Her hands were shaky because of her old age.

Her hands were shaking because of her old age.

Are there any differences between "shaky" and "shaking"?


There certainly is a difference:

"Her hands were shaky because of her old age." In this example, the word is used as an adjective, so her hands were prone to shake, but there is no indication that they were shaking at the time.

"Her hands were shaking because of her old age." Here, the word is used as a verb, so her hands were actually shaking at the time in question.

  • Hi Mick. Welcome to ELL. The grammar terms you're looking for are "adjective" for shaky and "verb" for shaking. Feel free to edit them into your answer. – AndyT Sep 23 '16 at 10:48
  • @AndyT I've done my best. Feel free to improve it if you wish. Maybe I should avoid grammatical questions? – Mick Sep 23 '16 at 10:56
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    Looks good to me. Up to you whether to avoid these question or not, I think your original answer was ok, but the edited one is better. Your original answer probably wouldn't have been good enough for English.SE, but on ELL.SE I get the impression that being helpful and right is sometimes more important than giving grammatical explanations. – AndyT Sep 23 '16 at 11:03
  • This is certainly a friendlier place than Stack Overflow. I've never seen so much down-voting! – Mick Sep 23 '16 at 11:06

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