...... "No more studying," Ron sighed happily, stretching out on the grass. "You could look more cheerful, Harry, we've got a week before we find out how badly we've done, there's no need to worry yet."

Harry was rubbing his forehead.

"I wish I knew what this means!" he burst out angrily. "My scar keeps hurting -- it's happened before, but never as often as this."

"Go to Madam Pomfrey," Hermione suggested.

"I'm not ill," said Harry. "I think it's a warning... it means

danger's coming...."

Ron couldn't get worked up, it was too hot.

"Harry, relax, Hermione's right, the Stone's safe as long as Dumbledore's around. Anyway, we've never had any proof Snape found out how to get past Fluffy. He nearly had his leg ripped off once, he's not going to try it again in a hurry. And Neville will play Quidditch for England before Hagrid lets Dumbledore down."

The phrase "worked up" means agitated or excited. I don't understand why there isn't any conjunction that has been used between the two clauses:"Ron couldn't get worked up", "it was too hot". My best try would be: Ron couldn't get himself excited, because it was too hot there.

What does that sentence truly mean in this context? Why is there no conjunction?

-- Excerpted from Harry Potter.

  • 2
    Your understanding is correct, the clauses are disjunct. But it's simply a matter of freedom of punctuation in a literary work. Change the comma to an em-dash, and imagine a causal relationship between the two clauses. It was too hot to get worked up.
    – TimR
    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:19
  • I reckon Ron should have gotten worked up (agitated) because of the danger that was coming, but couldn't because of the heat Oct 17, 2018 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


You're right that to get "worked up" in this context means agitated or excited


excited; perturbed: She's all worked-up about the new deadline. 


In the example sentence above, the conjunction between the clauses is "about" .

In the sentence:

Ron couldn't get worked up, it was too hot.

the comma acts as a the connection between two clauses, so we don't need a word to act as a conjunction as well. If you wanted to, you could use a conjuction such as "because" instead:

Ron couldn't get worked up [because] it was too hot.

In terms of the meaning this sentence serves the function you described. In the preceding paragraph, Harry is agitated by his scar to the point or outbursts. This is described with exclamation points and "angrily" describing how "worked up" Harry is.

Hermione as a character is very serious and in a way, always a little worked up.

Ron is almost never worked up as a character, but even if he wanted to be enthusiastic or concerned, the sentence explains why Ron insists that Harry "relax"-- it's too hot to be bothered by the heat.

In other words, the fact that it is very hot is more concerning to Ron than the fact that Harry's scar hurts.

  • Thanks for pointing out those implications! I haven't gotten that deep originally.
    – dan
    Oct 25, 2018 at 2:36
  • Glad it was helpful! Oct 26, 2018 at 15:48

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