English version

eat away at something/somebody

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englisheat away at something/somebody phrasal verb1 REMOVEto gradually remove or reduce the amount of something His gambling was eating away at their income.2 WORRIEDto make someone feel very worried over a long period of time The thought of mother alone like that was eating away at her. eat→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
eat away at The irony is that population growth itself eats away at development potential.She has Alzheimers Disease, which is eating away at her mind.It looked misshapen in this light, almost as if something was eating away at it.Winning the gold is not eating away at me, but I would love to make the most of this.It eats away at money for new schools and new hospitals.The acid began to eat away at the edge of her tunic, the bottom strands of her curly hair.This residue gradually eats away at the healthy beliefs at the core of organizational life.In the intervening years, as property taxes ate away at their nest egg, their proposals for other developments fell flat.
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Verb table
eat
Simple Form
Present
I, you, we, theyeat
he, she, iteats
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Past
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyate
Present perfect
I, you, we, theyhave eaten
he, she, ithas eaten
Past perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyhad eaten
Future
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill eat
Future perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill have eaten
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Continuous Form
Present
Iam eating
he, she, itis eating
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you, we, theyare eating
Past
I, he, she, itwas eating
you, we, theywere eating
Present perfect
I, you, we, theyhave been eating
he, she, ithas been eating
Past perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theyhad been eating
Future
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill be eating
Future perfect
I, you, he, she, it, we, theywill have been eating
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