Idiom 'Battle of Nerves' - English Lessons On Idioms

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In this lesson you will learn about the idiom ‘battle of nerves’ and how to use it in your conversations.


Antony: The situation when two parties are in dispute and are not willing to surrender is called “a battle of nerves” or war of nerves.

Flora: It’s an idiom which means two parties are trying to defeat each other merely by threatening, using words without taking any action.

Antony: So you mean, a battle of nerves doesn’t have a real face-to-face fight, right?

Flora: Correct, it’s a contest in which one tries to beat the opponents by making them worried or afraid.

Antony: It’s also a situation when the party waits for the other side to weaken. For example: The border dispute between the two countries has been a battle of nerves for years.

Flora: Nice. How about this: The battle of nerves finally ended when the president stepped down from his post.

Antony: Good example. Let’s listen to some conversations now.

School Trouble.

Liza: There’s been a battle of nerves going on between the school board and the teachers. I even heard they may suspend classes.

Sam: That might be good for you!

Liza: Yeah, it’ll give me time to prepare my project.

Sam: Don’t you think the school board is too strict with their new policies?

Liza: Yeah, we’re hoping the teachers win this battle of nerves!

A Commotion.

Sam: Mrs. Mandy’s proposal ended the battle of nerves at the university.

Liza: Are they ready to accept the new curriculum?

Sam: Yeah! But it’s almost time for our papers now.

Liza: Such a battle of nerves has affected the students in a negative way.

Sam: It has caused quite a commotion!

You Must Stop Smoking!

Liza: I’ve been in a battle of nerves with my dad about smoking.

Sam: It’s really hard to get someone to quit.

Liza: We’ve been at it for years. I’m always nagging him about it.

Sam: I can feel the tension between you two whenever he lights up.

Liza: It’s a battle I’ll probably never win.

Sam: Don’t give up!

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