Improve Your Vocabulary: 23 words for talking about feeling good or bad

How many words do you know that mean 'happy'? What about 'sad'? In today's lesson you'll learn LOTS of different ways to describe how you're feeling. When you're learning a language, it's important to have a broad vocabulary. Whether you're writing an essay or you're speaking with your boss, using more interesting and expressive vocabulary will make your sentences clearer, and you'll sound more intelligent, too. Try using the adjectives in this lesson instead of ordinary ones at work, school, or in the writing and speaking sections of exams like the IELTS, TOEFL, or CAE. You'll also learn some common expressions and idioms that native speakers use to talk about their mood, like "over the moon", "happy bunny", and "down in the dumps".
Test your knowledge with the quiz:


Hi. I'm Gill from, and today, in this lesson we're going to be looking at some vocabulary for moods, emotions, and feelings, which are all the same thing, really. So, there you are, you've learnt three words that all mean the same thing; "mood", "emotion", "feeling". They're all pretty much the same meaning. Okay? And we're looking at positive words for good… Good emotions, and some negative words for not so happy emotions. Okay.

Right, so let's have a look. Most people are going to use "happy" and "sad", those are probably the first words you learn when you want to describe emotions, but sometimes I hear people talking and having a conversation, and they just keep using the same "happy", "sad", and there's no variation. I mean, it's okay, but to have a broader vocabulary is good, especially if you're going to be using it in the IELTS, for example, in the speaking test, or in some essay writing, or any… Any exams you're doing, whether they're written or spoken. It's good to have a wider range of vocabulary. So, I've got some for you, here. So, look no further. Right.

So, "happy" and "glad". You may have heard "glad". "Oh, I'm so glad." If your friend tells you that they've just got a new job and they're really enjoying it, you can say: "Oh, I'm so glad to hear that." Or "pleased" is very similar. "I'm really pleased for you.", "Very pleased", "Very glad". Okay? So those are all, "happy", "glad", "pleased", they're all pretty much the same sort of meaning, sort of generally; positive and happy.

Then we come to some words that are a little bit more intense; they're stronger. Stronger words. "Delighted". If your friend has this new job, and you say: "Oh, I'm delighted." That's three syllables for one thing, so that makes it "delighted", that makes it more stronger. But also, it's a nice word to know. Also, if you get an invitation to a party, and you say: "Oh, I'd be delighted to come. Thank you." Or an invitation anywhere. "Oh, delighted." Unless, of course, you want to play it cool and not be too, you know. Okay, so you can use "delighted" in writing and in speaking. Okay.

The same with this word: "thrilled". There's the word "thrill", which is the noun. "What a thrill", and you can practice your: "th", "thra", "thra". It's difficult to say, because it's not just the "th", which is hard for some people, but there's an "r" as well, so it's: "thrilled", it's quite hard to say if you're not used to that kind of pronunciation. "Thrill" and "thrilled". "I'd be thrilled"-okay?-"to go to the party".

And, here's another, this is a very sophisticated word: "elated". It's not the sort of word, perhaps, that you would use in a sort of informal, casual conversation. "Elated" is quite a high, high status kind of word, but it's a good one in certain contexts. Okay. And "elation", the noun, "elation", but it's not used in sort of everyday life. Okay, "ecstatic" is a little bit like "elated". You've probably heard of the noun "ecstasy", okay? Which, unfortunately, is also now linked with a drug, which is probably unfortunate, but there we are. But that's the drug "ecstasy" produces a result of feeling ecstasy. So, ecstatic, but please don't try it; not a good idea. So, "ecstatic", it's a very extreme, extreme kind of word again. Extreme. Okay?

"Delirious" is another. Sometimes this is used in a medical sense by doctors. If someone is delirious, they may have a high temperature. If the doctor takes their temperature and it's way up, and maybe they've got a cold or a fever – delirious. You can be deliriously happy. That doesn't mean you have a temperature and a cold; it just means you're really, really, really happy. But, you can also be delirious with a fever, so it's that sort of extreme sense with that word. Okay?

"In a good mood" is: "Oh, we're back down to earth again. It was getting a little bit too exciting." We're back down to earth. If you say you're in a good mood, that's sort of normal. It's like saying: "happy", "glad", "pleased", "in a good mood".

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