

Fussy is an adjective.
We often use “fussy” when we are describing eating habits.
You can be fussy about other things, perhaps about choosing restaurants or which hotel you stay at but in this instance you would simply refer to the person as “fussy” not “a fussy restaurant chooser”.

To make a fuss is a phrase.
We can quantify the phrase “to make a fuss”.
We can for example say: To make such a fuss.
You can also "kick up a fuss". It has the same meaning as to make a fuss.

Understanding Pronunciation

Both fussy and to make a fuss are based on:
a lot of unnecessary worry or excitement about something
Let’s take a closer look at the form of fussy and to make a fuss

FUSSy- the stress is on the first syllable

To Make a Fuss
The weak “a” is used, so you need to use the schwa when saying the phrase. For example instead of saying “make A fuss” it sounds like “make “uh” fuss”.
/meɪk ə fʌs/


Read the scenarios below and decide if the person is fussy or making a fuss*.
Fussy or Making a fuss?
Not eating peas because they're too green.
Refusing to pay your bill at a restaurant because the water was too warm.
Shouting at your wife in a shopping mall because she’s five minutes late.
Not wanting to go to a hotel because it’s a four star not a five star.

*see answers at the end of article

Fussy or Making a Fuss
Making a fuss
Making a fuss