They thought you seemed irritated/annoyed with them.

As I understand it, irritated and annoyed are pretty much interchangeable. I thought annoyed was a bit stronger in meaning, but that's not so? Also, are they equally natural in speech if you were to use the sentence I wrote? Thank you.

  • In my opinion, Irritated sounds more formal while annoyed not so much, and I agree that I feel like annoyed has a stronger meaning.
    – Buzzyy
    Mar 9, 2022 at 14:17
  • Using the slash in the sentence you wrote has limited acceptability in writing, since it is appropriate in limited situations. Are you asking specifically about the acceptability of that sentence with the slash, or are you saking about the differences between the two words? Mar 9, 2022 at 16:17
  • ...The difference between the two words. Mar 9, 2022 at 16:27
  • I know it requires more work, but you will get a better response if you look the words up in a dictionary and then ask about what still confuses you. You can even quote and contrast parts of the definition here. Otherwise, we are going to have to guess at the context you are imaging and may not give the best answer. Mar 9, 2022 at 17:19
  • Oxford Languages regards annoy and irritate as synonyms. See this question Mar 9, 2022 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


https://books.google.com/ngrams shows that historically "irritated by" was much more common than "irritated with". In recent times, "annoyed by" and "annoyed with" are about equal.

"annoyed" and "irritated" are synonymous in many cases. For that exact sentence "They thought you seemed annoyed with them" sounds a bit more natural. While irritation could be used it also has overtones of a physical illness such as a skin rash being irritating.

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