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I searched the whole forum but didn't found an appropriate answer so I would like to ask you. I'm confused about the following words which all state more or less the same.

беспокоиться

  • to worry about sth.

тревожиться

  • to get upset
  • to worry about sth.

возмущаться

  • to be offended at sth.
  • to get angry
  • to trouble over sth.

Let's say my translations are more or less correct, when would you use which word in which case (broadly speaking)? Many thanks!

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Беспокоиться usually means to worry about something without a specific reason (just for general reasons), like in a situation where one's kids are away in some other town for the first time or where one is not quite sure whether or not it's enough time for getting to the airport, etc.

Тревожиться (literally, be alarmed) typically means to worry about something for some reason, when things probably go wrong (like a family member should already have come home two hours before).

Возмущаться means to feel unhappy/angry (and/or express that) about an undesired situation or persons responsible.

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  • I generally agree, but тревожится (compared to беспокоится) rather expresses higher degree of worrying. The presence of some "specific reason" is just a frequent case to worry more intensively. On the other hand, you can беспокоиться having some particular reason to do it if the reason or it consequence doesn't seem too dangerous. So the presence of the "specific reason" can not solely discriminate between the two words, the point is rather in strength of anxiety.
    – user396672
    Dec 6 '15 at 18:34
  • If we compare the corresponding nouns, we can discover another difference. Тревога (as emotion) always designates negatively colored feeling as беспокойство may also designate just unsettled state of the psyche, for example, readiness for unexpected adventure. Literally беспокойство means "without the calmness", not necessary for a bad reason. However, the verb беспокоиться almost always expresses negative emotion to some (possibly little) degree.
    – user396672
    Dec 6 '15 at 19:21
  • возмущаться is definitely NOT "feel something". It is about doing something.
    – Anixx
    Dec 6 '15 at 21:36
  • 1
    Agree with @Anixx, "возмущаться" is absolutely not about any feeling. Dec 7 '15 at 1:50
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    Возмущаться is about emotion, that has internal (feeling) and external (behavioural) aspects. Internal aspect always presents, but external is optional. So возмущаться is always about feeling and also optionally (but very frequently) about expressing the feeling at the same time. Of course, I mean the subject is a person (not a magnetic field, for example)
    – user396672
    Dec 8 '15 at 11:28
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Беспокоиться means to lose comfort, while тревожиться stands for to feel anxiety. So you may translate both these words as simply "to worry".

Возмущаться is more tricky. Literally it means to roil oneself. It may stand for either personal feeling (resentment, indignation) or crowd's actions (clamor, or even rebellion sometimes).

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беспокоиться and тревожиться are synonyms. Беспокоиться is more often used. The both mean to worry.

возмущаться means to complain, make point loudly.

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I would place the words in slightly different order to express their relationships more naturally.

тревожится to worry. This is always negative feeling. Usually doesn't expect any special activity from the subject (i.e. person), it is just a feeling.

беспокоится also to worry, but less severe and less negative than тревожится. May expect some behavioral activity (but not necessary). The noun беспокойство may even refer to just unstable mood, readiness to unexpected decisions or adventures (Им овладело беспокойство, охота к перемене мест)

возмущаться to get angry due to disagreement with somebody or something. There is no semantic intersections with neither тревожится nor беспокоиться despite the fact that the verb беспокоиться also describes some unstable emotional state (but the corresponding emotions are obviously different).

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