Expressing Your Emotions in Chinese Posted by sasha on Jun 7, 2021 in Vocabulary
Talking about your emotions (情绪 qíng xù) is an important and tricky part of learning a language. Some words translate well between languages, while others don’t at all. There are tons of English words for describing emotions that simply can’t be translated into Chinese, and it’s the same the other way around. In this post, I’ll give a beginner-friendly lesson about expressing your emotions in Chinese.
Chinese Vocabulary for Emotions
To help you out a little, here are 25 common Chinese words for expressing emotions/feelings that translate into English and can be used all the time:
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How to Express Emotions
Learning the words is great and all, but how do you use them? Here are some useful sentence structures that you can use:
I’m a little…
To say “I’m a little…” plus your emotion/feeling in Chinese, you say:
我有一点… (wǒ yǒu yī diǎn) + feeling/emotion
In this sentence, the 有 (yǒu) is optional – you don’t really need to use it. Use the words above and try to translate these three examples:
This is quite useful, as you’ll hear it all the time. It’s also super easy. Here’s how you say it in Chinese:
我很… (wǒ hěn) + feeling/emotion
Again, translate these examples from Chinese to English using the words above:
Sometimes it’s just not enough to say “I’m very happy” – you need to express a slightly stronger emotion. This expression will help you do just that:
我太 + feeling/emotion + 了 (wǒ tài… le)
Translate three more examples and try to use this expression yourself:
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, there are some words that just don’t translate between languages. Check out this interesting article to learn a few Chinese words for feelings/emotions that can’t really translate directly to English. For even more vocabulary, this article gives 222 English emotions in Chinese. That should keep you busy!
This funny video from Learn Chinese Now will help you talk about your emotions. Keep in mind they’re using traditional characters.
Here are the answers for the above expressions:
- I’m a little angry.
- I’m a little hungry.
- I’m a little cold.
- I’m very happy.
- I’m very hot.
- I’m very nervous.
- I’m so tired!
- I’m so busy!
- I’m so excited!
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