Can’t find the words?
If someone asked you to talk about the best day of your life in English, could you do it? What about the worst?
Chances are you’d be able to get the point across, but you might have trouble expressing just how very happy or really sad you were on those days. In fact, you might feel a little silly repeating happy or sad so many times in one story.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to tell someone how you feel in another language. You know that the only way to fix the problem is by expanding your English vocabulary, but which words should you learn?
Here’s a list of 20 words to get you started:
Instead of happy, say…
The word glad is a simple way to say you’re happy about something.
I’m glad she’s feeling better.
Keep in mind that delighted can be used as a polite way to say you’re happy.
I’d be delighted to attend your party!
The word cheerful is mostly used to talk about someone’s personality or mood.
He’s always so cheerful in the mornings.
Thrilled is a word that expresses a large amount of happiness.
My mum was thrilled to get the flowers.
If want to tell someone you’re really happy, use the word ecstatic.
I’m going to Disney tomorrow. I’m ecstatic!
Instead of sad, say…
This word is more extreme than sad. When someone is miserable, you can probably tell.
Are you sick? You look miserable.
The word upset might be used when someone is visibly distressed by something.
His dog died. He’s really upset.
Somber is most often used to talk about a mood or an object. It expresses an overall sadness.
The mood inside the house was somber.
You’ll most likely hear the word gloomy when talking about the weather, but it can also be used to express a general sadness.
Why is she so gloomy today?
The word depressed carries much more weight than the word sad. Keep in mind that it’s also used to refer to a very serious disorder.
He looks depressed.
Instead of scared, say…
This word can be used to say that you’re full of fear or apprehension.
I’m afraid of spiders.
The word frightened is most often used to talk about sudden fear, like when someone tries to scare you.
You frightened me!
Terrified is a way to say that you’re extremely scared of something.
I’m not going up there! I’m terrified of heights.
The phrase creeped out is used to express that something makes you uneasy.
I don’t like clowns. They creep me out.
This word usually means you’re startled by something.
My cat heard a noise and got spooked.
Instead of angry, say…
The word mad can mean you’re angry at someone, but it can also be used to talk about something annoying that’s making you crazy.
That noise is driving me mad.
Use the word furious when you want to express that you’re really angry.
Her nasty comments made me furious!
Pissed off isn’t very polite, but it can be a satisfying way to say that you’re angry or annoyed by something.
I’m pissed off because I just stood in line for two hours!
The word heated might be used to express a kind of excitable anger (the kind that makes you want to scream).
The train left right when I got there. I’m heated!
Enraged is stronger than the word furious. Think of this word as the angry bull in a bullfight.
He was enraged after he lost all his money in a bet.
Just learning a few more words will go a long way towards improving both your vocabulary and your confidence when speaking English, but the key is practice. Try using one or two of these words in everyday conversation every week to make them a part of your active vocabulary.
Soon enough, you’ll have a much easier time finding the English words you need to express yourself.
Would you like to have more practise speaking with native teachers? Check out our lessons today and you’ll sound fluent before you know it!