Why does it feel more difficult to express your feelings in English, or in any a foreign language? You can say, “I’m fine,” or “I’m okay,” but it just doesn’t feel the same as the way you can express yourself in your native language.
How to Express Your Feelings in English – Like a Native
Today we’re going to learn how to communicate and express your true feelings from the bottom of your soul! No longer will you simply say, “I’m fine, thank you, and you?” “Oh, so boring! It’s so dry, like a robot speaking from the textbook!
Different Ways to Express Yourself
We're going to go through some ways that you can express yourself. Maybe you are talking to a coworker, a friend, or somebody at the store or at the bank. Depending on the situation, we’re going to go through different examples and adjectives that you can use.
Remember to start thinking in English! Making that switch in your brain will help you express yourself more effortlessly without having to think of the translation.
Sentence Structures to Use When Expressing Your Feelings
1. First, let’s start with the sentence “I am…” plus an adjective.
I am tired.
I am sad.
2. Here’s another sentence – “I feel…” plus an adjective.
I feel tired.
I feel sad.
3. You could also say “I’m a little…” plus the adjective.
I’m a little tired.
I’m a little sad.
4. Here’s another way to say it – “I’m feeling…” plus an adjective.
I’m feeling tired.
I’m feeling sad.
5. Also try “I’ve been…” or “I’ve been feeling…” plus the adjective.
I’ve been tired.
I’ve been feeling tired.
Try these, too:
I’ve been sad.
I’ve been feeling sad.
6. Don’t forget “I got…”
I got tired.
I got sad.
These phrases are how you would start a sentence, and how you would express the way you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be complicated! You don’t have to use crazy vocabulary or grammar. It’s just “I am…” or “I feel…” or any of the other phrases.
How to Say WHY You Are Feeling Something
Next, let’s talk about how to tell someone WHY you feel a certain way.
1. You could say, “I get sad when…”
I get tired when I work too much.
I get sad when a bird dies.
2. Another way to talk about what makes you feel a certain way is to say, “He/She/It makes me feel…” or “They make me feel…”
He makes me feel happy.
It makes me feel sad.
They make me feel angry.
3. You can also talk about a situation, or something that makes you feel a certain way. “This/That makes me feel…” plus the adjective that describes how you feel.
Going to the beach makes me feel relaxed and refreshed.
Working hard makes me feel that I’ve accomplished something.
Vocabulary That Describes Feelings
Now, let’s go through some vocabulary that describes basic feelings. These are very simple ones, and I’ll go through some synonyms to help you express yourself a little more completely and sound more native-like.
delighted, ecstatic, glad, overjoyed, thrilled, elated
Depending on the situation, and your level of happiness, you could switch these words around. If you are really, really happy about something, you can say “I’m overjoyed,” which would be to the point of tears, you are so happy.
Say – I’m glad that it’s sunny today.
Don’t say – I’m overjoyed that it’s sunny today.
You are probably not super-happy that it’s sunny, you are just glad.
miserable, down, disrupted, depressed, upset, unhappy, bummed out
You can be just sad, or if you are really sad, you can say, “I’m miserable.” "Miserable" means that you are so sad that you just can’t do anything, including getting out of bed. You could also say that you are “depressed,” which is very similar to “miserable.”
If you are feeling “down,” it doesn’t mean that you are "miserable" or "depressed". It just means you’re a little sad. When you’re feeling “upset,” you can say, “I’m really upset.” That means you are very sad or very angry, or both together. “Upset” is a common way to describe if you are sad and also if you are angry.
When you feel “bummed out,” your just a little disappointed, but you’re not "upset" or "depressed".
I’m bummed out because I couldn’t go to the concert this year because of Covid.
annoyed, enraged, furious, irritable, outraged, indignant, infuriated
“Annoyed” means that you are a little angry, but the other words mean that you are very angry or upset about something.
overworked, sleepy, drained, burned out, worn out, drowsy
“Overworked” and “burned out” mean that you are really, really tired from doing something repeatedly. Maybe you worked out too long at the gym, or you have a situation that isn’t going away. If you are “sleepy” or “drowsy,” you’re just a little bit tired, but nothing like being “drained” or “overworked” or “burned out.”
Now, Let’s Go Through Some Examples!
Here are some examples of sentences that use the vocabulary we just looked at.
I’ve been feeling really depressed about what is going on with the pandemic, but I am thrilled about the future, that it’s going to go back to normal one day.
The people at the bank made me so furious when they didn’t want to help me.
Raul has been overworked at his new job because he has to work really long hours.
My workout last night drained me because I haven’t been exercising regularly.
The sentence structure is very simple, so don’t get intimidated and worry about how you are going to say something. It’s easy!
This makes me feel…
Don’t be afraid to express your emotions, because that’s not good when you are trying to learn a language. Your listener might think you are upset or angry because you can’t express yourself fully.
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