Expressing Your Feelings In English

by | English Conversation

When it comes to feelings and emotions, it can be hard for anyone (native speaker or not) to share how they are truly feeling. It becomes 10 times harder to share your feelings in English when you do not have the proper vocabulary tools to express yourself!

 

If you are trying to develop deeper connections, it is important to be able to share your emotions and feelings in English with people. Even if you are a beginner at English, don’t shy away from talking about your feelings and sharing your deep personal thoughts. This can feel intimidating because there are no grammar rules to follow. You simply need to talk from your heart and soul. While I can’t tell you the exact things to say (as unfortunately, I can’t read your mind), I CAN tell you the basic structure and vocabulary you will need in order to ask and answer questions about your feelings in English.


To begin, let’s take a look at some examples of how to begin expressing your feelings in English.

 

  • I feel… 
  • I am… 
  • He/She/It is making me…
  • Lately, I’ve been… 
  • To be honest, I’m…

 

These are the 5 basic structures to begin speaking about your feelings in English. You will need to add to each statement by expressing the exact feeling that you have. You can add details to all of these statements by adding any of the following words:

-a little
-kind of/sort of
-very/really
-super

Let’s put the structures together! First start with your beginning sentence, then add the severity of your emotion or feeling. For example, if you know that you are feeling VERY angry. You should not simply say angry, as the other person will not understand the severity and intensity of how you are feeling!

 

→ I feel + very + feeling/emotion
= I feel very angry.

→ I am + really + feeling/emotion
= I am really angry.

→ To be honest I’m + super + feeling/emotion
= To be honest I’m super angry.


As you can see in these examples, you first take the beginning phrase, add the quantity (how much do you feel this emotion) and then finish with the emotion that you are feeling. This is the general rule to follow that will work with almost any emotion. Let’s say that you are a little bit nervous for an upcoming exam:

It is making me + a little + feeling
=The exam is making me feel a little nervous.

feelings and emotions in English

 

Be Specific when talking about your feelings in English!

It is important to be as specific as possible when you are talking about your emotions and feelings in English. You want the person whom you are talking with to really understand you and empathize with what you are saying. When you get more personal, you will develop a greater connection and relationship. This is why it’s so much better to explain HOW MUCH of an emotion you are feeling and WHY, rather than simply the emotion.


Which statement sounds better? Which one makes you want to talk about the situation?

  1. I feel sad today. 
  2. I feel really sad today because I lost my job.

 

Obviously the second one! The more specific you are, the easier it is for another person to continue a discussion and conversation with you. They are also able to give you advice and help you through your situation. Now that you have the proper structure to follow, let’s look at how we can ask questions about emotions and feelings in English.

 

Feelings in English

Examples of Questions to Ask About Emotions and Feelings in English:

 

  • How are you feeling today?
    Answer → I’m feeling really great today!

 

  • What’s wrong? You seem upset.
    Answer → Yeah, I’m sort of angry at my brother. He stole from me.

 

  • How is everything going with you?
    Answer → Lately I’ve been super productive! I am working on my new business idea.

 

  • You seem pretty distracted. Are you alright?
    Answer → To be honest, I’m thinking of quitting my job. It has been making me really stressed out.

 

  • You seem to be doing well. How are you?
    Answer → I’ve been super happy lately!

 

  • You look sad. Is everything alright?
    Answer → Yeah it’s true. I am a little sad right now because I got into an argument with my spouse. 

 

 Offer to help! 

After someone explains how they are feeling, you can offer to help them with their problems by talking about it. You can say any of the following:

  • Do you want to talk about it? 
  • I’m here to help if you need me. 
  • I’m here for you if you want to talk. 
  • Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you through this.

 

Expressing feelings and emotions in English- Glish

 

Now you know how to talk about your feelings in English. It is a quite easy structure to follow and of course, you do not need to say the EXACT examples that I have listed out. These are just general ideas to get you feeling more comfortable when talking about your feelings in English. I hope these ideas help you start having more meaningful and personal conversations about your feelings and emotions!

 

 

 

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About the author

Jasmine is a Canadian living in Toronto, with English being her native language. She’s a certified second-language teacher with the Ontario College and has multiple years of experience teaching students.

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