Enthused vs. Excited

How to use "excited" correctly and avoid using "enthused"

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

Although the verb enthuse and the participle enthused are quite well established in common usage, many traditionalists (a.k.a. the grammar police) still disapprove of its use. Consider avoiding it in formal writing or when writing for an audience that might share this attitude.

enthused children watched the illusionist’s show
excited/enthusiastic children watched the illusionists’s show

The use of enthused as a participial adjective, as in the example above, is particularly frowned on because the existing adjectives enthusiastic and excited already serve the same purpose.

children enthused over the illusionists’s tricks
children expressed enthusiasm about the illusionists’s tricks (or “gushed over the tricks,” “were delighted by the tricks,” etc.)

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.