Eager is a positive word; anxious is a negative word. The way you can remember which is which is that the e in eager is like the e in enthusiastic, and that's what eager means. The a in anxious is like the a in apprehensive, and that's that anxious means. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that sometimes you feel both eager and anxious at the same time. For instance, if long-lost relatives are coming for a weekend visit, you probably feel eager to see them. But it wouldn't be a surprise if you also feel anxious.

• Eager means enthusiastic.

• Anxious means apprehensive, worried, or filled with anxiety.

Erin was eager for the party to begin.

Her coworkers were anxious about her health.

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