What is the difference between "shaking and tremor"? Some examples in order to make it easier.

The first symptom of Parkinson´s disease is usually shaking/tremors.

The shaking usually goes away when people are moving.

Tremors usually go away when people are moving.

The shaking usually stops when the person is asleep.

The tremors usually stop when the person is asleep.

Are shaking and tremor interchangeable?

  • Posted Mar 5, 2013
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3 Answers



The difference between shaking and tremors, if any, is very subtle. Tremor is usually used for actions not intentionally performed be a person such as volcanic tremors or tremors caused by a disease. Shaking also can be use for these situations but also has a somewhat broaded scope of meanings such a as actions intentionally performed by someone such as shaking the dice or a can of orange juice. I hope this helps.

  • Mar 5, 2013
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  • Thank you so much, Kirk!!! - luisssito Mar 5, 2013
  • Yes, tremor indicates disease.. Small difference andunpleasant condition. - annierats Mar 5, 2013


I agree with Kirk. Also, "tremors" is a formal medical term which doctors would use to describe shaking. (But "tremors" is also used in everyday speech as well.)

  • Mar 5, 2013
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  • Thanks a lot, sinmeta!! - luisssito Mar 5, 2013


I'll work with your first one: The first symptom of Parkinson´s disease is usually shaking/tremors.

Why do people with Parkinson's disease have hand tremors?
My sister's right hand keeps shaking uncontrollably.

The use of tremor(s) or shake/shaking are both valid and correct when referring to Parkinson's disease.

agitar(v) ∗ ≈ to shake (branch, box, bottle);

temblar(v) ∗ ≈ to shake; to tremble, to shiver

¿Por qué las personas con enfermedad de Parkinson tienen temblores en las manos?
La mano derecha de mi hermana sigue agitando incontrolablemente.

El uso de temblor(es) o agitar son válidas y correctas en la gramática inglés para referirse a la enfermedad de Parkinson.

Por favor corrija mi español.

  • Sí, amiga, Muy bueno! - rac1 Mar 5, 2013
  • I liked how the other members indicate ¨tremor¨ is a medical term and it also has other uses. Kirk talked about shaking dice or an orange juice bottle: I think agitar would work well in that context. - bandit51jd Mar 5, 2013