How to describe emotions in Spanish 

How to describe emotions in Spanish 

by Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Updated May 10, 2023

Describing your feelings and emotions in Spanish is a smart way to improve your vocabulary. When you express yourself in another language, you get the opportunity to explain your feelings, make friends and connect with others on a deeper level. Emotions are a central part of communication in any language.

There are plenty of words to describe how you feel in Spanish. You don’t need to memorize hundreds of words though. Learn to recognize the basic emotions and expand from there and take your language skills to the next level. Today we’ll cover the most common ways to describe emotions in Spanish. With a focus on your typical moods, you’ll be expressing yourself with confidence in no time at all.

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Spanish grammar for emotions

Before we jump into some specific examples of emotions, let’s review how to use them in Spanish: Emotions are adjectives. As we have talked about before, adjectives in Spanish must agree in number and gender to the noun (person, place, thing or idea) they are modifying. Let’s compare some sentences in English and Spanish. 

He is happy/pleased.Él está contento
She is happy.Ella está contenta
They (masculine) are happy.Ellos están contentos
They (feminine) are happy.Ellas están contentas

The adjective ‘happy’ or ‘pleased’ never changes its spelling in English. In Spanish, the root adjective contento changes to contenta for ella, a feminine noun. It changes to contentos for the masculine plural noun ellos. It changes to contentas for the feminine plural noun ellas. Check the chart to see how the endings match up.

Adjectives that end in a consonant or –e are not masculine or feminine, they are neutral. These can be used for either without changing. For example, feliz also means happy.

  • La jirafa está feliz (The giraffe is happy).
  • El elefante está feliz (The elephant is happy). 
  • La jirafa está triste (The giraffe is sad).
  • El elefante está triste (The elephant is sad). 

To make an adjective plural, add –s or –es to the ending of the adjective.

  • Las jirafas están tristes (The giraffes are sad).

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Words to describe how you feel in Spanish

Let’s review some common emotions in Spanish. These words will help you describe how you feel. 

HappyFelizEstoy feliz. (I am happy.)Me siento feliz. (I feel happy.)
SadTristeEstoy triste. (I am sad.)Me siento triste. (I feel sad.) 
AngryEnojadoElla está enojada. (She is angry.)Se siente enojada. (She feels angry.)
ScaredAsustadoEllos están asustados. (They are scared.)Se sienten asustados. (They feel scared.) 
SurprisedSorprendido Las niñas están sorprendidas. (The girls are surprised.)Las niñas se sienten sorprendidas. (The girls feel surprised.) 

Common phrases to describe feelings in Spanish

Now let’s go beyond the basics in order to sound more natural. Let’s review some typical phrases that use our new vocabulary. Copy these example sentences to describe your emotions in Spanish. Take a moment to review how to use ser and estar. These two are the most important verbs for expressing emotions. 

ExcitedEmocionadoEstoy emocionado. (I am excited.)Me siento emocionado. (I feel excited.)
EmbarrassedAvergonzadoEstán avergonzados. (They are embarrassed.)Se sienten avergonzados. (They feel embarrassed.)
WorriedPreocupadoEstá preocupado. (He is worried.)Se siente preocupado. (He feels worried.)
TiredCansadoEstá cansada. (She is tired.)Se siente cansada. (She feels tired.)
In loveEnamoradoEstamos enamorados. (We are in love.)Nos sentimos enamorados. (We feel in love.)Estar enamorado de alguien. (To be in love with someone.) 

Tip: To get your Spanish accent correct, we always recommend that you listen to a native Spanish speaker.  For example, social media accounts often feature native speakersl. Here is a TikTok where you can listen to the proper pronunciation of the emotions in Spanish.

Getting comfortable, feeling happy

Learning Spanish feels comfortable when you can finally express your true emotions and personality. Knowing how to describe emotions in Spanish is an essential part of communicating who you are. With just these basic words and phrases, you will start to feel less preocupado (worried) and more contento (happy) about your speaking ability. Don’t be afraid to practice these expressions in the real world. You never know, you might need to tell a Spanish-speaking friend about falling in love someday!

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Alison Maciejewski Cortez

Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Turkish. Her consulting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.

Alison Maciejewski Cortez

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