student asking question

Doesn't "give grief" mean "nagging"? What does "give someone grief" mean?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

To "give someone grief" is an idiom meaning to criticise, hassle, abuse, tease or cause someone trouble. So although similar, it does not have the same meaning as nagging. Ex: Fred was giving me grief over the money I owed him. (Hassle) Ex: She gave me grief over the typos in the email. (Criticise) Ex: I'm pretty sure that Kevin likes Katie, so I keep giving him grief about it. (Tease)

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